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City awards contract to Rugby Sanitation Inc.

By Staff | Dec 8, 2009

Rugby’s residential garbage contract will remain with the hometown business.

After about 45 minutes of discussion with the two contract bidders – Rugby Sanitation Inc. and Waste Management Inc. – the city council awarded the bid to Rugby Sanitation by a 6-1 vote on Dec. 7.

The contract covers four years and the first year monthly rate, beginning in January, will be $17.50. A five percent increase will go into effect in years two, three and four of the contract. There is also stipulations which allow for an increase if per-ton landfill charges and diesel costs go over specific dollar amount. As in past years, the company will again provide compost containers near its office just north of the Farmers Union Oil elevator for residents to dump grass clippings and other lawn debris during the spring, summer and fall months.

This marked the second year both sanitation services submitted bids, and despite WM again providing a lower weekly curbside pickup cost than Rugby Sanitation, and offering additional services, such as garbage containers for each household and disposing of small furniture and non-freon appliances on the curb weekly, the council stayed with the local collector.

Some residents attending were concerned whether WM would provide additional services such as making large trash containers available for businesses and residents who are completing construction projects. Also, if WM is awarded the contract, would Rugby Sanitation Inc. close its inert landfill south of town. Neil Lotvedt, of Lotvedt Construction, said he relies on the local landfill to dispose of his construction debris. If we lose that, it may cause additional costs to haul the waste elsewhere.

Mayor Dale Niewoehner recognized those concerns, but said the contract is dealing with residential collection only and not commercial sanitation services.

Terry Wentz, fourth ward councilman, acknowledged there was the possibility of a significant annual savings by awarding WM the contract, but the city has had a long-standing relationship with Rugby Sanitation, and it’s quite possible their business would discontinue if the city offered the residential bid to an outside company. Wentz said the possibility of closing the landfill and losing three or more local jobs has to be factored in when deciding on a bidder.

Jim Hoffert, third ward councilman, believed the residents have been well-served with Rugby Sanitation over the years. They’ve made it available to pick large appliances and other items for a fee and have provide a convenient place for residents to haul compost. Hoffert made the motion to award them the contract, and it was seconded by Bruce Rheault. Also voting for it were: Wentz, Bill Hartl, Dave Bednarz, Steve Brossart. Gerry Jacobson was the lone dissenting vote. Councilman Monte Schneibel, was not in attendance.

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