Calcasieu garbage contract expires end of year

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - October 2nd voters outside the cities approved a parish sales tax to continue garbage and trash pickup in rural areas-- but residents may see a new company handling the service down the road.

People take garbage and trash pickup for granted unless the service is interrupted. And both police jurors and the public have been pleased with the service Waste Management has provided for nearly two decades.

But the current contract expires at the end of the year and many jurors want to give other companies a chance to make a proposal.  In the interim, Waste Management proposes an extension of one or two years. With a one year extension they would cost $16.68 per household while if the company can lock in two years the price drops to $16.25 per household saving $258 thousand dollars over two years. Said juror Francis Andrepont, "If we're going to be good stewards of taxpayers funds I think we need to look hard at the difference between $16.68 and $16.25."

But some jurors don't want to wait that long to find out what other companies can offer. Said juror Chris Landry, "Yeah we're going to save $250,000. It's not that simple. Because what you don't know is what those bids are going to come in at. They may be $10. I mean I'm sure they won't be but they could be. They may $16.10."

Juror Hal McMillin wants to make sure service doesn't deteriorate.  He said, "I want to make sure our next provider understands waste management has provided most of our households with two cans. I don't want to see our service go down."

Jurors gave committee approval to a one year extension and timeline which includes going out for proposals next spring, awarding a contract in June and starting with the new contract January one 2012. The full jury decides in one week.

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