The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 16, 2014

Waste Management wants to stay in Keosauqua

(Continued)

“The language used indicates it was drafted by Waste Management. All of the clauses you find in the contract favor them. There is no termination clause, no provisions for buyout. The terms benefit Waste Management, including the raises," Hesler said. “I have a problem with it being for eight years."

Hesler doesn’t dispute that Waste Management provides good service but disputes the contract and its cost to city residents. “Right now, the low ball estimate (from Sedore) is $120,000 in savings to the Keosauqua customers over the next five years,” said Hesler.

Hesler added she would like to save money for her citizens, which would stay in the community and also help to support a local company that provides citizens with employment opportunities. She said the contract was like telling the community “that we can’t use local plumbers or electricians. This is not a local company. It’s a national company that doesn’t care about the community.” She said Keosauqua was the largest customer in the county. She acknowledged that the Keosauqua representative wasn’t present when the renewal was being negotiated but also stated that Keosauqua didn’t sign the contract.

Mark Meek, supervisor delegate, said he understood Hesler’s concerns about the contract’s length.

Waste Management was given an extension during a time when the larger recycling containers were being considered. At the time, Waste Management was going to charge customers for the new container. In return for the extension, Waste Management dropped the charge, Meek said. The extension wasn’t for eight years, Meek said, as it happened in the middle of the existing contract. It was a five-year extension. “We did the best we could at the time,” Snyder said. “We never had some fallback provider like we do now. When the contract is up, you’ll have your say.”

A representative of Waste Management said it wasn’t interested in pursuing a buyout. “It’s a fixed term contract, and none of that language exists in it,” said David Schaab, municipal marketing manager with Waste Management. “The contract is fully valid and we have every intention of fulfilling the contract. There is no mechanism to get out. We are fully ready to meet our end of the agreement."

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