During last night's Trenton City Council meeting, Trenton businesswoman Millie Hutchinson expressed concern that there was not more notice before the council voted on residential trash collection bids November 25th.
Ms. Hutchinson said it seemed secretive to the public. She indicated that's what her customers have been saying. She also said people have been upset.
Trenton city attorney Tara Walker said there would be no response last night to Ms. Hutchinson because of the lawsuit filed by Waste Corporation of Missouri Waste Corporation, also known as WCA, filed a suit late last week in Division One of Grundy county circuit court. It's asking for a restraining order, temporary injunction, and permanent injunction to prohibit the city of Trenton from awarding the 2014 through 2018 residential sanitation collection and disposal contract to rapid removal.
The suit also asks for the city council to be required to reconsider the contract using only factors specified in the city code section called, determining the lowest responsible bidder. Waste Corporation asks that it be awarded other relief the court deems appropriate.
In addition, Waste Corporation is asking for a declaratory judgment declaring the Trenton City Council violated a Section of city code by basing its decision to award the contract to Rapid Removal on factors not permitted in the section of city code determining the lowest responsible bidder.
The petition notes the council voted to award the contract to Rapid Removal, even though Waste Corporation of Missouriâ€™s bid was what Waste Corporation called significantly lower than Rapid Removal's bid.
Waste Corporation claims, that based on public comments made by members of the city council explaining their votes, the city selected Rapid Removal solely because it allegedly has a larger local presence in Trenton The suit said none of the factors of the city code section authorize a decision based on such a factor.
The Trenton City Council, November 25th, on a five to one vote, approved a bid from Rapid Removal disposal to provide residential trash collection services for the
next five years.
Rapid Removal, which is based at Trenton, was chosen even though Waste Corporation of Missouri submitted a lower bid. The combined difference, during the entire
five-year period, is nearly 54 dollars a customer.
Waste Corporation, which has an office at Chillicothe, currently provides residential trash collection service at Trenton The other bidder, Advanced Disposal Services of Bethany, submitted the high bid.
The city of Trenton released the agenda for the November 25th city council meeting on November 22nd. KTTN reported on newscasts the afternoon of Friday November 22nd and the morning of Saturday November 23rd that the city council agenda included bids to provide residential trash and recycling bids. When the city of Trenton releases it's agenda for regular city council meetings, it also includes background information on some of the topics.
The trash collection bid prices were included in the information released by the city the afternoon of Friday, November 22nd, three days before the city council meeting. KTTN, in the past, typically has not announced specific bid amounts before they are discussed in a city council meeting. We did not announce the bid prices prior to the city council meeting.
The city of Trenton publicly announced October 7th it was requesting bids for residential sanitation and recycling collections. Those bids were due November 8th. The request for bids said the city reserves the right to reject any or all bids, or waive any irregularities that are in the best interest of the city.
Companies submitting bids were asked to list how much they would charge during a five year period. They also were asked to respond to a questionnaire.
Representatives of the three companies submitting bids also were asked questions by the Trenton City Council during its November 25th meeting before the council voted five to one to choose Rapid Removal disposal for the residential trash collection service, and Hope Haven to continue providing residential recycling collections.
A difference this year was the bids went directly to the full city council instead of having a city council committee give a recommendation to the full council. In the past, since the administrative committee first examined the bids, there was more publicity about the bid prices before they were considered by the full council. However, The full council did not follow the recommendation of the administrative committee the last two times trash collection bids were reviewed by the committee.
In 2007, the administrative committee recommended the full city council accept the low bid from Veolia Environmental Services. The charges were 25 cents a month less than the only other bidder, WCA. However, the full city council, in a split vote, defeated a motion for Veolia to provide the services. Then, in another split vote, the council decided to maintain WCA as the residential trash hauler. Reasons were given for keeping WCA and for going with Veolia. Again that was in 2007.
In 2010, there were three bidders to provide the residential trash collection services. Rapid Removal Disposal, which was new to this area, submitted the lowest quote.
It also announced it was interested in opening an office at Trenton and offering jobs locally. Veolia Environmental Services had submitted the second lowest bid, and WCA had the high bid. Each made presentations to the administrative committee
The committee decided to hold a public hearing before deciding what recommendation to give the full council. During that public hearing in 2010, WCA received overwhelming support from the citizens speaking. Several councilmen indicated in 2010 they received several requests from the public to keep WCA . City hall, in 2010, also received several comments from the public wanting to keep WCA as the trash service provider. The administrative committee took no action that night in 2010.
The administrative committee met five nights later and discussed the dilemma of public support for WCA versus the chance for economic development by selecting Rapid Removal. The committee, by a three to one margin, recommended Rapid Removal.
That same night in 2010, the Trenton City Council took two votes before deciding to stay with WCA for another three years of residential trash collection service. The council cited citizen support for WCA, even though WCA submitted the highest bid among the three companies.
The first vote to choose Rapid Removal was defeated five to three. The second vote to choose WCA was approved by all eight councilmen. Again that was in 2010 when
WCA's bid, during the three year period, was more than 32 dollars higher per customer than rapid removal's quote.
The Trenton City Council met last night in closed session regarding legal matters.
In other notes, in brief, about the council meeting, an ordinance was unanimously approved vacating an undeveloped portion of Wiggins street. The land will go to adjacent land owner Scott Foreman.
The council decided to take bids for leasing farm ground the city owns at the north edge of Trenton
The council unanimously approved the low bid received for what's called a cyclone bin at the asphalt plant. The cost is around 13-thousand dollars . The purchase will be made from Iowa Parts Asphalt Plant Equipment of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Community development director Ralph Boots, at the request of Mayor Nick McHargue, gave reports on tax increment financing and the downtown revitalization economic assistance program for Missouri, called D.R.E.A.M.
Boots noted tax increment financing can be structured so cities are not at risk for projects. A tax increment financing request is anticipated for proposed improvements at Eastgate Shopping Center. However, an application has not been received yet.
Among other remarks, boots reminds the public The Trenton Downtown Improvement Association has tax credits for sale. Boots said persons interested should talk with their tax preparer. City Councilman Jacob Black thanked Home Exchange Bank of Jamesport, Gilman City, and Oregon for becoming the first contributor in that program.
Boots also talked about a two-day economic development trip to Atlanta, Georgia last week on behalf of the Northwest Missouri roundtable of economic developers.
Boots said the Leadership Trenton class is interested in doing a project.
Fire chief Rick Morris said persons with questions about wood stove installations should contact the fire department. He also said persons with a wood stove or a gas stove should have a carbon monoxide detector.
Police chief Tommy Wright talked about a program called â€śBulldog Bucks,â€ť which rewards good behavior by Rissler Elementary school children.
City Administrator Kerry Sampson said a public meeting is to be held early next month regarding plans for Eastview Manor. The meeting is to include the city council.
Building inspector Donnie Vandevender said the Village East Apartments on cherry lane are to be remodeled.
Councilman Jim Bush said a Christmas movie will be held at Trenton Cinema the morning of December 21st at 10 o'clock.