Author Topic: Waste-hauling competitor says it can beat Peyton’s landfill deal  (Read 929 times)

thelakelander

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Republic Services presents affidavit, as requested by councilman

By Tia Mitchell

Republic Services hoped to strike another blow to Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton’s plan for Trail Ridge landfill by releasing an affidavit Thursday that says it can beat the deal the city is proposing with the current operator, Waste Management.

It is the same claim Republic Services has been making for months, but the affidavit was a direct response to a challenge from City Councilman Daniel Davis at an April 9 meeting.

During that discussion of the proposed contract extension worth an estimated $750 million over the next 35 years, Republic Services attorney Tom Ingram told council members that open bidding was the only way to ensure the best deal for taxpayers. Davis lashed out, saying that a letter and phone call from Republic’s chief executive promising to beat the deal were not enough.

Thursday’s affidavit was signed by Guy Thompson, Republic’s area president for North Florida and South Georgia.

It promises that if given the chance to bid the company would beat the per-ton rate contained in the proposed contract extension. He said Republic would also pay for the costs of closing and maintaining the current landfill and assume the environmental liability to which Waste Management has agreed.

Republic spokesman Paul McCormick said the company is doing everything it can to show it is serious about bidding and saving the city “tens of millions of dollars” compared to the deal on the table.

“We don’t know that there’s anything else on earth you can do other than having a bidding situation and putting down your price,” he said.

The affidavit was released Thursday but has not been giving to council members or the mayor’s office. Told of its contents, Davis said it’s a step in the right direction.

He said Peyton has to prove to council members that he has negotiated the best deal, which Republic’s affidavit seems to undermine. He said the possibility of getting a better financial deal could be worth the risk of bidding the contract, which almost guarantees a Waste Management lawsuit.

“The question has to be answered is [if] there a better deal out there,” Davis said.
Peyton spokeswoman Misty Skipper said she couldn’t speak to the specifics of an affidavit the mayor hadn’t seen. But she said the company’s promise to beat the renegotiated price still doesn’t guarantee overall savings.

“We have said consistently a deal that is better than the transaction we currently have on the table must address all elements of the transaction, not simply a selected few,” she said.

The mayor also wants prospective bidders to indemnifying the city against all legal fees and damages in the case it is sued by Waste Management as well as provide an up-front payment of at least $85 million to cover lost savings under the current contract.

McCormick said it would be absurd for Republic Services to indemnify the city against a Waste Management lawsuit and stood by the company’s claims that over the long term it would save the city money.

Councilman Clay Yarborough, who has always been in favor of bidding the contract, said Republic’s affidavit “takes away yet another chunk of the mayor’s position.”

He said the recent developments, including a former top city department head rescinding his initial support of Waste Management’s interpretation of the contract, makes it more important for the mayor to act in good faith.

“I’ll just emphatically say I hope the mayor brings to us what he believes is in the best interest of the city,” he said.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-04-16/story/waste-hauling_competitor_says_it_can_beat_peyton’s_landfill_deal
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 08:12:34 PM by thelakelander »
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Bid the damn contract!


mtraininjax

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Councilman Clay Yarborough, who has always been in favor of bidding the contract, said Republic’s affidavit “takes away yet another chunk of the mayor’s position.”

Running the City like a business.....
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
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