Cleveland City Council Votes To Bid Solid Waste Contract Despite Opposition

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - by Tonya Brantley
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland swears in Officer Whitney Lane Owens during city council meeting Monday afternoon.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland swears in Officer Whitney Lane Owens during city council meeting Monday afternoon.
- photo by Tonya Brantley
During the Cleveland City Council voting session Monday afternoon, discussion and consideration of a resolution pertaining to the solid waste contract took place. The resolution would authorize the mayor to sign a contract amendment with Waste Connections of Tennessee, Inc.
The original term of the contract is five years beginning Jan. 1, 2009 and ending Dec. 31, 2013. The contract provides the initial five year term shall automatically be extended for successive additional five year terms (according to state law) unless either party notifies the other party, in writing, no less than 180 days prior to the expiration of the initial five year term or of any successive five year term, of its intentions to terminate the contract.
Any such written notice shall be served by certified or registered mail. Such written notice shall be served upon the City manager for the City of Cleveland, and upon a representative designated by the contractor.
Cleveland City Mayor Tom Rowland read aloud a letter received by Chairman of the Bradley County Commission Louie Alford on the topic. It read, Dear Mayor Rowland, I am writing on behalf of myself and other commissioners to request that the city council votes to bid waste collection services within the City of Cleveland. I think we can all agree that local government securing goods and services from local businesses and industries help local economy. In addition, as I’m sure you are aware the waste collected by Waste Connections within the Cleveland city limits is taken to a private landfill in McMinn County for disposal. If the waste collection was taken to the Bradley County Landfill, Bradley County would receive an additional $60,000 to $70,000 in revenue. This revenue can only be used for solid waste projects, but could fund the expansion of the joint city/county recycling program. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Louie Alford, Chairman Bradley County Commission
Councilman Avery Johnson addressed the council saying he has received over 150 calls from citizens praising the city’s garbage pickup from Waste Connections. He proposed the council continue the contract with Waste Connections arguing it would save city staff time and money by continuing with their services.
Councilman George Poe said, “I think we should put it out for bid and let the best man win.” Councilman Richard Banks agreed saying, “With a contract this size, we owe it to our citizens to bid it out.” He made a motion to competitively bid the solid waste contract and opt out of the five year extension. The motion passed 5-2 with Councilmen Avery Johnson and Bill Estes voting no.
In other business, Mayor Rowland performed the swearing-in of Cleveland’s newest police officer Whitney Lane Owens welcoming him to the force.
In New Business and Ordinances, The council unanimously approved the process to begin expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary and to solicit the Army Corps of Engineers to do a flood study. The council passed a motion to fund the Waterville Golf Course. Funding for improvements to Tinsley Park for new dugouts, bleachers and restrooms totaling $92,900 also passed as well as a motion approving a variable rate loan for the Spring Branch Industrial Park.
Councilman Dale Hughes announced groundbreaking for a new Longhorn Steakhouse took place recently and construction of the restaurant should be completed in approximately five to six months. It will be located on Holiday Inn Express Drive next to I-75 off Exit 27.
The following Consent Agenda Item passed unanimously:
-Final Passage - Ordinance No: 2012-26 – Amending the FY2013 Budget.
-Resolution No: 2013-02 – Approving of an employment agreement with the Society of Municipal Arborists in connection with the SMA-Municipal Forestry Internship program.

-Resolution No: 2013-03 – Accepting Century Avenue as a city street (Inspected and approved by Engineering Staff).

-Resolution No: 2013-04 – Authorizing the Mayor to sign a grant application for the Greenway (Tinsley Park to Ocoee Street).

-Resolution No: 2013-05 – Amending the Authorized Positions List for the FY2013 Budget for Public Works Operations Department.
Cleveland City offices will be closed on Monday, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The new Jetport opening will take place Jan. 25, at 2 p.m.

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