In a tense discussion, after hearing from speakers on the waste collection contract, the Leon County Commission voted 4-3 to continue the County’s relationship with WastePro.
Leon County Commission Chairman Bryan Desloge, with Commissioners Minor, Maddox, and Jackson supported keeping WastePro, despite past customer service issues.
Desloge said he did not want to pass on a $4 a month price increase to customers and was concerned about challenges in transitioning to a new vendor.
Commissioners Lindley, Dozier, and Proctor voted in support of a new vendor. The Commissioners argued the price increase would come with better customer service.
The agreement maintains the current residential subscription rates, increases commercial rates and provides for early termination for unsatisfactory performance.
The vote could concluded a process that began back in September when Leon County Commissioners voted to issue an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for a new waste collection vendor contract rather than extend the current WastePro contract.
The search for a new vendor was due, in part, to the customer service issues WastePro experienced over the last couple of years.
Despite the customer service issues, the Commission has been reluctant to accept the price increase associated with a proposal submitted by waste collection vendor FCC.
FCC had promised better customer service aided, in part, by the introduction of new equipment in Leon County.
Also, the Board voiced concerns over possible challenges with the transition to an out-of-town company.
The Renegotiated WastePro Agreement
Under the new WastePro agreement, the residential collection rates will remain at the current $14.15 a month, which is 28% lower than the lowest bid rate by FCC. However, during the recent negotiations, WastePro requested consideration to adjust the rates for commercial waste service.
The commercial rate for the “Non-Compaction per container per cubic yard” category will increase 37% from $7.27 to 9.95. Currently there are approximately 720 commercial accounts.
To address customer service issues, the new agreement provides for early termination provisions should performance of WastePro become unacceptable. Also, the new agreement requires WastePro to maintain the existing level of service including type of equipment, staffing levels, and routes.
On September 24, 2019, the Board approved issuance of the Invitation to Bid (ITB) for curbside collection services resulting in a single bid from WastePro of $19.19 per month for residential collection, or a 35% increase over the current rate.
On December 10, 2019 the Board directed the sole bid be rejected and authorized the readvertisement of the ITB with minor modifications in an effort to receive multiple responses. The Bid was readvertised and three bids were submitted by FCC, WastePro, and Waste Management. However, Waste Management was deemed non-responsive as their submission was incomplete. The lowest responsive bidder was FCC. FCC’s bid of $18.19 per month for residential collection was a 28% increase over the current subscription rate of $14.15 per month or an increase of $48.48 annually. In comparison, the December 2019 sole bid from WastePro was $19.19 or a 35% increase.
On January 28, 2020, the Board considered the options of awarding the bid to FCC as the lowest responsive bidder, or to negotiate a renewal of the current Agreement with WastePro, Inc. Staff was directed to engage WastePro in negotiations for renewal of the current Agreement and bring back a proposed agreement in February. The Board has the option of approving the renewal and therefore rejecting the bids which resulted from the readvertisement.