Jacksonville residents will see a little relief in one of their expenses soon.
The Jacksonville City Council approved the proposed contract with waste management company GFL Environmental last night. The approval was unanimous of the members present with only Ward 1 alderwoman Erin Williams absent.
City Clerk Skip Bradshaw says that the few items that City Attorney Dan Beard has with the initial proposal were minor and changed by GFL. “We sent the contract over to City Attorney [Dan] Beard. He reviewed it and came back with about five or six different items, some language changes, typographical errors, and things like that.
I sent it off to GFL, and their attorney looked at it, changed it all, and sent it back to me. Done deal. They didn’t hesitate to make any changes at all, they went with Mr. Beard’s recommendations.”
Bradshaw says GFL agreed with city proposals for locking in a lower price per month over the long term to avoid another sudden increase in prices. He says over the course of the contract, the price should actually go down.
“It’s a seven-year contract. In the seventh year, people will be paying three to four dollars less per month than what they are paying right now. Recycling is included in the $17.29 per month. You would have to request a container and then there are certain things like glass will no longer be accepted. It’s not being accepted now but people still do it.”
The $17.29 per month cost will equate to $51.87 per quarterly bill. Bradshaw says the fuel surcharge is also capped and will not kick in until diesel fuel prices go above $5.50 a gallon, and if that threshold is reached, GFL must come back to the city to negotiate the increase.
The Council also approved amending the current ordinance allowing five residential waste hauler licenses down to one to coincide with the new contract.
Mayor Andy Ezard says he is pleased with the results of the contract and the process it took to get there. He says he knows some in the community that have concerns about GFL now potentially holding a monopoly on residential waste removal and need not worry.
“It’s been quite a process and I have to give credit to Clerk Bradshaw, and Alderman [Don] Cook, and Alderman [Lori] Large-Oldenettel. They’ve really done a good job as far as vesting this and yeah, I understand the folks in the community concerned that we only have ones service.
And I understand that, however, GFL stepped up, they’ve lowered the rates. It’s been a growing period from when they took over from Area Disposal, and we’re looking forward to a good relationship moving forward I think when it’s all said and done it’s going to be in the best interest for all the residents in Jacksonville.”
GFL has told the city it intends to have new garbage bins swapped out for everyone by the end of the year. The new contracted rates go into effect at the start of 2023.