By KEVIN NEVERS
Refuse and recycling service
in the Town of Chesterton will not change for the next three years.
Except for one thing: that
service will, in all likelihood, cost residents significantly more.
At its meeting Monday night,
the Town Council voted 5-0 to award the next three-year contract for trash
collection to Able Disposal of Chesterton.
That contract will be for the
current “basic service”: residents provide their own container or rent a
95-gallon roll-away from Able, while the town provides the 18-gallon
Able’s bid: in 2009, $13.95
per household per month; in 2010, $14.72; in 2011, $15.53. Average price over
the length of the contract: $14.73.
Put that number in context:
the average price over the length of the current contract is $10.05, the town
is right now paying Able $10.36 per household per month, and residents are
paying $10.50 per month to the town for refuse and recycling service.
The all-important question:
what rate for that service will residents begin to pay in 2009? It’s unclear
at this point, but Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann put the council on notice that
it must be prepared at its next meeting, Nov. 10, to set a public hearing on
the new rate—whatever it will be—before year’s end. Lukmann noted that it may
be necessary to include in that rate a provision for fuel surcharges.
The only other bidder, Waste
Management of Portage, submitted a bid for basic service whose average price
over the lifetime of the contract was $15.97 or $1.24 more than Able’s
average price: in 2009, $15.20 per household per month; in 2010, $15.96; in
Able and Waste Management
also submitted two alternative bids. The first: each household would receive
a 95-gallon roll-away for trash and a second for recycling, and recycling
collection would be cut to twice a month. Able’s average price: $16.96. Waste
The second alternative bid:
each household would provide its own trash cans but would receive a 95-gallon
roll-away, and again recycling collection would be cut to twice a month.
Able’s average price: $14.66. Waste Management’s: $14.65.
Waste Management did attach
some conditions to its bids. For one thing, its crews will not collect any
appliances from which the Freon has not been removed and a certificate of
removal attached to the appliance. Able, on the other hand, can remove the
Freon from those appliances and collect them for a charge of $75 per unit,
billed directly to the resident.
For another thing, Waste
Management will not collect the following items: windows, glass doors, steel,
concrete, dirt, bricks, iron, and cast iron tubs. Able, in contrast, did not
provide a list of any items which it will not collect.
The council opted not to go
with either alternate bid given, as Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, observed, “the
current economic times.” Particularly with a sanitary sewer rate hike on next
year’s horizon, “it’s not the time for our citizens to pay any more than they
absolutely have to,” he said.