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Genesee ARC faces loss of trash pick up contract with City of Batavia

Genesee ARC, which has provided trash service to the City of Batavia for nearly 30 years, is facing the possible loss of the contract with a city decision to put the trash collection contract out to bid.

Though Genesee ARC is welcome to be among the bidders, as many as three private firms are expect to place bids.

"I think it comes down to the efficiency and effectiveness of the service being provided to the residents," Molino said on WBTA's Main and Center program this morning. "Our approach moving forward with refuse collection -- and it has been -- is how do we continue to divert refuse tonnage from the refuse stream to the recycling stream, and ultimately lowering costs to the residents."

Genesee ARC employs 30 people, including 20 with developmental disabilities, for trash hauling and recycling pick up. The agency is paid $810,000 a year for the service.

The last contract was signed five years ago.

“This is a competitive bid, no different than any other bid for any other service,” Molino said. “If you can provide that service and you can support it and provide the services we’re requesting, then they can continue to provide it.”

Molino also told WBTA he has received virtually no complaints about the service provided by the ARC.

Donna Saskowski, executive director of the ARC, says the trash contract with the city is vital to the agency.

“Mostly because it goes to our mission of employing people with developmental disabilities here locally in our community and it would mean that 20 individuals with developmental disabilities would be unemployed, as well as the staff – all residents of Genesee County – who would become unemployed," Saskowski said.

Molino expects as many as three private companies will submit bids for the trash contract. Saskowski said the ARC is weighing its options.

Saskowski said that even if ARC no longer provides recycling pick up in the city, ARC will certainly try to keep operating its recycling center on West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia.

"Without the city contract it (recycling) would certainly be a diminishment," Saskowski said. "We are dedicated to recycling and we would certainly look for other opportunities."

Mark Potwora
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The agency is paid $810,000 a year for the service...thats alot of money..It should be spread out evenly to all property owners,non profits included..Not charged by the value of your home..I hope that city council has a plan to make it more fairer to all....

Eric [Rick] von k...
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If it's not broke, don't fix it! Time after time we hear about cities, towns,counties and states, contracting with out of the area companys and ignoring local business. ARC has been providing services to the area including the trash pickup for years without a problem. If there is a problem it can be dealt with quickly and easily LOCALLY, not thru some big company with offices in another time zone. ARC purchased the piece of property on west main and cleaned it up, improved it, and is expanding it's recycling capabilities. I'm sure we can cut costs in many other areas [which can open up a whole new discussion] keep the money and jobs local. In the big scheme of things how much money could really be saved???

Mark Potwora
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Eric i agree with most of what you said..But why can't the cost be shared equally between all property tax payers including the non profits.If it such a great thing then let all pay for it equally.....

John Roach
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Eric,
Trash, like water and sewer, should be priced by usage or a flat rate. In the City of Batavia, it is based only on the value of your property. And non profits do not have to pay. That's not right.

If ARC wants to keep the contract, then they should find a way to charge for their service like other waste companies do. A standard fee for every house and or business would work. So would a pay per bag system.

And there is no complaint about the current ARC service. You put trash out and it's picked up. The same would happen if another company had the service. The problem is that not everyone is paying and payment should not be based solely on home value.

Eric [Rick] von k...
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Mark, i don't quite follow you. How the costs are shared seems to be a completely different issue than who has the contract. And while i have the "floor", what would happen to the 20 or so employees with developmental disabilities, who will hire them? Will their care costs be then passed on to their families or possibly us? These employees are proud to be working and contributing,,,,,,,,,,,,, what about them?

John Roach
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Eric,
If ARC can submit the lowest bid, fine.

As for the current employees, it is not the job of the city to subsidize the employment of anyone with a private company.

Mark Potwora
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Howard the city set up how we pay for trash pick-up..but now that this contract is up for bid maybe it a good time to change how the city charges for trash pick..Eric the 20 or so who might lose their job could apply with who ever wins the contract to pick up trash..

John Roach
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Howard,
ARC sets the pay of their employees. But there are many who feel that even if ARC cost the taxpayer more than another bid, they should still get the contract. I don't.

But you are right, it is up to the City Council to change the way it deals with payment for trash collection. It has to end the present system based on property taxes, which is not only unfair, but exempts too many. There are a number of ways to do that and it's about time they did.

Mike Weaver
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Wow. $810,000 to ARC means an average of $27,000 per ARC employee. That's pretty inexpensive really.

Phil Ricci
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I say just leave it alone. ARC has nothing to do with the way costs are distributed. I am not against non for profits paying a fee to have their trash picked up if the city does so, but I believe the cost of trash service for a $100,000 home is roughly $65 per year. Howard, tell me if I'm wrong with that. Which means for a VERY nice house in Batave, you might be paying $200 per year.

It costs $35 per month for WM to do it in any suburb in Rochester. That's $420 per year. Mark, even if you were to find a service to do it for $10 per month, that's still $120 per year, and more than what you pay now.

Just saying...

Kevin Squire
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I hope they don't get underbid, but if they do they can do the town of batavia because we pay alot more for our trash pick up then that.

John Roach
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Phil,
That's why you have bids, to get the lowest cost. I would hope that is the criteria you apply to bids awarded by the School Board.
If ARC is the lowest, fine. I don't know anyone who has anything against ARC. But if they are not the lowest bidder, then they go.

And as far as a local company picking up the trash, fine if they are the low bidder. I could even accept it if ARC was within 1-2%.

It is said the new contract calls for a fee based system to pay for trash collection, so the problem of non profits should be fixed.

B. Griffith
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Well, I do know this much, if you think for one second that the DD employees are getting paid well, you are sadly mistaken. Some of them work just as hard as a "normal" employee or harder but ARC keeps their pay low enough to not effect the benefits they are getting from the state (a majority of which goes to ARC). They bring home a check for70-$150 for TWO WEEKS of work. The "normal" employees don't get much either. Most of that money goes to pay the highest paid person in this county's salary, Mrs. Saskowski. Just saying. Maybe if an outside company comes in, the will hire locals and actually pay them a competitive wage.

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