Bid awarded for hauling

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018

Following a tense meeting in which 10 people spoke, the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of retaining its contract with hauling service Container Rentals LLC, owned by van der Linde Recycling & Container Rentals.

Speakers voiced concerns about potential alterations to the county’s hauling services and concerns about other projects that may be under construction in the county.

Board Chairman Kevin Ingle said during the meeting that the board would take questions and try to respond accordingly.

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“We want to hear all that people want to say,” Ingle said. “I just want everybody to know that what you’ve got to say tonight is valued … Your comments and your presence here will definitely be noted.”

He said bids the county could choose might trigger a significant price hike. Ingle and County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Seay Giles estimated the price the county would pay for hauling services might be triple what they currently pay.

“What we’re seeing as far as what these bids are, we are actually spending, looking at that could go up into the millions to give you the exact same service you have now,” Ingle said.

District One Supervisor Bill Osl said two bids are under consideration. The first is from the current service that has contracted with the county, Container Rentals LLC. Osl said staying with the company could retain the county’s current operations of refuse hauling, but would result in a sharp increase in price to the county.

Osl said the county’s current contract with Container Rentals will expire at midnight on March 31, noting a time crunch that factored into the vote Tuesday.

Osl said the prior contract with Container Rentals LLC included a fixed rate, which was not measured by the rate of tonnage or by the county population.

“We’ve had a sweetheart deal for five years, and now that deal’s going to go away,” Osl said.

Supervisors said the second bid, from County Waste LLC, would include curbside service, where a vehicle would pick up trash from receptacles at residential and commercial properties. He said at the end of the meeting the contract could potentially close transfer stations in the county.

Osl said he was opposed to curbside service, concerned about keeping a trash receptacle on his driveway, which extends approximately a mile.

The potentially drastic changes to the hauling services and rumors of a landfill under construction on Pinegrove Road prompted several members of the public to speak during public comment.

Brian Stanley told the supervisors he uses the transfer station in Cartersville. He addressed the concern about the excess trash and suggested driver’s license checks as a solution.

“I know we have a lot of tonnage over there,” Stanley said. “It’s hard to believe all of that tonnage is just coming from local residents. I think it would be a great idea to limit access to county residents and county businesses.”

Stanley also suggested expanding service to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Currently operations are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

William Bruce spoke about a rumor of another landfill coming to the area of Pinegrove Road.

“If that’s the case, I think once again, these things need to be up for referendum,” Bruce said. “The people need to know, not in closed session and then you come out and vote on it. I think they need to know what is involved with their tax dollars.”

Bill McGonigal noted the approaching expiration of the current contract and asked how changes would be efficiently made in the two-week timeframe.

“Why are we here on the 13th discussing something that has to be clarified on the 31st?” McGonigal said. “What kind of business is this? This is a business. It is a county that’s spending our money, and we should be informed ahead of time what’s going on, not wait for the two weeks duration to come up … and vote on it tonight regardless of what we think about it. I know you say that our opinions count, and I would like to believe that.”

Hubbard Sprouse asked members of the audience who heard about the landfill situation through word-of- mouth to stand up.

“Let these folks (on the board of supervisors) know that they’re representing you, and you find out through the grapevine, not through people that are representing you,” Sprouse said.

Addressing the supervisors, Sprouse added, “You don’t realize that your job is to represent the people.”

A project rumored to be taking place at the area of Pinegrove Road was not addressed by members of the board.

Carrie Saxtan asked who would be responsible for litter or trash that could not fit into trash cans for curbside service, or who would assist if elderly or disabled residents could not move trash cans to the curb.

“We live in Cumberland, it’s very rural,” Saxtan said. “I do not have a flat spot in my driveway to put a trash can.”

“How many people are going to be out of a job if you close the transfer stations?” Saxtan said. She said there are nine employees that work in the transfer stations.

Following the public comment periods, a discussion period and a closed session, members of the board voted unanimously to award the bid to Container Rentals LLC.

Osl said following the vote that this contract would mean that the transfer stations would remain open. He said the contract would cost an additional $500,000 each year.

“That’s the current operations, transfer stations stay open,” Osl said about the Container Rentals LLC contract. “It keeps the current operations the way they are.”

District Two Supervisor Lloyd Banks said he and other supervisors regularly engage with community members, and he encouraged participants to continue to stay involved in the county.

“We’re trying to do the best we can under the circumstances,” Banks said. “It’s not just like this came up on Monday, we needed it done by Tuesday night and that’s where we’re at. I would have to say everybody on this board is involved and engaged on a routine basis. We’re all available. We can’t hide.”

“If we had this number of people at every meeting every month, it would be extremely helpful,” Banks said.