Borough council rescinds garbage contract

Reynoldsville Borough Council held its monthly work session on October 6 and returned to the garbage bid controversy.

At its September meeting, the council awarded the garbage contract to Bob Beck of ARC Disposal of Reynoldsville. However, Ed Yahner of Waste Management attended the meeting and contested the council’s action, saying the contract had to be put out for bid.

When the council returned after an almost hour-long executive session, Council President William Cebulskie said that the contract had to be rescinded and put out for bid. He said their action at the September meeting was under the advice of counsel. For his part, Borough Solicitor Joe Ryan said his initial advice was incorrect, but case law says that even though the borough is not spending any money on the contract, the contract still has to be bid.

“My further review based on this case… from 1965 did make [it] pretty clear—which I didn’t see until very recently—that this is a situation that needs to be bid,” he said. (To hear the entire explanation, click on the play button below.)

Nicole Walk made the original motion to approve ARC, so she made the motion to rescind it, although she said she was “not happy about it.” Mike Popson rescinded his second, and the motion was approved.

In his defense, Bob Beck of ARC Disposal said he has already made non-refundable purchases thinking he received the bid. Beck added that Waste Management has filed a Right to Know request to see his bid so they will know what his original bid was.

“They’re a billion dollar company,” he said. “They could come in here and give you the service if they wanted to…I can’t compete with that.”

Councilmember Mike Popson responded, “Our hands are tied.”

When asked later if the council was required to accept the lowest bid, Solicitor Ryan said the borough is required to take the “lowest responsible bidder,” adding that it depends on the situation.

The borough will advertise for bids for the garbage contract. Spec sheets for companies wanting to bid will be available October 10. Bids will be opened at the October 19 meeting.

In other action, the borough received one bid for the Municipal Building repairs. It came from PALO and totalled $59, 500. That bid was accepted. Council President Cebulskie said that committees are reviewing what can be done with the second allocation of stimulus money totalling $138, 967.69. Originally the money had been earmarked for a water authority project, but questions were raised at the last meeting as to whether or not the money could be spent on other projects in the borough, so that is under review.

 

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