By Steve Plunkett
Savvy negotiating by town officials will save each Gulf Stream household about $60 on trash pickup this year.
Waste Management, which has collected the town’s garbage since 1993, first demanded $38 a month, up 25 percent, to extend the contract five years. Town Manager Greg Dunham and Staff Attorney Trey Nazzaro talked the company down to $33 a month, about a 6 percent increase.
“I would feel comfortable calling this a successful negotiation,” Dunham told town commissioners March 8.
The waste hauler offered its first price in September and held firm through December, Nazzaro said. It went down to $36 in January, to $34 in February and $33 in March, he said. Households paid $30.31 through September, then $31.13 after an adjustment related to the Consumer Price Index.
The new rate will be adjusted each year based on the Water, Sewer and Trash Index, which is higher than the CPI. Increases will be capped at 4 percent.
Without the extension, Gulf Stream would have needed to request bids from interested haulers with the risk that the winning bidder might have offered a lower price and lower quality of service. Dunham said Waste Management does a “very good” job. “We get very few complaints,” he said.
Under state law, the town will have to go out to bid in 2023. The winning company then will be eligible for extensions up to 30 years.
In other business:
• Comcast said it would finish underground connections to homes by the first week of April. The cable TV-internet provider has crews working two shifts a day to complete the project. Then AT&T will begin its changeover.
• Commissioners passed an ordinance limiting the time between demolishing a home and starting construction of a rebuild to 60 days. Nazzaro originally proposed only 30 days between phases but Vice Mayor Thomas Stanley said that was unrealistic. Ú