City awards trash hauling bid

by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor

The city has awarded a new trash collection bid to Triple D Disposal of Cheboygan. Members of the Onaway City Commission approved it at their Jan. 21 regular meeting. The successful bid was $8 per resident, per month, plus a once a month large item pickup.

Two bids were received at city hall and opened Jan. 19. The other bid was received from Pac Sanitation Inc. at $9.32 per resident, per month, with or without a large item pickup.

Triple D Disposal bought out the city’s previous waste hauler. Three years ago, L & R Disposal got the contract.

City manager Joe Hefele provided a study to members of the city commission regarding the Department of Public Works handling the garbage service. It was under consideration, but only if the DPW could do it at a lower price and save residents money.

“To me the break even point, where you would even begin to consider providing that service yourself, was $10.50 a month. At $8, or $8.50 where we are now, we can’t do it at that cost,” said Hefele. He also said there are pressing matters within the city, such as plowing of snow, which would be tended to before any trash would be picked up. Additionally, there would be vehicle repairs and unforeseen expenses that arise.

Hefele recommended the service continue to be contracted out and that the city award the bid to Triple D.  The three-year contract also provides for an increase based on the consumer price index rate of inflation, not to exceed five percent.

“It’s never been close to five percent,” said Hefele. Residents have been paying $8.50 a month; however, Hefele doesn’t foresee that price changing on monthly bills, but that decision still lies with the city commission.

The city has received criticism for approving a contractor from out of the area. Commissioner Chuck Abshagen said the commission has no choice but to accept a bid at $1 a month less. “It’s our job to handle the taxpayers’ money, frugally. We have to accept the bid, it is the right thing to do.”

The DPW dumpster will be picked up once a week as part of the deal. That item was in both bids.