Under the current contract, Mayo charges the town $7.24 per household, while the next lowest bid was $10.35 per household.
The town has a pretty sweet deal with its refuse collector, one that Public Works Director Lon Hultgren was not willing to risk losing by putting this service out to bid.
The Town Manager asked the Town Council this week to waive the bid process and authorize renewing for two years the town’s contract with the Columbia-based FW Mayo & Sons refuse collection company.
Councilmen Gene Nesbitt objected, and said he was uncomfortable with “giving up” the bid process, but Hultgren said that the town now has a better deal than it could hope for in a bid process, given the impact of rising diesel fuel costs.
And because the town has a complicated collection process, not many waste collection businesses want to deal with it, he said.
Mayo & Sons’ bill will be about 4 percent higher than originally contracted for in 2006 – that contract included a 6 percent cost of living adjustment and the option of two-year renewals – but even a 10 percent increase is much lower than could be expected from competitors, Hultgren said.
Under the current contract, Mayo & Sons charges the town $7.24 per household for collecting trash and recyclables at single-family residences, while the next lowest bid was $10.35 per household.
Hultgren warned that if the job went out to bid, Mayo & Sons could jump its bid to $9 per household knowing that the company would still be outbidding its competitors.
Hultgren added that the estimated current increase in fuel costs is 6 percent, so the town is still getting a good price for the service. “We negotiated this – this is not what he [Floyd Mayo] wanted,” Hultgren said.
He also noted that many companies are adding fuel surcharges to their bills and, “they don’t even ask.”
“We’re circumventing that by having this contract,” Hultgren said.
Finance Director Jeff Smith backed Hultgren’s comment that not everyone wants to deal with Mansfield’s multi-tiered service.
“We have a complicated system that everyone in town loves,” Smith said, and then recalled when the town discussed changing from a can-collection to bag-collection service, which would open the door to many more bidders, but residents didn’t want to make that change.
When the town did switch vendors a few years ago, there were so many complaints that the town was forced to end that contract, and lost $50,000 in arbitration, Smith said.
“It was terrible,” he said.
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