Government

More News | | | Editor

Commissioners question waste collection contract

Monday, March 25, 2013 8:44 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:45 AM
  • Follow Government

Augusta Commission members continue to question the details of the city's new weekly waste collection contract, nearly a year after the commission approved the deal with two waste haulers, Inland Service Corp. and Advanced Disposal.

Back | Next
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle (center) attends a commissioners meeting along with Al Mason (left) and Bill Lockett on Monday.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle (center) attends a commissioners meeting along with Al Mason (left) and Bill Lockett on Monday.

The deal, under development for at least three years, requires the haulers to run garbage trucks on compressed natural gas within five years. The city will make the gas from landfill methane.

Officials have said they hope the move will reduce Augusta’s ground-level ozone, for which the city was designated a non-attainment area by the state Environmental Protection Division.

Commissioners spent weeks last summer debating the wisdom of reducing garbage pickup from twice a week to weekly, but the conversation now has turned to the two haulers’ use of minority subcontractors. Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson raised the issue Monday at a meeting of the city’s public services committee.
“The question is, will we have enough local participation from our local small businesses to be able to handle the needs of this contract,” Johnson said to a handful of waste haulers.

Johnson and Commissioner Marion Williams took issue with the city’s bidding process, which began with a request for proposals from firms willing to construct three compressed natural gas fueling stations and all trucks to run on the gas. The requirements later were loosened, but the contract was not rebid, a move that Procurement Director Geri Sams said she opposed.

After the change, the small haulers “felt that they were kind of played, because now they don't have a seat at the table,” Johnson said.
Under the agreement, the prime contractors are required to use just two of the five existing subcontractors, most of which have hauled city or county trash since consolidation.
A representative of Berry Smith Sanitation said he feared losing his job when the current contract runs out in May and hasn't been offered another one by Inland or Advanced.

“These are local businesses that have been here in this community doing a good job,” Williams said.

Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson, who did not attend Monday’s meeting, has said that the contract has been extended several times and that without a new one, waste pickup might grind to a halt in May.

OTHER ACTION

Augusta Commission committees on Monday:

• Agreed to review the recommendations for corrective action from a 2009 study that found disparities in the awarding of contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses. Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Coordinator Yvonne Gentry said her office still has difficulty collecting data from contract vendors on involvement by women or minorities.

• Asked general counsel Andrew MacKenzie to present additional measures available to the commission when a commissioner violates the conflict-of-nterest policy. MacKenzie said the penalties for commissioners could include a $1,000 fine or 60 days in jail, and an employee who breaks the policy can simply be fired.

• Authorized the city administrator to move forward with developing a partnership between First Tee of Augusta and Augusta Municipal Golf Course, known as “The Patch.”

– Staff reports

Comments (25) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 03/26/13 - 07:40 am
5
0
Once a week?

We are going to be one filthy city. There will be garbage stacked along houses which eventually will blow out into the streets and medians. This is a really bad idea. The once Garden City will soon be the new Dirty City. Go back to the drawing board on this one! DD

GnipGnop
11740
Points
GnipGnop 03/25/13 - 10:18 pm
5
1
doesn't matter

Only the south side pays for it all anyway

dichotomy
31619
Points
dichotomy 03/25/13 - 10:49 pm
7
1
Many urban residential

Many urban residential properties are tax valued so low they do not even pay enough taxes to cover their garbage service. The suburban and rural taxpayers are being overcharged to subsidize the garbage service downtown......and some of the fire protection too...and their streetlights. And then Mark Johnson and the commissioners decide to build a Compressed Natural Gas empire by raising our rates, cutting our service, and requiring the haulers to use CNG trucks and BUY THEIR GAS from the Mark Johnson CNG property owner financed CNG empire. And, after all of that conniving and overcharging, dang if they ain't screwing up the contract and screwing the local haulers AND the property owners.

And now, just months before everything is supposed to take effect, our local geniuses are concerned that they may not have enough haulers to handle the contract. DUH!!!!!! DID ANY OF THEM THINK ABOUT THIS A YEAR AGO WHEN THEY WERE CONSPIRING TO SCREW THE PROPERTY OWNERS? NOooo, all they could thing about was raising our rates and cutting our service. Not one of them has the mental ability to think beyond the end of their......oh never mind. I forgot we have a lady commissioner now. Anyway, you get the picture. We do seem to have the dumbest, most short sighted, worst planning commission and administrator I have had the disgusting displeasure to watch in action.

Riverman1
81245
Points
Riverman1 03/26/13 - 07:10 am
4
0
Complicated to the Absurd

The Commission dealings with the garbage pick-up contract has to be the most complicated and convoluted discussion of picking up garbage and carrying it to a dump that I’ve ever witnessed.

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 07:44 am
6
1
Trust

Riverman is correct. The root cause of commission micromanagement is lack of trust. Half of the commission does not trust city administrator Fred (What, me worry?) Russell. Their lack of trust is well placed, because Russell has misled them, failed to provide requested information, ignored them, botched his duties, mismanaged his personnel and his budget, granted gratuities (which is against state law), and cost taxpayers over a million dollars in fines and court penalties. And Russell just shrugs it off, “What, me worry?”

The sad thing is that the other half of the commission cannot muster one vote to join the former half in a motion to fire Russell. Thus the conundrum — they don't trust their administrator; but they won't fire him. That is no way to run a city.

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 08:23 am
1
1
Timeliness

These commissioners are really on the ball. From the story:

Augusta Commission committees on Monday agreed to review the recommendations for corrective action from a 2009 study. . . .

I guess four years from now we'll learn what their review revealed.

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 08:28 am
3
1
Favoritism

From the story:

Augusta Commission committees on Monday authorized the city administrator to move forward with developing a partnership between First Tee of Augusta and Augusta Municipal Golf Course.

This is so unfair. The commissioners have hand-picked Paul Simon to do business with at The Patch and are squeezing other businesses out of contention. They have authorized city resources (i.e., the office of the city administrator) to develop a partnership with Simon instead of receiving bids fair and square on a level playing field. It's so ungolflike.

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 08:32 am
0
2
Downsize

From the story:

. . . the small haulers “felt that they were kind of played, because now they don't have a seat at the table,” Commissioner Corey Johnson said. Under the agreement, the prime contractors are required to use just two of the five existing subcontractors. . . .

When you go from twice-a-week pickup to once-a-week, it is only natural that you need fewer workers. Hence, the downsizing is natural and desirable.

nocnoc
40260
Points
nocnoc 03/26/13 - 09:32 am
2
1
A shell game and A 50% Tax/Fee increase

No surprise to see this coming...
It is a mirror of Gwinnett County's screw up 4 years ago.

It seem ARC copies a lot of Gwinnett County's FAILURES and Processes for some reason?

Maybe we should fire our ARC administrator and start getting the
Failures 1st hand, instead of paying for a copy cat Administrator.

soapy_725
43598
Points
soapy_725 03/26/13 - 09:59 am
0
0
ARC of No Covenant
Unpublished

Provides no salvation. The government of ARC is a criminal enterprise at the highest level. It is beyond the control of voters and taxpayers. Only an outside federal investigation can rescue the drowning masses.

Noah left his Ark of Salvation in Turkey a long time ago.

Fred the Turkey is deliberately and hastily drilling holds in the local ARC. And the "covert kingdom builders" are providing the drill bits.

creolechick
72
Points
creolechick 03/26/13 - 10:30 am
4
0
Trash pickup only needed once a week

If you use your recycle bin, even a family of 5 only needs trash pickup once a week plus the once a week recycle pickup. It needs to be changed & our taxes for this needs to come down!!!

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 03/26/13 - 10:31 am
0
0
can't fire ole "tax-em fred"
Unpublished

can't fire ole "tax-em fred" because he knows where are the skeletons are buried on each commissioner...sorta like how j edgar hoover had files on every president he worked for and as much as some of them hated him they could not fire him or hoover would leak the files with the damning info so that's why he stayed as fbi director until he died..the same here with "ole tax-em" fred

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 10:42 am
1
1
Trash

I agree, creolechick, that once a week pickup is sufficient. I agree that the pickup fee on our tax bill needs to come down.

What the city has in mind, however, is to leave the pickup fee where it is. They say that they will have to increase the fee if pickup remains at twice a week. That's pretty sneaky, if you ask me. Forcing the garbage haulers to use landfill gas to fuel the vehicles is also sneaky. But that's Fred for you.

daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 03/26/13 - 10:48 pm
1
1
Most don't recycle

Creole chick- ride around lower socio-economic neighborhoods on recycling day and you will see that most do not participate and I don't know how you could force them to. Once a week trash pickup will lead to a dirty city. DD

harley_52
22812
Points
harley_52 03/26/13 - 04:20 pm
1
0
"Once a week trash pickup will lead to....

....an even more dirtier city."

"Even more dirtier?" That's easy for you to say.

I think once a week would be just fine....and cheaper. However, if we want a really, really clean city we should ask the City to contract for a four times a week trash pick-up. Heck, why not make it five?

If your starting point is that it's the city's responsibility to keep everybody's yard clean, I'm not so sure it's possible to schedule enough pick-up days to accomplish that task.

creolechick
72
Points
creolechick 03/26/13 - 04:25 pm
1
0
Everyone should recycle

Everyone should be forced to recycle if that's what needs to be done to keep costs down & keep yards clean. Why is it okay for people to be that lazy? Recycling is not hard at all. Responsible property owners will do what it takes to keep their property clean.

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 04:44 pm
1
0
Force

The quote is attributed to George Washington :

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it can be a troublesome servant, or a fearful master.

It would be hard for city government to force people to recycle; but how about this idea: Charge full price for households who do not recycle, but give a rebate to those who do. The economic incentive would increase recycling percentages.

P.S. And for those who improperly recycle (i.e., putting unapproved items in the recycle bin) tack on a penalty on top of the regular rate.

creolechick
72
Points
creolechick 03/26/13 - 05:05 pm
1
0
Good idea

Good idea Little Lamb! Maybe a savings would encourage some to recycle. Its honestly so easy! I don't understand people who refuse to do it.

harley_52
22812
Points
harley_52 03/26/13 - 05:50 pm
1
0
"Why is it okay for people to be that lazy?"

It really isn't okay, is it?

But we teach them it's okay by never holding them responsible for their own bad behavior. And since we allow it, they assume we're approving it. And since they aren't held responsible, we've taught them it's "okay" to be irresponsible. And so....we start believing it's OUR responsibility to keep THEIR yards clean.

nocnoc
40260
Points
nocnoc 03/26/13 - 07:16 pm
2
0
Picture this

CSRA it is August
It is 105 degrees outside
and your garbage has been sitting next your house for 6 days and nights. Smell the fermented aroma....☻

What some times barely fit into a twice a week pickup, now is in bags next the dumpster. Dogs, Cats, Opossums, racoons and coyotes
looking for a meal. Bags thorn open a scattered across several yards.

Now along comes Fred Russell copying Gwinnett Co. once again and a failed solution at that.

A NEW FINE (tax) for people that have too much garbage and new FINE for the scattered trash and litter ordinance.

Can you picture this?

Or should I also add the number of

RATS

that piled up garbage will attract?

harley_52
22812
Points
harley_52 03/26/13 - 07:15 pm
2
0
Picture This...

Garbage pick-up trucks rumbling down the roads twice a week when half the customers don't have enough trash to wheel their can out to the street. But they ALL pay for twice a week.

How about this....let residents choose between once or twice pick-up and charge them accordingly.

nocnoc
40260
Points
nocnoc 03/26/13 - 07:19 pm
2
0
harley_52 - makes a good point

Why can't we elect people like him?

That understand copied "cookie cutter" solutions never address the whole problem.

harley_52
22812
Points
harley_52 03/26/13 - 07:49 pm
1
0
Thanks....

....but I'm not the politician type.

I don't know why they can't make it a simple choice, once or twice a week, for residents. I suppose they would say it would be impossible to tell whether any particular customer was a once, or twice, customer, but I'm pretty sure I could figure a way, if they can't.

The real problem is that the government shouldn't be in the trash business in the first place. I'm quite sure if they turned it over to the market, citizens could get it cheaper and better than the way it is now.

daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 03/26/13 - 10:45 pm
1
0
Harley 52

I agree, gramatically incorrect. I should have slowed down and gathered my thoughts. But at least I'm not afraid to sign my name to something especially when I'm critizing someone. DD

harley_52
22812
Points
harley_52 03/26/13 - 10:55 pm
1
0
Afraid.....

....or wise?

Ask any security expert about the wisdom of sharing your identity with all the kooks that inhabit internet sites like this.

My criticism was more directed at the position you have taken on the issue which, by the way, also might benefit from you slowing down and gathering your thoughts.

daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 03/26/13 - 11:00 pm
0
0
Security?

We are talking about trash pickup. I'm not really worried about this one. DD

harley_52
22812
Points
harley_52 03/27/13 - 09:27 am
1
0
Well, According To Most Experts...

...you should be able to understand that once your identity is out there for this thread, it's out there for all other threads as well.

Also, you should be able to recognize that just because someone uses a proper name doesn't necessarily mean the person using that name is actually the person whose name is being used. For all I know "DD" is really a thirteen year old middle school student who's supposed to be doing his/her homework.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Coroner granted funds to offset transportation costs

The Richmond County Coroner's Office will get some relief now that it can access funds collected through a partnership with Georgia Regents Medical Center.
Search Augusta jobs