City tries again for landfill operator

Carson City officials plan to try again to find an operator for the city's landfill. The city plans on rebidding a contract, which previously drew only two bidders.

Daren Winkleman, city environmental health director, said this time some changes are being made to entice more bidders

Although several contractors were interested in the city's plan for the landfill, in July only two bid on the seven-year contract to run the landfill. The lowest bidder of the two contractors proposed to do the work for $19 million for seven years but didn't have a contractor's license and was rejected. The second contractor bid more than $35.6 million for seven years.

Winkleman said bidders shied away from the landfill contract largely because of bond requirements and penalties included in the contract.

"Before we had the bonding rates set for three years," Winkleman said. "Since we set it as a seven-year contract, bonding companies didn't want to commit to it for seven years."

Winkelman said the requirements were being lowered to yearly.

The contract originally included penalties in the first year of around $950,000. Now, Winkleman said, the penalty would match the potential bonus of roughly $150,000.

Winkleman said he hopes the new contract is ready to bid in mid-September. An operator could begin work at the landfill by Jan. 1, he said.

The landfill takes about $1.4 million a year to operate, and Winkleman had expected bids to come in around $2 million a year.

Carson City paid $62,000 for consultant SECOR International to help define the bid guidelines as well as assist the city choose a contractor.

The city is trying to find a better way to manage the landfill in an attempt to prolong its life. Now Carson residents can expect to dump their garbage, or have Capital Sanitation dump their garbage, in Carson City for about 15 years.

With the new plan, city officials hope the landfill can handle trash for up to 25 years. Without the life extension to the landfill, Carson trash would have to be transported elsewhere, which means a huge increase in rates.

However, rates will increase when the city finds a new contractor to pay for the new contract and to help pay for the closing costs of the landfill.


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