New garbage contract will save $2 a month on water bills

December 22, 2010 at 10:26 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

In the end, the vote was unanimous.

The St. Charles Parish Council awarded its garbage contract to SDT Waste & Debris Services, a move that will save residents $2.4 million over the next five years.

SDT will begin servicing 18,000 homes and businesses in the parish in March, and the company will earn $2.1 million per year from the contract.

Currently, parish residents pay $11.99 a month for garbage pickup with IESI. SDT’s proposal, which was the lowest received for garbage collection, will charge residents $9.74 per month.

“Our proposal was $2 less than what St. Charles Parish had been paying,” Sidney Torres IV, the president of SDT, said. “Our contract will result in savings and quality service for the citizens of St. Charles Parish.”

SDT now holds 22 municipal contracts throughout Louisiana.
Though SDT turned in the lowest garbage-hauling proposal, IESI had the lowest proposal when curbside recycling and new carts were included in the deal at $13.54 per month.

Councilmen Larry Cochran, Dennis Nuss and Shelly Tastet recently held town hall meetings to get resident’s feedback on whether or not they wanted recycling. Most of those who spoke at the meetings were in favor of bringing curbside recycling back to St. Charles. But those who were against it said that any additional cost would be too much given the state of the economy.

SDT has agreed to honor its $3.49 recycling fee for a year should the parish decide to add the service at a later date.
Before the council voted, they heard from six of the 13 IESI employees who live in St. Charles. The employees told the council that IESI has gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to servicing the area and that they could lose their jobs if the garbage contract is awarded to SDT.

Torres told them that anytime SDT wins a contract, employees of the competing company are welcome to come on board.

IESI manager Gus Bordelon also told the council of his company’s proven track record, even reading a letter he received from Parish President V.J. St. Pierre in which IESI was lauded for their impressive response after hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

“When they need us the most is when you can count on us the most,” Bordelon said. “I ask you to reconsider and not weigh so much on price, but on quality.”

But price was the deciding factor for a majority of the council. Council members Terry Authement, Paul Hogan and Carolyn Schexnaydre have said repeatedly that SDT’s rate was too good to pass up.

And while the council unanimously awarded the contract to SDT because of the low price, two members weren’t happy with the selection process.

Nuss and Cochran both felt that recycling should have been added to the contract.

“If we are going to continue throwing away thousands of tons of recyclable material, we are throwing away our children’s future,” Nuss said.

Cochran added that he and others wasted time trying to come up with a way to rate the proposals if the council was just going to go with the low bidder.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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