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Rumpke granted Bedford garbage contract for 2010

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Despite providing the higher bid, Rumpke was chosen Monday night by Bedford City Commission to continue providing garbage collection service to Bedford residents and City Hall.

The commission opened sealed bids from Rumpke and Elite Waste Systems, a new start-up garbage hauling service located in Milton.

Rumpke bid to collect garbage from the 232 units in the city limits for $2,475 a month– or $10.67 per unit per month. The monthly total also includes a 2-yard Dumpster at Bedford Cemetery for $45 per month. Rumpke also will continue to provide a 4-yard Dumpster to City Hall free of charge.

The bid reflects a 3 percent increase over the current contract, Rumpke said.

Elite, owned by Greg White and Brett Moffett, bid to provide the same services for $2,312 per month ($9.83 per unit per week), including $32 per month for the Dumpster at the cemetery. Elite also would have provided a 4-yard Dumpster at City Hall for free.

The Elite bid came to about $2,000 less per year for garbage collection service.

“I’ve serviced the city for many years, and I would hope the commission would consider this over a $175 difference,” Rumpke said, citing the difference in monthly charges between the two bids. I give more than $175 to the Apple Festival and the golf outing each year. I try to be an active member of the community.”

White countered that he and his partner are local residents. “We’re all local and have family here. I was born and raised here. 

Both company representatives vowed that they would be quick to pick up trash if a residence was overlooked, or to respond to requests for pickup of larger objects.

After reviewing the bids, Commissioner Todd Pollock moved to accept Elite’s lower bid. “Mr. Rumpke’s been working with us for years and we appreciate his service, but I’m for the small-businessman,” Pollock said. “This is a new business, and I’m willing to give it [the contract] to elite. Nothing against Mr. Rumpke and his services, but this is a local business. Why not have Trimble County people pick it up?”

The motion died for lack of a second. Mayor Russell Clifton called for a new motion, which was made by Commissioner Harold Greene.

Greene said he believed the 84-cent difference the per-unit weekly cost wasn’t enough to warrant switching collection companies. “I move to go with Rumpke. They have a reputation.”

The commission voted 3-1 in favor of the Rumpke bid. Pollock cast the dissenting vote.

“I appreciate it,” Rumpke told the commissioners. “If the city needs anything, don’t hesitate to call. I’ll be there for you.”

Exiting the meeting room, Moffett promised Elite would be back next year to try again.

Cemetery issues

In other business, the commission voted to approved a policy and procedures guide for the Bedford Cemetery and OK’d the cemetery price schedule. Under the schedule, grave lots are $500 each; opening and closing of a grave costs $500, or $150 if opened and closed for cremated remains; and setting the headstone base costs $50 per square foot.

Additionally, cemetery committee chairman Genon Hensley, also the city attorney, said the committee had recommendations to address a list of other issues at the cemetery.

Hensley asked the board to approve reinstating water service to the cemetery and add a water spigot for a $45 reconnect fee and to provide two large garbage cans rather than the Dumpster at the cemetery from October to April. The Dumpster would return for the months of May to September.

Additionally, Hensley informed the commission that the city has been paying $11 per month for electric service to the building at the cemetery. She recommended the bill continue to be paid by city hall, as the city funds the cemetery budget. “It’s all from the same pocket,” she said.

The commission also voted to provide city employees with $175 bank-sponsored gift cards for Christmas.

Editor's note: The online version of this story includes corrections made to the version printed in the Nov. 18, 2009, issue of The Banner.