HAZARD — The Hazard Board of Commissioners held a special called meeting on Dec. 16. The meeting was to approve the Solid Waste Contract between the City of Hazard and Rumpke Waste and Recycling. Commissioners John Michael Quillen and Ricky Steele voted yes, while Commissioner Ronnie Joe Bryan abstained and Commissioner Susan Brotherton voted no. Mayor Jimmy Lindon was the deciding vote. He voted yes to approve the contract.
Rumpke will take over solid waste collection within city limits beginning Jan. 1. The length of the contract will be five years. After the five years is up, the City Of Hazard and Rumpke can extend an additional term of five years by written agreement of both parties.
The contract states that Rumpke will provide residential curbside collection one time per week. The curbside collection would begin at 6 a.m. on the designated collection day. During the designated collection day, residents will place their residential carts and a maximum of two bags or bundles at the curbside by 6 a.m. Residents are offered an additional day of weekly collection for an additional charge of $15.
The contract says that Rumpke shall make uniformed carts available to residents for sale or lease.
Rumpke is required to establish and maintain a local office within city hall for a minimum of six months, the contract says. The office would allow residents to have direct contact with Rumpke.
Rumpke will also assist the elderly and/or disabled residents at no extra charge, the contract states. The resident must contact Rumpke to set up the assistance.
Commercial waste collection will also be provided by Rumpke. According to the contract, businesses will enter into individual agreements with Rumpke for the collection of commercial waste.
Rumpke will provide an open topped containers at the convenience center for the collection of the bulky waste, yard waste, construction and demolition waste and regulated waste, the contract states. According to the contract, upon agreement of both City of Hazard and Rumpke in writing, Rumpke may take control of the convenience center.
Collection routes will be established by Rumpke, and they will submit a map with the routes being designated to the City of Hazard for approval, the contract says.
The contract states that the City of Hazard will bill all residential and commercial units for the services provided by Rumpke. According to the contract document, the City of Hazard will retain from the solid waste billing a collection fee of 20 percent of the collected gross receipts from all solid waste collection and disposal services. The other 80 percent will be paid to Rumpke.
In an email, Attorney Lori Reynolds explained to The Herald the reasons why the City of Hazard decided to bid out solid waste collection to a franchise. In 2015, the City of Hazard’s garbage program was -$300,000. Reynolds said that this wasn’t unique, since the garbage program has failed to make any money for the city. Also, Reynolds pointed out, that the City of Hazard’s equipment and garbage trucks were outdated and in poor condition. It would take the City of Hazard approximately $100,000 to replace or repair the equipment.
“Contracting out the work allows for the city to stop losing money, including huge premiums for workers compensation insurance, and allow the city to make a 20 percent franchise fee on the fees that Rumpke bills out, which will give the city approximately $150,000 in income a year,” said Reynolds.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.