Council President Ronnie Fussell held his closed door meeting with City officials and the Council Auditor’s Office yesterday on the no-bid Waste Management contract to operate the Trail Ridge Landfill. The Council Auditor has made 5 recommendations for changes to the contract:
- Lower the base rate per paid to Waste Management from $10.21 to $9.76 per ton of trash moved. Auditors said that the city’s agreement to provide fuel for landfill operations should have resulted in the lower amount. The difference between the two amounts is about $14 million over the life of the contract.
- The annual rate increase should be capped at 3.55 percent. As it is now, the per-ton fee paid to Waste Management will increase annually at a rate equal to 70 percent of inflation. Auditors worried that one year of abnormal inflation would drastically and unfairly cause the contract amounts to skyrocket.
- Require a periodic review of the contract, perhaps every five to 10 years, to allow rates to be adjusted lower if Waste Management is making excessive profits.
- Delete the purchase option that allows Waste Management to buy the landfill and a new site from the city if the contract is terminated without cause. Auditors say these assets are too valuable to be sold for any reason.
- Delete the requirement for the city to pay Waste Management for recyclable materials removed from the site. Auditors said it was unfair for the city to pay for trash that isn’t actually dumped into the landfill.
Council President Fussell is on record saying the contract should be put out to bid. After the meeting yesterday, he says he still hasn’t seen anything that would make him change his mind.
The Mayor’s Office response? They are going to meet with the Council Auditor to show them where they are wrong. lol. Well, at least Paul Harden doesn’t have the Council Auditor in is hip pocket.