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Waste Management’s contract in doubt after late filing

A new company may be taking over the solid waste management services for Vicksburg starting in July after Waste Management failed to turn its proposal into the City Clerk’s office on time Monday. 

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the advertisement of bids for solid waste management at its Feb. 10 meeting and set a deadline of April 17 at 9 a.m. The Waste Management proposal was time stamped at 9:07 a.m.

“We require them here by 9 and the board meeting is at 10,” city clerk Walter Osborne said.

The current six-year contract with Waste Management expires on June 30.

Buford Clark, a representative from Waste Management, asked the board to consider the Waste Management bid because although the time stamp was for 9:07 a.m., they were in city hall at 9 a.m.

“We were at the door at 9 o’clock this morning,” Clark said during the meeting. “We didn’t maybe get into the city clerk’s office until a little after 9, but we were at the door at 9 o’clock. We thought City Hall opened at 9. We feel like we were on the premises and in the building by 9.”

The Board had the option to reject the Waste Management proposal unopened or take it under advisement to ask the Attorney General’s opinion and/or research whether the time stamp requirement could be waived because it does not affect the price.

The Board voted 2-1 to reject the proposal.

“You will tie the whole system up, when you have all the other people that were here and got their stamp,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “I don’t know where the mix-up is, but I know that if you have it in writing that you have to be here by a certain time and it’s not stamped by that time then whatever you bring in from that point is null and void.”

Flaggs said that he was in favor of taking it under advisement, but not waiting for an opinion from the Attorney General.

“I thought we needed some more time to look at everything,” Flaggs said. “I wanted to take it under advisement and look at everything, but I wasn’t in favor of going to the Attorney’s Office. It prolongs the time.”

Mayfield was not in favor of that proposal saying “If you’re not going to get an opinion, then there’s reason to take it under advisement.”

Before Monday’s 9 a.m. deadline, the clerk’s office received proposals from six companies interested in offering solid waste management services in Vicksburg. The six proposals were accepted by the board and given to a committee that will make a recommendation back to the Board.

Proposals were received from Arrow Disposal Service, Express Waste, Metro Service Group, Riverbend Environmental Services, Team Waste Jackson and Waste Pro of Mississippi.

The committee includes city attorney Nancy Thomas, city accountant Doug Whittington, city clerk Walter Osborne, assistant public works director Jeff Richardson and assistant supervisor of the street department Carl Harris.

The committee has the option of recommending that the city accept one of the six approved proposals or to reject all the proposals and start over.

“We appointed a committee to evaluate the proposals and that’s what they’ll do,” Flaggs said. “They will decide what is in the best interest of the city.”

Flaggs said Waste Management has serviced the city of Vicksburg for 34 years and employs 27 people in Vicksburg.