At Tuesday's Manatee County Commission meeting, board members listened to other solid waste haulers, and citizens, communicate the reasons why the county should open its 7-year, $140 million trash hauling contract for bids. It was if it's not broke, why fix it reasoning that prevailed over the possibility of saving some dollars and keeping public business in the sunshine.
In a matter of six weeks, Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker requested renewing the current solid waste contracts with Waste Management (WM) and Waste Pro. There are still two years left before the current contract expires, but Hunzeker says, "It can take a year or more to prepare for a change in haulers."
Hunzeker says the preparation for another company is a bigger job than it might appear. He says the county has a fair market price with the two haulers; so he, and now the commission, have agreed to take advantage of the re-up clause in the current contract the county made with both haulers five years ago.
A number of citizens disagree with Hunzeker. Many of them think the county should advertise a RFP (Request For Proposal) and let the market make the deal. They argue technology, smarter design and cheaper operational cost might have trickled down to save the taxpayer some money.