Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:
City reaches agreement to extend Garbage/Recycling Contract
Plan holds 2010 service at 2009 rates; Proposes new bid process in 2010
The City of Fort Wayne has reached an agreement with National Serv-All to provide garbage and recycling collection services for 2010 at 2009 rates. National Serv-All’s current four-year contract with the City expires December 31, 2009. The proposed one-year deal, which requires approval by the Board of Works, would freeze rates at current levels, and calls for monthly meetings to improve service.
“This agreement is in the best interests of Fort Wayne residents,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “Citizens will not see their rates increase next year, and we have asked for provisions that will help improve service.”
Based upon the principle that open competition would best serve the needs of citizens, the City issued a Request for Proposals for garbage and recycling collection in July of this year. With a Request for Proposals (RFP), vendors must complete on price as well as performance factors. Five companies responded to the RFP. A proposal by Earth First was considered to be the lowest and most responsive. Because the company is a start-up, the City decided that further due diligence was warranted. In the meantime, National Serv-All challenged the process despite the fact that a Request for Proposals process was used to award National Serv-All its current contract.
The City’s use of the Request for Proposals process was based on a good faith interpretation of state law, a desire to open the process to competition, and an effort to assure citizens of the best price and performance. However, based on further research and opinion, it was prudently decided to spare citizens the risk and cost of potential litigation. Entering into a short-term agreement for garbage collection was determined to be the option that best served the interest of citizens and provided the lowest cost.
The one-year agreement with National Serv-All allows the City to re-bid the garbage and recycling collection contract as early as July of 2010 (effective January 2011). The new bidding process will include a comprehensive review of the City’s solid waste operations; solicitation of public input regarding solid waste; and the development of updated bid specifications and contract terms that are consistent with the best practices of other municipalities. The City will also confer with experts in solid waste contracting to advise and assist in performing these activities.
“Without question, this was a difficult process,” Mayor Henry added. “However, by sticking to the principle of seeking competition as a means of providing citizens the best price and service, we’ve reached an agreement that not only saves money but ensures an even better bidding process in 2010.”
The one-year agreement between the City and National Serv-All will be sent to the Board of Works for its review during its regular meeting on October 14, 2009.