J. Kevin Kendall of Republic Services Inc. expresses his dismay to the Wyandotte City Council Oct. 18 that his company’s solid waste removal service did not receive the job despite being the lowest bidder.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The city’s former trash hauling contractor is feeling a little dumped on after losing a bid to provide solid waste collection for the next seven years.
The City Council recently voted 4-1 to accept a bid from Waste Management of Michigan Inc. over that of Republic Services. City Engineer Mark Kowalewski recommended future annual rate increases of 12 percent for placement and pickup of receptacles for the next three years.
J. Kevin Kendall, Republic’s general manager of southeast Michigan collections, told members Oct. 18 that was upset by post-bid changes his company’s competitor was allowed to submit. He said his company was the low bidder for residential service plus trash receptacles.
He said Republic’s bid was $66,000 less than Waste Management in a letter dated Oct 13 to Mayor Joseph Peterson. Kendall reiterated the offer Oct. 18 while addressing the council and other officials.
Officials first opened the bids in August and reviewed them with the council in study sessions before taking the vote last month.
Kendall said city officials recently obtained a legal opinion saying the city had the right to negotiate with any vendor.
“Obviously that’s happening with Waste Management,” he said.
Republic offered to reallocate its low bid between residential and commercial services so that the city could retain the financial advantage of paying $66,000 less for solid waste collection service while meeting residential millage requirements, which Kendall said he “understood were the issue at the last council meeting.”
“We’ve serviced Wyandotte the past five years and we’ve done a good job,” he said. “I (would) think the administration would support that.”
Kendall said he can’t understand why in today’s economy a government would put itself in the position of having to explain to residents that it’s spending $66,000 more on waste removal when there were no problems with current service provider. He said that in 27 years he’s never lost a contract where he was doing a good job and had the low bid.
“I’m going to have to lay off six drivers and one supervisor and explain to them, ‘You guys did your job, I did my job, but you’re out of work.’ And I don’t understand that,” Kendall said.
He thanked officials for using his company’s services for the past five years before expressing frustration one more time.
“I just flat out don’t understand why Republic’s not being considered for recommendation tonight,” Kendall said.