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Trash sites decision expected Monday

WINDSOR – They’ve waited for months to make a decision; so a couple of extra days will not matter.

After a long debate and nixing an idea to offer curbside trash pick-up, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners will finally make a decision on Monday to choose between the two companies bidding for a new contract to operate the county’s five Solid Waste and Recycling convenience centers.

The commissioners were scheduled to hear one final “pitch” from the two bidders – Waste Industries and Republic Services – on Thursday when the board reconvened from its Feb. 19 meeting in Powellsville. However, Old Man Winter came calling Wednesday night with the biggest snowstorm of the season, causing that meeting to be canceled.

On Friday morning, Bertie County Manager Scott Sauer said the meeting has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday (March 2). That special called meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in the Commissioners Board Room. The board was already scheduled to conduct its regularly scheduled “first Monday” meeting at 4 p.m. The awarding of the contract is on the agenda for that latter meeting.

“When we decided that curbside collection was off the table we decided to move forward to renew our contract for operation of the convenience centers,” said Board chair Ronald D. “Ron” Wesson at the Feb. 19 meeting. “We put that out for bid and we received two bids.”

The bids were received from Waste Industries, the current operators of the convenience centers, and Republic Services, operators of the county landfill in Aulander.

“These are the two completed, timely bids we will be considering,” Wesson added.

In acknowledging the RFP’s (request for proposal) received, the chairman went on to state that the two proposals do differ.

The one from Waste Industries has been for five years with five year renewals while the one from Republic Services is for a 10 year agreement.

“Their (Republic) thought was coming in new they wanted to cover the cost of new equipment there, so they offered a contract over 10 years,” Wesson stated.

As far as the reasoning behind the decision to weigh the offers of both bidders one final time prior to awarding the bid, Wesson stated, “This gives us the opportunity to further negotiate and discuss with both of these for one last time before this board makes a decision. I think that would be in the best interest in both the companies and of the citizens of Bertie County. From that discussion we will be prepared to make a selection at our 4 p.m. meeting on March 2.”

Wesson said the public is invited to the 1 p.m. meeting, “so they can know exactly the pros and cons we are weighing.”