Proposal to Cut Off Garbage Contract Shelved

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In a rare move, the Bowling Green City Commission went against the recommendation of the city manager, tabling a vote on whether to terminate a waste transfer station contract early.

City Manager Chuck Coates told commissioners at Tuesday's meeting that he believed the city should exercise its option to cut out of a contract with Monarch Environmental by giving them 6 months notice, and then open up the contract to a new bidding process.

The contract in question is for the management of a waste transfer station on BGMU-owned land on the northwest side of town. Monarch has had the contract for 4 years as of July 15, and General Manager Shirley Flener told commissioners that waste levels are at an all-time low. Commissioners agreed that they had no complaints about Monarch's service.

Coates told commissioners he believed the $90,000 Monarch pays annually for use of the land is not enough in current market conditions. Flener countered by saying his company would be willing to pay a price increase, and said the negotiations for such an increase could take place without canceling the contract and re-bidding the project.

BGMU is expected to take the land back in 3-4 years for a planned plant expansion, and Flener says he would like to extend the current contract to run through that time.

Coates said he didn't have an exact figure for how much of an increase the city should expect, and said the best way to find out would be to cancel the contract and open a new bidding process.

Commissioners, however, decided to table the issue until a later date.