MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- At a standing room only meeting of the Glades Commission Tuesday night, Buckhead Ridge residents addressed concerns about the 100% increase of garbage hauling rates billed by Waste Management for the 4th quarter of 2006. Commissioner Giesler commented that most of the BHR folks were retired on fixed income; he said it was not mandatory to use Waste Management and they could hire anyone to haul off garbage and that there were three vendors there to offer their services.
Geisler introduced the representative from Florida Recycling first who gave a brief history of his business and when pressed offered these prices: $65.90 per home per quarter for weekly (once per week) regardless of the number of cans, and commercial rates at $73 per month for a 2 cubic yard dumpster picked up weekly (once per week).
Next was Charlie Green of Tri-County Waste & Recycling who offered the rate of $55 per weekly pickup of two 30-gal containers.
Jeff Sabin of Waste Management, noting the twenty-year relationship between Glades County and WM, stated the increase was a shock as rates had not changed in twelve years and when WM requested an increase in 1995 the County denied it. He further noted that WM had continued to pay the franchise fee (estimated $50k per year) to Glades County after the verbal extension of the franchise contract had expired and had continued to abide by terms of the expired contract in as far as performance bond and insurance requirements were concerned.
He said in August 2006 he had discussed with County Manager Wendell Taylor and County Attorney Richard Pringle the need to reconsider the franchise contract because WM was anticipating the need to increase their pickup rates especially with the high fuel rates at that time. He read into the record the letter he had sent to Taylor concerning those issues, noting he never received a response. Taylor responded that he had brought the matter to the attention of the Board at the July 24 meeting and no action was taken.
After one and a half hours discussion including public input, the Board directed Taylor and Pringle to commence work on an ordinance for county wide mandatory garbage collection and simultaneously prepare an RFP (request for proposal) for vendors. The public was informed that currently there is no garbage collection franchise contract in effect and citizens can contract with any hauler they choose until the mandatory collection ordinance is adopted and effective, or they can handle their own disposal. A workshop is scheduled for discussion of this proposed ordinance and citizens were informed that the public hearings would be advertised. The goal is to implement mandatory collection January 1, 2007 if possible.
Among other business at the lenghty meeting, Bob Jones� request was approved to purchase materials for underground electrical service to the Ortona cemetery pavilion from the restroom facility, materials for supplying water to the pavilion (including pipes for sprinkler system) and materials for installing benches, and sidewalk. He suggested a barrier between the boundary roads and the lot (until parking lot and other sidewalks are completed) to keep traffic on the roads and not parking near the facility. He stated the benches have been ordered and are being funded from the landfill recycling grant but the other funds would need to come from the one-cent money.
Jones also was given approval to provide flu shot vaccine for county employees for $13 each and the EMS staff would administer.