By Kristin Rover
Batavia Township Trustees held a discussion regarding a waste removal franchising contract for the township following their July 8 meeting.
Several residents from the township attended the discussion to ask questions and express their concerns about a waste contract for services in the township, which was first discussed at trustees’ June meeting.
“We are not here to make our final decision,” Trustee Bill Dowdney said about the discussion. “We just want to make final specifications to be able to bid out.”
Paul Braasch, coordinator for the Adams Clermont Joint Solid Waste District, first updated trustees and residents on the different options when it comes to s waste contract in the township.
Braasch said the township could have a contract that is arranged through the township, but billed through the waste company, a contract that is arranged and billed through the township, or they could have a contract that is paid for in the form of a tax levy.
He said the specifics of the contract, including pick-up hours, volume of waste, the addition of recycling, and other services, are also negotiable.
“There are other things you can add to this,” Braasch said. “Large item pickup, junk days. Brush collection can also be an option.”
Braasch said Monroe Township recently awarded Rumpke the waste removal contract for the township at $11.56 per month including recycling. He said residents in the township are billed by Rumpke for the services.
“Pierce gets the cheapest per month,” Braasch said about rates in Clermont County. “They have a levy based on property value.”
Braasch said in Pierce Township, the average cost is $9 per month for residents, but he said residents pay in the form of a tax based on the value of their home.
Braasch said the benefit of having the levy is that all residents in the township get waste services, which decreases the amount of trash that is burned or disposed of in other ways. He said drawbacks to the levy can be running and passing the levy.
With any of the contract options, Braasch said the township must bid out the contract and see what companies such as Rumpke and Republic Services come back with.
“Only the successful bidder can provide waste collection to the township,” Braasch said.
Residents at the meeting expressed their concerns about the options.
“I would hate to have to be dictated as to where I would have to go,” Albert Rosenfeld, a township resident, said at the meeting.
Rosenfeld said he has switched waste providers before because he had trouble with services.
“I would like to have the option as to who I could go with,” Rosenfeld said.
Braasch said residents would lose the choice to switch providers, but he said the township could set up a complaint procedure to assist residents who may have issues with the services so that issues could be resolved.
“With everything there are pros and cons,” Braasch said.
Braasch said he does think the township will be able to get a competitive price for services.
He said Rumpke won the bid for the Monroe Township contract, and he said both Rumpke and Republic Services, or CSI, are currently providing waste removal in Batavia Township.
“I think CSI would be very eager to battle that,” Braasch said about the bidding process.
Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons said if they included recycling in the contract, that could also influence more people to recycle in the township.
“What I have read is that when you have curbside recycling it increases recycling,” Parsons said.
Rosenfeld said he is in favor of getting a lower price for services, and he said he would like to have the option to recycle.
Township resident Tom Hemsath said he came into the meeting thinking he would be in favor of a waste levy for the township.
He said after hearing the discussion and presentation, however, he thinks a levy may be difficult to pass in the township, and would be a lot of work.
“If we can save money by doing a contract, which is a no-brainer, I think this is a good deal,” Hemsath said.
Trustees said they would not want to move forward with a waste levy, but are interested in moving forward with putting together a contract for the township to go out to bid.
“I think we would like to take a look at it,” Dowdney said.
Trustee Randy Perry said they can make a final decision about moving forward with the contract after they receive the bids.
“We can go out to bid and if it’s not what we want, we can reject them all,” Perry said.