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Committee favors new garbage pickup contract with Doty

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The Vandalia City Council’s cemetery and landfill committee agreed on Monday to support a new residential waste collection contract with the Beecher City firm that has provided that service since 1999.
The proposed terms of that new contract with Doty Sanitation Service will be put into a contract by the city’s legal counsel, after which it will be reviewed by the cemetery and landfill committee and then go to the city council for action.
Neil Clark, chairman of the cemetery and landfill committee, announced at the June 20 council meeting that he had only recently been informed that the contract for residential garbage pickup was expiring at the end of the month.
He said that he and Mayor Rick Gottman met with David Doty and discussed an extension of the current contract. Under that contract, which was approved in 2004 and extended in 2008, the cost is $7.69 a month.
Clark said that under the circumstances, with the contract expiring within weeks, Doty agreed to a three-month extension of the contract, which called for city residents to pay $7.69 monthly for the service.
The council approved that extension on June 20, also agreeing to have the cemetery and landfill committee attempt to work with Doty on a new contract, instead of seeking bids for the service.
At Monday’s committee meeting, Clark said that Doty had proposed a new, five-year contract with the following monthly rates:
• First year – $11.98.
• Second year – $12.47.
• Third year – $12.78.
• Fourth year – $13.08.
• Fifth year – $13.38.
Under the proposed contract, Doty agrees to provide free weekly garbage pickup at city hall, public safety building, water treatment plan, sewer plant, Senior Citizens Center and city garage.
It is also offering free quarterly disposal for the sewer plant grit filter, pickup of a 15-yard dumpster at the city garage twice a month and free pickup during the city’s cleanup week.
It also offers to continue pickup services at Vandalia Lake.
“I feel, personally, that this is extremely equitable for both Doty and for the citizens of Vandalia,” Clark said in endorsing the new contract.
Clark also said that city officials “have never gotten a complaint” about Doty’s service, and noted that Doty has shown a commitment to serving Vandalia by building a facility on Madison Street, continued to invest in equipment used here and has hired local residents.
“He has proven his ability, and he has been very fair to the city,” Clark said.
Another member of the committee, Jerry Swarm, said, “The only problem I have is the first year.”
Swarm said he would like to see a smaller increase in the first year of the new agreement, and spread increases out more evenly over the term of the five-year contract.
In response, David Doty said, “The landscape has changed dramatically” since the 2004 contract was signed.
He said that his costs have greatly increased in recent years due to rising fuel costs and the closure of the Greenville landfill last year that has caused him to haul waste to Litchfield.
“That’s another 30 miles round-trip,” Doty said, talking about hauling waste to the Litchfield landfill.
“I’ve gotten hit with these unforeseen things,” he said. “That has doubled my expenses overnight.”
The meeting closed with Clark, Swarm and the third member of the committee, Dean Black, agreeing to have the wording for a new contract sent to the city’s legal counsel.
After that contract is drafted, the committee will review the document before passing it on to the council for a final vote.