NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury on Tuesday put off acting on a request to hire a solid waste consultant after a spokesman for its current trash contractor dangled potential savings to the parish tied to a contract renegotiation.
Roddie Matherne, of Progressive Waste Solutions, told the jury it could save more than $1 million during the life of a new five-year contract if trash in the parish is collected on a weekly basis.
Household garbage is currently collected twice a week by Progressive, he said.
Matherne said several parishes across the state have converted to once-a-week service to reduce costs.
Matherne said he’d be willing to work up several proposals for the jury outlining potential savings and consider renegotiating the parish’s current contract should the jury decide to go to once-a-week trash service.
Matherne said he could formally present the parish with the proposal in September.
The parish’s contract with Progressive, formerly IESI, expires in February 2014.
Last month, Parish Administrator Jim Bello presented jurors with a preliminary study showing annual savings from $400,000 to $600,000 if the jury decides not to renew its contract with Progressive, and instead creates a parish-operated solid waste management program.
Bello’s report came after jurors expressed reluctance at passing on another rate increase to residents to cover the 4 percent annual increase that is written into its current contract with Progressive.
Residents now pay $18 a month for trash service, but in 2010, they paid only $13 a month, according to previous reports.
Tuesday night, Bello called his figures “rough” and told the jury hiring a private consultant that specializes in solid waste management would give officials more “finite” numbers to use in a side-by-side comparison with Progressive’s proposal.
Juror Kurt Jarreau led the opposition to Bello’s proposal, saying he’d rather see Progressive’s offer first before the jury spends money on hiring a consultant.
“I, personally, don’t want to get into the garbage business,” he said.
According to Bello’s report, a parish-run trash pickup service would cost about $1.2 million to operate in its first year.
The parish expects to spend about $1.7 million in 2012
under its current contract with Progressive, Bello has said.