Green gives Republic the nod for trash collection

Brian Lisik
Suburbanite correspondent
City of Green

GREEN  Following weeks of opposition from a several residents, Green City Council approved a five-year contract with Republic Services March 9 for rubbish collection and weekly curbside recycling.

Republic was the lowest contract bidder among three companies, but the opposing residents expressed a desire to contract with Kimble Recycling and Waste Disposal, the city’s trash hauler and recycler for the past 10 years.

Each of the bids reflected at least a 20 percent increase over the current 13.85 per month rate for unlimited pickup, the service selected by the majority of the city’s approximately 80,000 customers. Republic bid $16.64 per month for unlimited customers and Kimble bid $17.95 per month for the same service.

Finance Director Steven Schmidt said the contracted rates are locked in for three years, but begin to increase in each proposal in years four and five and the city’s optional five additional contract years. The Republic bid will cost customers $644,400 across the entire 10 years, Schmidt said, and the Kimble contract would have cost $1.7 million over the same time period.

At the March 9 meeting, Ward 4 Councilman Matt Shaughnessy presented 315 responses to a survey he sent to 3,000 residents regarding the two bids.

Shaughnessy said 90 percent of the respondents indicated that they preferred Kimble, with roughly half of that number “specifically (saying) they would pay more for Kimble.”

Ward 1 Councilwoman Barbara Babbitt said that while the city could award the contract to Kimble, since residents are paying for the service themselves and taxpayer dollars are not being used. However, Babbitt said, she did not feel anything “improper” took place during the bidding process.

Councilman At-Large Clark DeVitis said that while some residents may be willing to pay more for Kimble, it is Council’s role to provide the best and most cost efficient service for all residents.

Ward 3 Councilman Rocco Yeargin said the city must take care to protect the integrity of the bidding process by awarding the lowest and best bid, adding that this also gives the city more protection from a legal standpoint.

The city’s current contract with Kimble expires March 31.

In other action, council:

• Approved a $220,649 amendment to the 2021 appropriations budget to include asbestos removal at the former Steve’s Motel property and returning funding to the 2021 budget for roundabout maintenance and various community events, which had been left out of the budget due to economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

• Awarded a contract to Northstar Asphalt, Inc. for the city’s 2021 road resurfacing project.