By Steve Plunkett
Waste Management’s familiar green trucks will disappear from town streets in six months unless the garbage-hauling giant and Gulf Stream officials can renew a contract at a “comfortable” rate.
Town Manager Greg Dunham, who in July planned to sign a five-year extension of the contract with the price adjusted for inflation, negotiated an extension through March 2019.
“We’ve talked with them on a number of occasions. They’ve really not provided a number that we’re comfortable with in terms of the increase,” Dunham told Gulf Stream commissioners Sept. 14.
Mayor Scott Morgan said Dunham should continue negotiating with Waste Management but also draw up a request for bids from other trash haulers if the two sides cannot reach a deal.
“I think we should authorize the town manager to begin work requesting public bids to provide the services,” Morgan said.
Waste Management trucks have been on the scene in Gulf Stream for 25 years, since Oct. 1, 1993. This five-year extension would have been its last before state law would have required the town to seek a new round of competitive bids, Durham said in July.
“The staff rarely receives complaints regarding garbage collection,” Dunham said in a memo then. “When there is an issue regarding the service, Waste Management responds quickly, without hesitation.”
Single-family homes will pay $31.13 a month through March for garbage service, up 2.7 percent from the expired contract, Dunham said.
Garbage is picked up on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with recycling also collected on Saturdays and yard waste and bulk on Wednesdays.
In other business:
• Town commissioners approved a $5.58 million budget for fiscal 2019. The tax rate is $4.05 per $1,000 of taxable value, a decrease of .24 percent from the budget year that just ended. The spending plan includes $531,383 to design and get permits for the first phase of Gulf Stream’s ambitious 10-year plan to improve streets and drainage.
• Dunham proclaimed phase one of the utility-line burial project “finally complete” with the removal of power poles on Pelican Lane, Andrews Avenue and Driftwood Landing. Also, Florida Power and Light Co. has made all its conversions from overhead to underground connections in phase two, he said.
• Workers at 3140 Polo Drive graded the front and back yards and were preparing to put in landscaping before finishing the interior of the house, which has been under construction nearly three years.