City approves contract with Richard’s Disposal, some questions remain

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In what appears to be an attempt to show transparency, the public recently was provided some information about Jackson’s proposed garbage collection contract. The proposed contract with Richard’s Disposal, Inc. (RDI) will cost the city at least $891,000 per month. 

The proposed contract covers pick-ups twice a week of solid, bulk, and yard waste. RDI also will assist with community clean-up efforts and the removal of illegal dumping along city streets. And, RDl will open and maintain a local office that is staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This bring us to a set of questions that should be answered by the administration and the proposed contractor before everything is finalized. 

1) The contract is for a six-year period. Yet, there is proposed contract language about yearly meetings to evaluate increases in monthly compensation. Does this mean the contract figure of $891,000 will increase during the six-year term?

2) The monthly amount paid to Richard’s Disposal under the proposed contract is $891,000. The monthly amount being paid under the emergency contract is $808,000. The amount paid under the last regular contract was $765,000. How much are customers expected to pay each month or year during the six-year contract term? 

3) Will there be a reduction in the number of local residents employed by RDI during the contract’s six-year term?

4) Will the local office be open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.? Will office staff provide customer services beyond accepting payments for bills?

5) Will the garbage collection bills be separate from the water/sewer bills? 

At least one city councilman, Kenneth Stokes, suggested more than a year ago that the garbage collection bill should be separated from the water and sewage bills. 

Likely all customers hope the final version of the garbage collection contract will answer the questions posed here and signed soon. It is crucially important the city avoids the inconvenience, cost, and health hazards experienced last year in the absence of a garbage collection contract.

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City approves contract with Richard’s Disposal, some questions remain

By Dr. Ivory Phillips
March 25, 2024