Holding down costs

•County board rejects bids because of large jump in services.

Two bid proposals to conduct county-wide recycling collection brought considerable opposition from Lyon County Commissioners on Tuesday. Commission acting-chairman Steve Ritter abstained from discussions because of his relationship to one of the bidders, Southwest Sanitation.

He turned the meeting over to Commissioner Paul Graupmann. Board Chairman Gary Crowley was not present at the meeting. The motion was to reject both bids on the grounds it’s impossible to accept them at this time, said Commissioner Charlie Sanow.

Commissioner Sanow began the discussion by saying he was, “Totally shocked that the bids are two to two and half times more than the previous contract.”

Last year, the contract was about $306,000 and this year West Central Sanitations’ low bid was about $644,657 for service on a weekly basis.

The Southwest Sanitation bid was even higher at $716,053. These were all figured on a weekly basis. On a bi-weekly basis the bids were lower — but still much higher than last year’s bids.

“The market is tough right now,” said Roger Schroeder, Environmental Director. He indicated the companies are facing their own issues with costs and the new prices reflected those changes.

“I cannot in good conscience approve a five-year contract,” said Commissioner Sanow. “Where I sit right now, I move to refuse both bids,” he added.

The commissioner further said it was, “Impossible to pay those bills without the income carrying forward.”

Commissioner Rick Anderson agreed with Commissioner Sanow but said, “The contract will be ending September 30, and what are our options?” Commissioner Sanow said, “I haven’t got all the answers, but I’m not ready to take this kind of service for the county. Right now we can’t afford it.”

Commissioner Anderson agreed and they decided to study the issue before proceeding. “I would direct Roger (Schroeder) to sit down with a couple of commissioners and discuss the financial issues,” said Commissioner Graupmann. Commissioner Rick Anderson will meet with Schroeder to discuss the project.

“We’ll sit down and see what we can do,” Commissioner Sanow added.

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