NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury has decided to pay a private consultant $5,000 to compile a comprehensive study detailing what it would take to initiate a parish-operated trash collection program.
The jury voted 6-5 Tuesday night to take the step after Roddie Matherne, an official with Progressive Waste Solutions, told members the company could offer the parish savings of about $1.1 million during the life of a proposed five-year contract, if negotiated before Jan. 31.
The parish’s current contract with Progressive expires in February 2014.
Jurors Glenn Ray Cline, Kurt Jarreau, John Pourciau, Kyle Olinde and Melanie Bueche voted against hiring the consultant. Juror Clifford Nelson was absent from the meeting.
Parish Administrator Jim Bello told the jury the parish might be able to save from $400,000 to $600,000 by making the change.
Bello first suggested hiring a private consultant in August, but the jury took no action on the plan at that time because several members wanted to hear a proposal from Progressive first.
Bello told the Police Jury the solid waste management consultant would be able to help the jury make an informed decision on the matter.
Jurors have indicated they have reservations about going along with another 4 percent automatic rate hike this year, as Progressive’s contract specifies.
Residents currently pay $18 a month for twice-a-week trash service.
Progressive’s new offer would cut the parish’s twice-weekly residential trash pick-up service to once-weekly service, Matherne said.
He said the new contract would include a quarterly fuel adjustment that would activate if fuel prices exceed $4 a gallon during the contract’s second year.
Matherne’s proposal was met with criticism from jurors because it would mean a reduction in service, but not necessarily a reduction in monthly fees to residents after disposal and additional charges from the parish are factored in.
The jury asked Matherne to draft a new proposal that included a more detailed cost analysis of current and projected savings involved in a new contract.
The jury intends to compare Matherne’s new proposal with the private consultant’s study before making a decision.
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