Thursday, February 4, 2010

Waste Discussion Recap

For a short Town Council meeting, there was a bit of interesting discussion.

The discussion started right away with Citizen's Comments
Michael Galvin, Vice-President of American Waste Services, LLC (the current waste contractor and a bidder on the new contract), also a Franklin resident spoke.

He referenced an 11 page document that apparently the Town Council received (at least some of them) and tried to condense his remarks to keep within the guidelines for citizen's comments (5 minute limit)

He didn't make it; he got cut off at five, but then was allocated another five minutes from another resident.

This is what I walked away with:

 - The contract is still under negotiation, three bidders are involved, why is this discussion in public, shouldn't the other two have equal access?

 - There is some dispute about the numbers. If the current contractor has actual numbers, why wouldn't they be considered along with the research from other communities? Why weren't the actual numbers from Franklin's experience included earlier in the discussion. (If they were, it wasn't apparent from the discussion Weds.)

 - Mr Galvin's comment should have stood alone. However, when the second piece of legislation scheduled for the meeting agenda came up for discussion, the conversation deviated from the matter at hand to get into this.

 - The second piece of legislation was the authorization of the purchase of the totters/bins to implement the single stream contract. The totters would be used no matter which of the three bidders won.

The argument by Councilor Vallee that this is the wrong time to spend any money is interesting. This is actually the best time to buy the totters (assuming we go with this single stream process). 
  • The interest rate (for financing the purchase) is as low as it can be
  • The cost for the bins will be low
  • The waste rate will actually be a cost savings for Franklin residents (from $244 to $220, a $24 savings)
  • It will be a sort of 'stimulus purchase' for the vendor who actually sells us the bins/totters, hence a really good deal, especially at this time
Given that the waste fee second reading will come before the Council soon (likely next week), this discussion will possibly be continued and revisited with more time wasted (pun intended) by some folks trying to.micro-manage the situation.

Assuming the second reading does come forward, all it is supposed to do is set the rates for the Town to charge the residents. The contract will still be negotiated sometime before the current one expires on June 30th.

Stay tuned to see what happens next week!

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