Trash Contract Okayed

Published 5:30 pm Thursday, February 28, 2013

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors approved a five-year contract with van der Linde Recycling and Container Rentals during their February 12 meeting. Van der Linde's bid was one of two submitted to the County in response to a request for proposals (RFP) earlier this year.

Van der Linde contracted with the county two years ago, replacing the County's previous refuse disposal provider, Arena Trucking Company Incorporated. The second bid received by the County this year was from Arena Trucking.

Van der Linde Recycling and Container Rentals proposed one flat monthly charge, listing two additional fees for tire transportation and disposal. Van der Linde's proposal was estimated to be approximately $332,000 a year. According to County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Giles, van der Linde's bid was slightly lower than their current contract with the County.

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Arena Trucking's proposal was based on service provided and calculated by the County using current actual quantities. The proposal was estimated to be approximately $355,000 a year, according to the board packet.

Giles stated that the bids were for the same services, except that the Arena Trucking bid did not specify hauling to STEPS or recycling facilities, while van der Linde recycles most, if not all, of their waste.

Upon reviewing the bids, Supervisor Kevin Ingle, District Three, pointed out that he liked that van der Linde's bid was based on a fixed monthly rate that made the cost more predictable to the County.

Chairman David Meinhard, District Four, suggested the County seek an extended contract, with an out for if the landfill opens, an idea that Ingle seconded.

Supervisor Parker Wheeler, District Five, then wondered if the rate could be lowered if the contract was extended to multiple years.

Michael D. Ledford, CEO of van der Linde Recycling and Container Rentals, was present during the meeting and while the supervisors were speculating on the possibility of a multi-year contract, requested to speak to the board.

To address the board's question about the possibility of an extended contract, Ledford said, “It would make it a lot simpler if you went longer term.” Ledford pointed out, “When you have the amount of money invested, that we do in the county right now, it's, it's nice to look at it long term, instead of a year at a time.”

He stated that he would be willing, that night even, to sign a five-year contract with the board.

He pointed out that van der Linde now offers more recycling services than when Cumberland began its contract with them a few years ago.

He stated that the recycling rates from the county are growing. About fifty percent of the refuse from Cumberland is pulled for recycling. The rest is sent to an incinerator, according to Ledford.

Ingle raised the concern of the landfill opening within the period of a five-year contract. Giles stated that the current contract with van der Linde includes a clause allowing the county to leave the contract after giving a certain amount of notice.

Wheeler wondered if the RFP would have to be re-published since it would be an extended contract and not just for a year, stating “My concern is that we didn't advertise it as a three-year contract. We advertised it as a year contract.”

Giles stated that she would need time to review the RFP, but thought it did not state explicitly the length of the contract. Giles later confirmed to The Herald that the request did not specify a specific time.

Supervisor Lloyd Banks, District Two, made the motion that the board accept the current bid for a period up to 60 months, clarifying for the new bid amount and not the current contract amount.

When Wheeler asked Ledford if he could offer a better deal with a longer contract, Ledford responded that he couldn't, primarily because of the instability of fuel and landfill prices. He also stated that he would agree to a stipulation in the contract regarding the landfill opening.

Giles added that she would recommend, “with a termination provision for any number of reasons…Because there are other things that may come up along the way which would prompt the board to want to…terminate the contract.”

The board unanimously approved the contract. Supervisor Bill Osl, District One, was not present during the meeting.

Deeds of Trust

The board unanimously authorized the release of deeds of trust, as requested by Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The deeds of trust were executed in order to secure payments for the Indoor Plumbing and Dry Well Programs, according to the board's resolution. Giles reported that according to the Department of Housing and Community Development, the program is now complete and no money is owed.

Telecommunication Towers

The board unanimously approved one conditional use permit for a telecommunication tower and the amendment of another after public hearings were held during their regular February meeting.

The conditional use permit for the Raines Tavern tower, to be located near the intersection of Thompson Road and Lewis Road, was approved unanimously.

Interim Planning Director Rachel Falkenstein reported that her department had heard from two neighboring property owners. One had concerns “about the visual impact of the tower as well as potential health hazards that may be caused by the proximity of the tower,” according to the staff report. The other neighbor was in support of the tower, according to Falkenstein.

The planning commission unanimously recommend the board approve the permit after holding their public hearing on January 28, according to the staff report.

The conditional use permit for the Guinea Mills telecommunication tower, to be located near Midway Grocery, had already been approved by the board on November 11, 2011. The original permit required the tower be built by April 1, 2013.

National Communication Towers requested the permit be amended to allow more time to build the tower, according to the staff report submitted by Falkenstein. The amendment allows the company an additional two years. The amendment also clarified language regarding the height requirements of antennae.

William Bruce spoke during the public hearing for the amendment, stating he had no objections to the tower and “if you need another location, let me know.”

Wheeler moved to approve the amendment, but added to the motion that if the tower was not built within the extended timeline, National Communication Towers would have to reapply for the conditional use permit, instead of just amending it.

Ingle said that he had spoken to residents in the area and while they had previously been on the fence about the tower, it seems that “they are coming around to the idea. They know the need for it. So, I feel like there is area support for this project.”