Mayor Jim Kelly formally opened bids from four waste haulers during the regular meeting of the Benld City Council on Monday night but council members referred the bids to committee and tabled action on accepting a bid until the council’s March meeting.
Bids were received from Community Sanitation, Medora; DC Waste and Recycling, Inc., Hillsboro; SPS Waste, Staunton; and Republic Sanitation Services. Submitted bids, however, were unusually complicated, offering various options and price ranges. One vendor offered nearly a dozen different options with various combinations of services and contract terms. Some of the bids offered contracts ranging from three to five years with price increases scheduled each year of the contract.
Kelly and city aldermen agreed the bids were too complex to determine which vendor offered the best bid without taking time for a detailed analysis. It was agreed to refer the bids to committee for analysis and a recommendation to the full council. Council members are expected to vote on the issue next month.
Benld contracts with a single waste hauler and requires all city residents to have waste pick-up at their homes. The cost of the service is billed to residents in conjunction with their monthly water bill. In addition to ensuring all homes have waste removal services, the program allows the city to limit the number of trash collection trucks using, and potentially damaging, city streets and alleys.
The current contract with Republic Services will expire March 31.
City Clerk Terri Koyne said some of the vendors expressed objections to having the city bill residential customers for trash pick-up. “They said they’d rather do their own billing,” she said.
Mayor Kelly, however said allowing the trash hauler to bill residents directly would negate the city’s power to require trash pick-up. Moreover, City Attorney Rick Verticchio noted, the city would be unable to limit services within the city to one vendor if the waste haulers were allowed to bill residents directly.
In other action, the council unanimously approved Ald. John Balzraine’s motion to appoint Stacy Jarman to the Benld Public Library Board of Directors, replacing the late Mary Ann Scopel.
Council members also approved an expenditure of about $9,000 to replace the water tank and fixtures on the city’s jetter truck. Last month the council authorized expenditures of up to $4,000 to repair the tank but Mayor Kelly said that work was suspended when it was discovered the tank was rusted out.
Following a brief executive session with City Attorney Verticchio, the council voted to declare properties in the 600 block of Eighth Street and 100 block of Maple Street as public nuisances. The action authorizes Verticchio to pursue legal action compelling the property owners to abate the nuisance.
The council heard briefly from Patrick Muir who said he and his girlfriend had recently acquired a building across the street from City Hall with the intent of fixing it up and using the second floor as a recording studio. The building was declared a public nuisance last year and has been the focus of legal efforts to have the property repaired or razed.
Verticchio said he would provide Muir with a copy of the city’s resolution to declare the property a nuisance. Mayor Kelly said items that need to be address include a leaking roof, broken windows on the second floor, tuck-pointing and loose siding on the back of the building.
Kelly said the city could work with Muir on extending a 30-day deadline for abating the nuisance if city officials can see that Muir is making progress toward repairing the issues. Kelly also reminded Muir that the ground floor can only be used for a storefront business operation.
Council members unanimously approved a business license application for Erich’s Handyman Service and approved an expenditure of $1,250 for electrical repair work at the Civic Center and Police Department/Post Office building.