The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 15, 2013

Council explores new solid-waste system

CLINTON — City officials are considering paying the Minnesota firm that evaluated the solid waste system $17,000 to help in the search for a solid-waste service provider.

The $17,000 would be paid to Springsted in order for the firm to assemble a request for proposal (RFP) for solid waste, recycling, yard waste and large-item disposal services, and to help city staff respond to the RFP.

“I know that is a lot of money, but at this point if the Council is moving forward with the request for proposal process, to do it right, I believe that the services of Springsted should be engaged,” Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser told council members during the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday.

The money would come from the solid waste fund.

A Springsted employee would work with city staff to develop the parameters of the RFP including information relating to the residential trash collection, exclusions, vehicle requirements, recycling and many other services.

City staff and private haulers would be encouraged to submit proposals for the contract.

Springsted also would assist city staff in preparing a proposal by looking at the number of residential accounts, the level of service, routes and staffing levels, among other things.

Once the proposals were turned in, the city attorney and city administrator would examine them to make sure they came from a responsible bidder and met the criteria. Then the council would be involved in conducting interviews and evaluating the applicants. Springsted would not be involved in reviewing the proposals.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Maggie Klaes opposed the plan to seek other solid-waste providers, saying the city should stay the course with the current system.

“The citizens of Clinton that are using the garbage cans and the garbage trucks we have in place are very happy with it,” Klaes said. “So they’re saying, ‘are you being ridiculous? we’ve got all set up. It’s going good and now you’re going to tear it all up and throw it away.’”

Klaes was the only council member to cast a “no” vote to move the RFP item forward to the next City Council meeting.

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