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Genesee ARC in the mix of bids for modernized trash service in Batavia

In conjunction with two partners, Genesee ARC submitted a bid to continue providing the City of Batavia garbage and recycling service.

Donna Saskowski, executive director of the ARC, sat through the bid opening at city hall today and characterized her agency's bid as "somewhere in the middle."

But, she said, the city's decision doesn't just come down to price. It's also a matter of being responsive to the bid specifications and she thinks ARC delivers value to the city beyond just price.

"I would hope they could give us a real fair hearing in terms of our value-added items that we will do for the city, keeping people employed here," Saskowski said.

She added that the agency's partners on the project, Boon and Son and Cascade Recovery, also add value to the package; Cascade, in particular, which can sell recyclables anywhere in the world.

"They want a share of that revenue and the city can get more than they ask for if they work with us," Saskowski said.

In the public meeting to open the bids, Director of Public Works Sally Kuzon read each bid for garbage collection and the purchase of totes (two separate bids). A city staff member recorded the bids. When asked for a copy of the record of bids, Kuzon declined to provide a copy to the media.

Saskowski shared ARC's bid, which for refuse collection is $102.97 per parcel per year and $60.13 for recycling. Refuse disposal is $42.50 per ton.

In response to a FOIL request for the rest of the bids, City Clerk Heider Parker said, "This information will be available within 20 business days but I will notify you if it is available sooner."

Deciding to proceed with a bid was a big decision for Genesee ARC, which has provided the city with garbage collection services for 30 years. City officials are seeking to create a new program that is more automated and encourages recycling. ARC is partnering with Boon to provide the trucks necessary for tote pick-ups and with Cascade to help market recyclable material.

"We decided to go ahead because we still have people with disabilities and people in Genesee County who still need jobs here," Saskowski said. "That was my major motivation."

Sean Mason, an environmental sales specialist representing one of the tote manufacturers bidding on the job, Rehrig Pacific, said his company is motivated to help communities improve what they send into the waste stream. Rehrig Pacific has been making totes for 13 years and been in the plastics business for 100 years.

"We're always looking to increase our footprint and to help communities increase their recycling rate and increase the participation per household," Mason said (pictured below with coworker Jason Gimlin).

Loretta Gamin
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Genesee County ARC employees are very dedicated to their job in going above and beyond to assist the public in anyway possible. I know for a fact that someone who was disabled at the time and could not get their recyclables to the cub in time for the pickup, they called the recycling center and explained the situation and within a half hour they came back to get their items and went to the door so the person did not have to go out. Where else are you going to get that service in these days. I personallly know a small handful of the clients that work on the trash and recycling trucks and they take such pride in their work. I would hate to see money get in the way of takeing that pride away from those individuals. City of Batavia, please think this thru and do not allow 30 years of good prompt service go to waste. Thank you.

Mark Potwora
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A city staff member recorded the bids. When asked for a copy of the record of bids, Kuzon declined to provide a copy to the media..............

Why,whats the big deal to let us all know the fact of who bid what.After all its the property owner who will be getting the bill..
ARC is partnering with Boon to provide the trucks necessary for tote pick ups and with Cascade to help market recyclable material...Sounds like they are farming the job out to these two company's ..As long as they are close in price to the lowest bid then i hope they get it...Just don't understand why they city won't give out the numbers and have to do a FOIL for the public to find out...

John Roach
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Mark,
Usually, they have to make sure the bids meet the criteria set in the RFP before releasing any information.

david spaulding
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meet the criteria or not,we should know...what's the big secret?

Lori Silvernail
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I want the Arc to continue if at all possible. The guys are always pleasant and accommodating. I still want to know where I am supposed to keep these stupid, gigantic totes? Where the hell would people have put them during our most recent storm? We didn't have sidewalks or parkways to put them on until much later in the day. Not that I could have hauled it 75 feet through 3' deep snow from the backyard AFTER moving 2 cars out of the driveway so I had room to pull it from the backyard...

I'll probably wind up having to pay a neighbor to use theirs who doesn't fill their tote and who has a place to store it. I'll either bury mine in the backyard or leave it in the center of my front yard filled with flowers and cat crap from all of the cats roaming in my neighborhood who usually use our flowerbeds for litter boxes

Jason Crater
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John is right on in this. An RFP usually specifically states how the bidder is to compile information, but the bidders tend to use other methods. This could skew their price high or low compared to others. Until everything is standardized, all the city council would be doing would be giving misleading information to the public.

Jason Crater
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I agree with you that it doesn't make any sense, except that the public record will indicate that the bids were opened in accordance with policy and there was nothing "funny" going on.

I would have liked to have seen the minutes as well, I'm just saying that this could prevent an apples to oranges comparison by the public that could cause outcry when the winning bidder is determined.

John Roach
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I think they should have released all of it. Any bid review they do would not have any impact on releasing the information Howard asked for except that if the lowest initial bidder was found not to meet the requirements of the RFP, and was not selected, people who don't bother to look into things will run around saying something sneaky was done to give the contract to someones favorite.

Mark Potwora
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I agree...We the public can tell apples from oranges...What is the big deal..Release all the bids and what they entail ..If the don't meet the terms set in the RFP then they will be disallowed anyway...Its public record....

Paul Weiss
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During the years I served on the Batavia City Council I can tell you that ARC gave excellent service to the City of Batavia. Now that I live in Florida I only wish we had the level of service.

John Roach
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This whole process is not anti-ARC. It's an open bid process to get the best service at the best price. ARC has made a bid, so we'll see how they stack up.

david spaulding
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yes we will see,when they are good and ready for us to see...until then pay your taxes and shut-up...these people are in office to tell you what is best for you...do not question them.....rules do not apply to them. we are sheep,we are nothing more than the politicians serf...

John Roach
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David,
If you read correctly, even Howard does not think there is anything sneaky about this delay. Stupid, yea, but not unethical.
Of course, you could go the Council meeting this Monday, at 7:00 PM, and speak up, but I'll bet you find a reason to stay home.

david spaulding
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john,if you read correctly,you'll see i never said anything about anything being"sneaky".i said that once in office,the politician does as they please and the taxpayer be damned..

Mary E DelPlato
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Why they screwin with this....costs cuts????since taxpayers pay them put it up to vote...ot don't even go there...so sick of city tryin to cut costs in a very irresponsible matter....sure what the heck...give these guys anxiety cuz that's what uncertainty causes....these guys are doing me a favor....there's nothing like serving your community and feeling useful...unlike other servers of our community who sit around with thheir head up their you know what. I remember a time when they were considering cutting school crossing guard positions and replacing them with police....really????this shouldn't. Even be up for bids....or let us vote on it....cut something else...why is it that cutting jobs is the answer...less jobs = less money into the economy....I think we all can agree to cut the fat at the top....Batavia may be called a city but so many industries and so many people have gone away...and all you people can think about is how to keep high pay at high pay and cut the life support rope of the guy down here..for shame..for shame

Mary E DelPlato
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Its more like a village..or a town...ya know?

Mary E DelPlato
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I say give those guys a raise!...my uncle Louie is rollin in his grave

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