Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
NG City Council talks trash
July 11, 2011

By Ivan Raconteur

NEW GERMANY, MN – New Germany City Council considered three bids for garbage collection service during Tuesday’s meeting, but tabled action on the matter until the July 19 meeting to avoid a tie vote.

Representatives from Waste Management (the city’s current provider), Elite Waste Disposal of Jordan, and Randy’s Environmental Services of Delano were on hand to answer questions about their bids.

The prices submitted included:

• 32-gallon container: $9.34 (Elite), $10.26 (Waste Management), and $10.46 (Randy’s).

• 64-gallon container: $11.26 (Elite), $12.62 (Waste Management), and $15.94 (Randy’s).

• 96-gallon container: $14.55 (Elite), $15.68 (Waste Management), and $19.51 (Randy’s).

However, the Waste Management bid includes an automatic yearly increase based on the Consumer Price Index or 4 percent, whichever is higher.

Waste Management also includes a fuel surcharge of 2 percent when diesel prices are $4 to $4.24, 4 percent when prices are $4.25 to $4.49, 5 percent when diesel is $4.50 to $4.74, and one percent for each 25 cent increase above $4.74.

Elite’s proposal includes a 2.9 percent annual increase. Elite also has a fuel surcharge, but it is not triggered until the price of diesel reaches $5 per gallon.

Randy’s bid had the highest base prices, but does not include an annual increase or a fuel surcharge.

Mayor Jason Kamerud said he liked the stability of Randy’s bid because it does not include a surcharge or automatic increase.

Council Member Marc Trujillo said he liked the lower price that Elite offered.

Council Member Steve VanLith said he did not want to make a decision Tuesday, but would like more time to think about it.

City Clerk Joan Guthmiller noted that the city’s contract with Waste Management expires Aug. 31.

There was some discussion about a 60-day notice requirement for termination of the Waste Management contract.

Kamerud said he could understand that if the city opted out of the contract early, but after the expiration date, the contract is over.

It was also noted that, if the city changes providers, the new provider will need some time to get equipment in place.

“Waste Management has treated us right over the years,” Council Member Steve VanLith commented.

There was some discussion about the city preferring a compactor truck rather than a dumpster for the annual cleanup day. The representatives from Elite and Randy’s said they could provide whatever the city wants, but they had bid the dumpster price because that is what the city asked for in its request for proposals.

It was noted that Waste Management has arrived late for the city’s cleanup day for the last two years. The events started at 7 a.m., and Waste Management did not arrive until 8 p.m., until which time, the items collected had to be piled on the ground.

Council Member Shirley Jaeger said the city has used Waste Management for a long time.

She said she still sees the company drop the cans in the street, which is a problem during snow plowing season. She said this has been brought up before, but nine out of 10 are still left in the street.

VanLith said he has not heard a lot of complaints about Waste Management.

Kamerud objected to Waste Management’s bid.

“I’m challenged with their (Waste Management’s) price being 12 percent higher than Elite, plus having a lower trigger (for a fuel surcharge) and an automatic increase,” Kamerud said. “I just think they’ve out-priced themselves compared to the other two bidders.”

Trujillo agreed.

“I don’t think you are helping the community by doing business as usual,” Trujillo commented.

The council did not vote on approving a bid. Kamerud informally polled the council, and VanLith and Jaeger indicated that they supported accepting the Waste Management bid, and Kamerud and Trujillo indicated they were in favor of accepting the low bid from Elite.

The council tabled the matter until its Tuesday, July 19 meeting to avoid a tie vote. Council Member Jim Paul was out of town Tuesday, but is expected to be present for the July 19 meeting.

Detachment request denied

Lowell and Darlene Latzig, owners of the property at 17660 County Road 30, asked to have their property removed from city limits and transferred back to Camden Township, primarily for tax purposes.

Guthmiller provided information about the detachment process from city planner Ann Perry and city attorney Dave Hubert.

VanLith opposed the request, noting that if the city approves the request for one property, other property owners will ask to be detached from the city.

VanLith said when the property was annexed into the city, the township asked Latzig to pay 10 years of lost township taxes. If the city were to allow the property to be detached, it, too, would ask for payment, and Latzig would not likely save any money in the process.

The consensus of the council was not to support the request.

Kamerud said Latzig still has the option to petition the Minnesota Municipal Board, which would result in a public hearing, and a judge could order the detachment.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• directed Guthmiller to ask PeopleService, the city’s wastewater operator, to get additional quotes for proposed repairs to the city’s treatment ponds, and to attend the next meeting to explain what is needed. The initial quote was nearly $14,000.

• approved a city purchasing policy to provide guidelines for the purchasing process.

• approved a request to allow outdoor music at Heimey’s Place Saturday.

• heard from resident Pete Pederson that people from outside the city have been dumping brush at the city’s brush site at night.

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