Pointe Coupee renews 5-year waste disposal contract

After months of mulling how it would handle residential trash collection services, the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury on Tuesday decided to enter into a new five-year contract with Progressive Waste Solutions, the company that already handles garbage collection for the parish.

The waste management company will continue twice-a-week service to the parish at a cost of $12.48 monthly per residence. Progressive services nearly 10,000 households in the parish.

The new five-year deal also includes a consumer price index rate cap of 3 percent and a stipulation for monthly fuel adjustment charges should gasoline prices rise above $4 a gallon.

The index is the rate the company adds to the per residence monthly charge. Historically, it has increased on an annual basis.

The jury approved the new contract agreement by an 8-3 vote Tuesday night.

Jurors Ted Nelson, Russell Young and Albert Dukes voted against Progressive’s offer. Juror John Pourciau was absent from Tuesday night’s meeting.

Dukes wanted the Police Jury to consider riding out its contract with Progressive so that the parish could advertise for new bid proposals in the fall. The parish’s contract was set to expire in February 2014.

“We haven’t bidded our current contract in how long?” Dukes said. “I think we owe it to the people to find out what’s out there. Things are tight right now. There might be some good companies out there that can make a better offer.”

For awhile, the jury was also considering implementing a parish-run garbage collection program.

A report from a private consultant claimed the parish could save approximately $4.9 million within the first eight years of running its own waste management program, a conclusion drawing the interest of several jurors.

But on Tuesday night, talks of an in-house program were thrown out like yesterday’s garbage.

“The liability aspect of doing this ourselves is horrendous,” Juror Allen Monk said.

Before a new contract is signed, the parish wants Progressive to also consider overseeing the future management and maintenance of residential trash bins, which the parish currently handles.

Roddie Matherne, Progressive’s district municipal marketing and governmental affairs representative, told the jury that was something the company can “look into.”