Oswegoans to pay less for garbage service : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Oswegoans to pay less for garbage service|
|Contractor bids come in lower than current rates; vote on contract expected May 15|
|by John Etheredge|
Village of Oswego residents should expect to start paying less for their weekly garbage service beginning this summer.
The village's current five-year contract for weekly solid waste collection services with Republic Services is scheduled to end June 30.
Village staff opened sealed bids from four firms seeking the new contract April 9.
Bids were received from Republic, Groot Industries, Waste Management and Veolia,
Interim Village Administrator Dwight Baird described the bidding process as "very complex" since the village asked all firms that submitted bids to present separate bids for a three-year contract, a five-year contract, and one in combination with the City of Yorkville.
Baird said Monday he was surprised and pleased that in most instances the bid prices the village received would allow village residents to save a few dollars each month on their waste collection service.
"I was really surprised at the bids that came and how competitive they were," Baird said, adding, "I know the board has wanted to go out to bid on a lot of our major contracts and going out to bid in this case has really paid off."
He added, "I feel it's a win-win situation for village residents whichever contract the board approves."
In a memo to the board, Baird recommended the board award the new contract to Groot.
During a committee meeting Tuesday evening board members expressed differing opinions on the recommendation to hire Groot and aspects of the proposed service the firm would provide residents.
Board members Scott Volpe, Jeff Lawson and Jeff Lawson voiced support for another option that would maintain the village's current program that allows residents to put out unlimited amounts of garbage each week without having to purchase stickers.
Board members Gail Johnson voiced support for the staff's recommendation, while board member Judy Sollinger was undecided. A sixth board member, Terry Michels, was absent from the meeting.
Karl Ottosen, an attorney for the village, said his firm would prepare a draft contract and present it to the board to consider during their next meeting set for Tuesday, May 15.
The board has yet to decide which firm's bid it will accept.
According to Baird, Republic Services and Groot submitted complete bids per the village's specifications.
"Looking at all bids from the four providers, based on a five-year contract for the Village of Oswego alone, it appears Groot is the lowest," Baird wrote in his memo.
In the service program recommended by village staff, weekly garbage and recycling services provided by Groot would be similar to the services now provided by Republic.
However, the current unlimited weekly trash collection service provided by Republic would be limited to two 32 gallon trash cans or bags provide by residents or one single 65 gallon cart or toter supplied by Groot.
"This option allows the choice to be the residents' on whether a toter is used or not," Baird noted.
Approving the Groot's proposal would result in a savings for village residents.
Currently, village residents pay $20.44 per month to Republic for their garbage and recycling collection service.
But under Groot's proposal, the monthly charge to village residents would drop to $16.75 per month for the first year of the contract and then increase annually over the five-year contract term to $20.36, still less than what village residents are now paying.
The senior rate for the first year of the contract would be $13.40 and then top out at $16.29 in the fifth year of the contract, slightly more than the current senior rate of $15.63.
One significant change in the village's garbage pick-up program under the Groot proposal would be that the current unlimited garbage collection each week would end. Instead, Baird said residents would be able put out up to two 32 gallon trash cans or bags each week or rent a garbage cart or toter supplied by Groot at a cost of $2 per month.
Baird said residents would still be able to put out additional garbage beyond the two bags or cans or the toter, but they will have to purchase stickers and place them on the extra bags or cans. Baird said the stickers would be priced at $1 each.
Baird noted that a survey conducted by the village on its website last fall found most village residents only throw out one to two bags of trash each week. As result, he said, it "appears residents are (now) paying more for what they actually use."
He wrote: "Comparing Groot to Republic for a regular single family household over a five year contract, Groot is approximately $43 cheaper. The senior (discount) will save a little over $200 per household. If Groot is chosen."
But Tuesday evening, Volpe, Lawson and Giles said they wished to maintain the village's current unlimited trash collection. They maintained that the savings residents would realize on their monthly garbage cost under the staff recommended program would be offset by the need to purchase stickers.
Baird also noted that village staff is recommending the board approve a five year contract instead of a shorter three year agreement "because of the stability of the contract and the uncertainly of the fuel cost."
Groot has been serving communities in the Chicagoland area for over 80 years, according to its website.
Before recommending Groot, Baird said village staff contacted numerous communities that are currently served by Groot and those who were previously but are now served by other firms. Among the communities contacted, he said, were Skokie, Winnetka, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, West Chicago and Brookfield.
Referring to the communities contacted, Baird wrote: "All indicated Groot services were excellent and when complaints came in, they were handled expeditiously and professionally. All have been using Groot for a number of years."
He noted that Plano and the Village of Lakewood both previously used Groot but now use other firms. Referring to those communities, Baird wrote, "Both indicated they no longer use Groot based solely on price and had contracted to a more local vendor. Both indicate the service (from Groot) was excellent throughout the service to the village."