Thursday, December 22, 2005
Group wants to help with garbage
By SUE WATSON
A Tennessee professional services group has offered to help Marshall County with its residential garbage and solid waste disposal plans.
Jim McNaughton, with Environmental Business Services, and Rory Reardon said their company is in the consulting business for the solid waste industry.
With 20-plus years in the solid waste management business, McNaughton said he would use the skills he has gained working for business to help the county develop proposals and get its solid waste disposal plan through Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
EBS works for small and mid-sized companies and cities and counties, he said.
He gave references - DeSoto, Lincoln, Quitman and Rankin counties and the city of Meridian.
“Our best selling tool is that our clients have rehired us,” he said.
McNaughton added that the garbage business has to take care of simple things on a day-to-day business - stay focused daily to avoid loss of service or value throughout the life of a service contract.
The county will revisit its contract with Resourceful Environmental Services or put the residential collection service out for bids in July 2006.
McNaughton said issuing a request for proposal should be done earlier rather than later.
“The longest a contract can go in Mississippi is six years, and you have to get another one (contract) next year,” he said. “Too often cities and counties wait too late to issue an RFP. The only way to get the best value out of a hauler is to get competition.”
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas asked what would it be like for the county to not offer a 100 percent guarantee of collections as it does under the current contract with R.E.S.
McNaughton said issuing an RFP could get the county a better collection rate and cheaper disposal fees. He estimated the service could be provided for around $15,000 plus expenses and RFP service costs.
His company also offers assistance to cities and counties with business plans and operational and safety audits.
Supervisor George Zinn III asked McNaughton if his company obligates itself to see that service contracts are satisfactory and if the contractor is complying with the agreement.
McNaughton said contractors backup their own work but he would not recommend a contractor without a good referral.
Supervisor Eddie Dixon asked what residential garbage bills would look like if the county does not guarantee collections in its next contract.
McNaughton said it the county agreed to pay the disposal fee and the homeowner pays for collection the county could add from $1.75 to $2 per month to the bill and the contractor could charge about $6.97 per month.
DeSoto County residents pay $6.97 per month for collection under the current agreement.
Larry Hall, county administrator, said the customer rate is pretty good right now, but he thinks the board of supervisors want out of the 100 percent collections guarantee and the board wants 100 percent participation of residents.
He added that the county collects from 35 to 40 percent of delinquent household garbage bills R.E.S. turns over for collection.
McNaughton said there is no perfect system.
“We need a unified garbage collection statute statewide,” Hall said. “We may need more MDEQ grant money to do the plan,” he said.
“There should be some money out there,” McNaughton said.
In other business, the board of supervisors:
DeBerry said a recent agreement that the city will pay matching funds for a fire grant to purchase $280,000 in communications equipment may have not been enough to settle differences between the two governing bodies over the cost of communications. An interlocal agreement may be needed, he said.
Clark agreed to provide a draft copy of a proposed interlocal agreement for the two bodies to consider.
The next meeting of the board of supervisors is scheduled for January 3, 2006, at 9 a.m.
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