From the Times-Union:
Add the Jacksonville City Council’s auditor to the growing list of people recommending that the Trail Ridge landfill contract be put out for bids.
Council auditor Kirk Sherman said in a report released Tuesday that the city has several options, each more lucrative than the next.
The proposed contract extension with Waste Management would save the city $266 million over the next 33 years compared to the current operating agreement, Sherman said.
The city could save even more money if it decided to run the landfill itself, the report said – about $91 million more over 33 years. City leaders haven’t discussed that option, but Sherman said the information should be considered.
The one thing he couldn’t estimate is how much other companies would charge the city to operate its landfill, he said. That could not only result in additional savings, but the city also would have more control over the landfill contract.
“Bidding the contract would allow the city to draft the contract terms that it actually wants,” Sherman wrote, “rather than accepting a contract with the terms it was able to negotiate.”
Sherman said that city lawyers have given several reasons why the City Council should waive its procurement rules and allow the contract extension. But so far he is not convinced those reasons are enough to keep from soliciting bids.
The Mayor’s response? His office claims that “the report bolsters his claims.” Every single piece of information that has come to light has pointed towards the fact that this contract needs to be bid, yet the Mayor continues to stubbornly insist that he is right to refuse an open bidding process. The Auditor’s report can be found here.