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Editorial: Not the ‘best value’ for citizens
On June 21, at a special meeting, the Floresville City Council -- against the advice of their attorney -- chose to award a contract for municipal waste collection, hauling and disposal, by a 3 to 2 vote.
The proposed awardee, Allied Waste, according to the city staff and three city council members, was the best value for the city of Floresville. Just because city staff and three city council members state that this is the “best value” for the city does not make it so. Based on the information presented by the city, the facts do not support the city’s awarding of the contract to Allied Waste as the “best value.”
For the primary services provided -- residential and commercial waste collection -- Allied Waste was not the low bidder. In fact, the bid provided by Allied Waste was $132,458.80 per year more than the low bidder, IESI (our current provider).
So why was Allied Waste the best value?
At the June 21 special meeting, the city council in a 3-2 vote determined that a hazardous waste drop-off site was needed. The fact is that the county currently operates a hazardous waste drop-off site that is available to the citizens of Floresville. Allied Waste was the only bidder that bid on a hazardous waste drop-off site. Their bid was simply stated as “negotiable.”
The actual contract with Allied Waste that was signed by the mayor at the June 28 city council meeting specifically states that hazardous waste is excluded. The city’s constituent liaison, Sherry Pollok, confirmed that no bidder had the ability to haul hazardous waste. There is, however, a clause in the contract that states that Allied Waste will serve as consultants and will assist the city in looking for grants and setting up its own hazardous waste drop-off site. What is this duplicate and unneeded service going to cost the residents of the city of Floresville?
The second justification to Allied Waste being the “best value” was that they were the only bidder that bid on sewage treatment plant sludge hauling. Their bid was $90 per ton. Apparently the city is doing this, and this service is not currently being provided by IESI. When asked by Councilman Morones what the current costs are for sewage treatment plant sludge hauling by the city, the city staff could not produce any hard numbers.
Pollok only stated that it would only be “a significant savings.” Citizens repeated the question and no answer was provided. If we do not know what our current costs are, how then can we state that $90 per ton is “best value” or that it is a “significant savings?”
The city attorney, Louis Rosenberg, suggested to the council that the totals be calculated and that the proposed awardee be based upon the bottom line. Councilman Gomez said that it was not necessary, as the “best value” could clearly be seen and motioned to award the contract to Allied Waste. Council members Gomez, Flores, and Castillo voted to award the contract to Allied Waste and ignored the recommendation of the city attorney. Council members Guerrero and Morones voted no.
So awarding the contract to a bidder that was $132,458.80 per year higher than the low bidder, that will only serve as a consultant so that the city can establish its own, unneeded hazardous waste drop-off site, and that will provide sewage treatment plant sludge hauling without being able to demonstrate the savings is “best value”? It certainly does not appear to be in the “best value” of the residents of the city.
And if, in fact, this is the best value and the city is saving so much money, why then will the city council and staff not guarantee that the rates residents of this community pay for garbage will not increase?
Miller is a businessman and registered voter in the city of Floresville.
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The Marcelina Muse
Dry Tank, TX
July 18, 2012 12:25pm
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