One week after it was announced that Corbin city officials had elected not to move forward on proposals to privatize the city’s residential garbage service, the city commission made it official, but not unanimous.
By a vote of 4-1, with Commissioner Trent Knuckles casting the lone “nay” vote, the commission approved a motion to formally reject the bids from Poff Carting and Waste Connections that were submitted on June 26 in response to the city’s request for proposals.
“We took more time getting bids than looking at them,” Knuckles said prior to the vote.
The motion to reject the bids was made by Commission Ed Tye and seconded by Mayor Willard McBurney.
Commissioners David Grigsby Hart and Andrew Pennington, who had previously voted with Knuckles to request bids, joined Tye and McBurney in voting for the motion.
Pennington said after looking at the financial numbers, he had come to the conclusion that it cost the city approximately $6.85 to collect the garbage at each of the approximately 3,045 residences in the city.
The city currently charges $20 per month for residential garbage service, but each residence must provide its own garbage cans.
Poff’s proposed rate was $10.95 per month and included a 95-gallon heavy-duty plastic can.
Waste Connections’ rate was $11.20 per month and also included the 95-gallon can.
“We can beat that all day, every day,” said Corbin Public Works Director Gary Kelly.
Knuckles asked and City Attorney Bob Hammons confirmed that the commission was not required to take any action, one way or the other, on the bids.
Poff officials said their bid would be good until the end of the year.
Both Poff and Waste Connections officials told the commissioners that they had been instructed to include supplying the cans in their bid and they were confident they could beat the number Pennington quoted if they didn’t supply the cans.
“Cans are a huge expense,” said Gerald Poff of Poff Carting. “It would be a lot lower without the cans.”
McBurney said he had spoken with numerous people in the time the commission has been discussing this and found little support for the idea among the citizens.
“I’m just not for outsourcing it,” McBurney said.
In other business the commission:
- Received an initial proposal from Corbin Downtown Director Andy Salmons concerning the construction of the proposed dog park.
Salmons said the city has the approximately one acre of property near Rotary Park that would be ideal for the project and that it would cost the city approximately $12,000.
“We are talking to several entities about sponsorship,” Salmons said of funding for the project.
- Received a report from Salmons and Kelly concerning the state of sidewalks around the city.
Salmons said after making an effort to examine every sidewalk in the city, he has worked with Kelly to develop a plan to repair and improve the sidewalks.
“There are some areas that are way worse and we will repair all of them, but we want to priorize the higher population areas and the areas were more people tend to walk,” Salmons said.
Salmons said there is state money available to help finance the repairs and he will be working to secure some of that funding.