County, SWA can­not ap­prove ADS con­tract

The Covington News - - LOCAL - JACKIE GUTKNECHT [email protected]

I’m just try­ing to make it crys­tal clear that this author­ity does not have the abil­ity to put the cur­rent Ad­vanced con­tract in ac­tion, pe­riod. We don’t have the author­ity.” — Ron­nie John­ston, Cov­ing­ton Mayor

County Man­ager Lloyd Kerr said as county or­di­nances stand now, nei­ther the New­ton County Solid Waste Author­ity (SWA) nor the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers (BOC) could vote to go into con­tract with Ad­vanced Dis­posal Ser­vices (ADS) for curb­side pickup be­cause of the clause re­quir­ing man­dated ser­vice in its con­tract.

Kerr said the county would need to pass an or­di­nance, which would re­quire pub­lic no­tice and a first and se­cond read­ing by the board be­fore ap­proval, al­low­ing for man­dated ser­vices be­fore the con­tract could even be con­sid­ered.

Thurs­day night in the Historic Court­house of Down­town Cov­ing­ton, af­ter nearly three hours of dis­cus­sion, Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie John­ston, who serves as a mem­ber of the SWA, en­cour­aged the SWA to of­fi­cially vote down the ADS con­tract once and for all.

This comes af­ter the author­ity spent time re­view­ing, edit­ing and ap­prov­ing its pro­posed in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment (IGA) with the BOC, which, if ap­proved by the board, will give the SWA fran­chise rights over the solid waste in New­ton County.

“I’d like to make a mo­tion and put it out there that that con­tract is nil and void,” John­ston said. “If I can do that.”

Kerr also spec­i­fied that even af­ter the IGA is ap­proved, the SWA would not be able to ap­prove the con­tract with ADS as it cur­rently stands be­cause there is not an or­di­nance al­low­ing for man­dated ser­vices.

Com­mis­sioner Lanier Sims, who serves as a SWA mem­ber, said in­stead of adding the ADS vote to Thurs­day’s agenda at such a late hour, the author­ity could take ac­tion on it at its next meet­ing.

“I’m just try­ing to make it crys­tal clear that this author­ity does not have the abil­ity to put the cur­rent Ad­vanced con­tract in ac­tion, pe­riod. We don’t have the author­ity,” John­ston said.

“If in a year we de­ter­mine that we are go­ing to go back at look­ing at curb­side ser­vices then we will re­bid that process and it will be open to all haulers,” Com­mis­sioner Nancy Shultz, also an SWA mem­ber, said.

The ADS con­tract was in­tro­duced at the first of the year as an ef­fort to keep the Re­cy­cling Cen­ters open through June and of­fer a ser­vice af­ter clos­ing. The con­tract re­quires man­dated curb­side pickup through­out the en­tire county through ADS.

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