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City Council may choose private contractor to pick up garbage

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Brazil City Council members are trashing the idea of garbage service cost increases by seeking outside contractors for the city's refuse removal needs.

The Council, along with Mayor Tom Arthur, will meet in a special session at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in Council Chambers at City Hall to delve deeper into the issue.

At a regular Council meeting, Councilman Marty Beasley told fellow members Brazil is losing about $7,000 per year from the price residents pay for trash services to the costs associated with it, including fuel, maintenance and labor. Beasley is sponsoring the city's search for sanitation alternatives.

While there are two garbage vehicles in the city, Beasley told the Brazil Times, one is not running, and the cost of another will be approximately $100,000-$150,000. Brazil is borrowing a vehicle from a private company now.

"We're going to have to purchase another one soon," he said.

All the garbage pickup is done by city employees, and if a private company is contracted by Brazil for garbage handling, those employees, whose work Council members and the Mayor praised at a recent meeting, will continue to be employed by the city.

Numerous cities around Indiana have long since contracted for sanitation, and the Council will be perusing a variety of options. Curbside pickup, heavy trash removal and recycling pickup are included in the $8.50 cost residents pay each month. The cost of removal will have to increase if the city continues with its existing method.

"A larger company could likely come in and get it done for the same or cheaper price," Beasley said.

The recycling program is a non-negotiable item, he continued. "That's very important to us. The price will have to go up or there will have to be some major restrictions on our trash pickup.

"Whoever gets it, I'd like to see a long-term contract, five or 10 years, with no fluctuation in price. I don't want to raise it."

The Mayor would like to see "buffet-style" bidding in order to break down the costs of the three services: trash pickup, recycling and heavy trash pickup. Sanitation services will likely be bid out after March.

"We're investigating to see if it's cheaper to contract it out," Arthur said. "We want to see if it's feasible."

"Any input's more than welcome. We're here for the people," said Beasley, who residents may e-mail at beas1042@yahoo.com.

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