The city of Harrisonville is considering bids for solid waste and recycling services, and by the start of 2018, residents may see a new trash collector on their block, as well as an increased monthly charge on their utility bill.
At Monday night’s meeting, aldermen had in front of them four bids from WCA, Jim’s Disposal Services, Municipal Waste Services and Waste Management. The city currently uses the services of WCA/Town & Country Disposal, which was acquired by WCA in 2015. According to City Administrator Happy Welch, WCA currently charges $10.80 per resident per month, and the city tacks on an administrative fee to cover office staff time, clean-up days and containers the city gets for the Burnt District Festival. Welch said some of those costs will be included with the new contract.
But in the new year, city officials say residents should expect to pay more based on the proposals the city has received.
The city made a request for the proposals last month. The proposals include services previously offered in the city with one exception. The city said yard waste would be reduced to one pick-up per month. All other services include collecting residential solid waste, recycling and bulk items. The new trash collection contract is expected to start Jan. 1, 2018.
In a memo, Welch said city staff recommended the board review the base proposal price of $12.41 per household per month from Jim’s Disposal and the base proposal price of $13.80 per household per month from Municipal Waste Service — neither of which were the lowest bidder.
Welch said the lowest bidder was WCA with $11.97 per household per month. However, based on the contractor submitting an incomplete proposal and numerous customers complaints, city staff instead recommended other options. According to Welch’s memo, WCA didn’t fill in the total rate for a base proposal. In addition, the city said since May 17, it’s received 129 customer complaints about WCA’s services.
One Harrisonville resident, a former aldermen, went before the seven-member board Monday night to express what others have relayed to their local aldermen. Ed Roberts said he wants “excellent service from a reliable company,” but also, yard waste picked up on a weekly basis in the spring and fall.
“It’s clear from the bids that our residents are going to be paying more,” Alderwoman Judy Bowman said during the board’s discussion of the trash collection proposals. “I hesitate to raise the price for our citizens and reduce service.”
Bowman, as well as other aldermen and Mayor Brian Hasek, relayed comments from residents disagreeing with the once-a-month yard waste pick-up.
“Correct — I mean, you’re going to raise it even higher, I believe, to get either the every-week or even the six-month period (yard waste collection),” Hasek said in response to Bowman. “But I think Mr. Roberts hit the nail right on the head; we were spoiled with Town & Country. We got a very good rate and we rarely had a lot of complaints about the services. You’re not going to get that same service at the price we were getting. It’s just not going to happen.”
The board has not yet awarded the contract to a bidder. Instead, after about 20 minutes of discussion, the board decided modify the request in response to citizen concerns, asking for additional information from the current bidders to see how much it would be to collect yard waste every week as well as how much it would be to collect yard waste on a weekly basis 26 weeks out of the year. The motion was approved unanimously.
In other business, the board of aldermen also considered the following:
▪ Set aside an agenda item for the next meeting to possibly re-schedule the Sept. 4 board meeting due to the holiday.
▪ Approved a resolution authorizing the city administrator to execute a purchase agreement with Zones Inc. for the purchase of 20 desktop computers for $19,800.