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Today's Poll: Should Genesee ARC get the city trash bid even though it will mean higher fees?

Charley Boyd
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Has anybody analyzed the impact on our local economy? My guess is that the ARC workers spend their earnings in our community. How many of the employees of the other companies will be spending a large percentage of their dollars in Batavia? Furthermore, what happens to the public coffers when we throw that many people out of work? I think we should keep our dollars local when possible.

Kyle Couchman
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Heres an idea rattling in my skull on this issue. Instead of contracting out why doesnt the city buy 2 of these trucks and do the recycling and refuse collection themselves. They could partner with ARC and have the staff for them....1 problem solved..... Then they could save the entire 5 yr cost by doing the job themselves and not have to pay an outside company the yearly fees and still collect the contracted fees themselves. Pocketing the middleman's profit for the city and keepin it all here.

I know its an oversimplification but seems to me would result in a little more savings to the public, increase economic growth for they city funds and local businesses.

Mark Potwora
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Kyle do you really want the city running this business..Why doesn't ARC lower their price and they would have won the bid...This all about 8 people who might be laid off..Can't see the city getting that involved over 8 jobs..If these were 8 city employees would you still feel the same about saving their job....How do you control cost of trash service in the city but go for the lowest bid...

tim raines
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I have to chime in on "Batavia Trashgate"

Where I live, our community has been using wheeled totes for over 20 years. although the system isn't perfect, it works.

Unlike the batavia plan, residents can select their own trash hauler who picks up trash and recycleables once a week. There are approx 5 companies to choose from, including 2 who have submitted bids for Batavia service.

Residents get as many totes are they need with no tiered billing as Batavia wants to do.. Most families select the 96 gallon tote.

You aren't required to have trash service but i don't know anyone who doesn't.

I read the bids for Batavia service and they seem very high. My service costs $11 a month or $132 a year. No deposits, no contracts, billed every 3 months. you can pay online, automatic bill pay, by check, etc.

My service allows me to put out anything at the street, exect hazmat stuff. Appliances, furniture, you name it, they pick it up.

The lowest Batavia bid is $198 a year for one 96 gal tote, $239 for 2 totes a year. ARC is the highest of all bids.

The current ARC contract is 81% higher than the new lowest bid or $1.25 million dollars more during the 5 year contract.

****That's $!,250,000 savings over 5 years!***

If I switch to a different trash hauler, they usually give you 3 months free. Referring each customer gets me a free month for each referral. Subdivisons can group together to use 1 trash hauler to get an even better price. Competition = lower prices.

Some of my neighbors, who are over 80, haul the totes to the curb with no problems as i see.

Some of my neighbors also use their wheel totes to pick up yard waste, leaves, mulch, etc to move it on their property.

I feel the Batavia bids are too high compared to what I pay. I also feel that requiring you to have a smaller wheeled tote for recyclables is "overkill" How many recyclables can a family generate every 2 weeks? THe bin system that you have now is sufficent for your recyclables.

Batavia might be the last city in America to convert to a wheeled tote system.

But the cost is way too much compared to what people in my community pay.

Technology services are also 35% more in Batavia than I pay.

Property taxes...20 times more.

Sales tax......2.75% more.

Why?

Mr Molina needs to ask all the trash haulers to rebid the contracts at lower bids

Or.....does anyone in Batavia have $1,250,00 to donate???

Jason Crater
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Mark - You suggest that the ARC just lower their bid? You can't expect them to work at a loss just to keep the contract. I'm sure they aren't padding their numbers with all sorts of profit. They bid based on how much they need to do the job.

Bernie Thompson
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Shop Local,Buy Local and Support Local?
Kind of shoots that theory right in the backside.Just my opinion.

John Roach
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Tim,
Your low cost of services reflect a lower cost of government in general. That ship sailed in NY and as you can read, the State is adding more cost to almost everything.

Dave Olsen
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Tim; don't confuse everyone with those radical free-market solutions. OMG how would that work????

Lori Silvernail
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From the Batavian article dated 11/21/12, titled "County legislature votes to fund GCEDC at $213K in 2013", we heard that "In 2012, the agency worked on 33 projects that represent $223 million in investment and the promise of 400 jobs". $223 million divided by 400 = $557,000 per job; therefore, if we simply give the EDC $4,460,000.00, Steve Hyde and crew can create 8 new jobs for the Arc workers who will be laid off.

Ted Wenzka
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Tim,
May I ask where you live?

tim raines
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Marietta Ga......suburb of Atlanta

Bill McDonald
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Thanks Tim for your input and a Teddy, good question for Tim... Can't help but wonder if we have the freedom of choice here and where some of the city's decision makers call home?

John Roach
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Bill,
We do not have freedom of choice now. If you want your trash picked up, it's ARC. They have the current contract with the City, Of course you could pay somebody else to come and get your trash, but you would be paying twice. There is no opt out. And if there was not an exclusive contract with ARC, I doubt they could have stayed in the trash business.

As to where they live, all nine Council members are required to live in the City limits. Further, the 6 ward members must live in their ward. The City Manager and Clerk/Treasurer are required to live inside the City.

Deb Wagner
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What happens when two or three neighbors go in together and purchase one tote like most towns do

Paul Weiss
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I guess my first question would be: Has the ARC provided good service?

Mark Potwora
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great service but overpriced...

Richard Richmond II
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Deb,

I believe that every eligible property will be issued the default tote if the owner doesn’t select a size. All sizes have a serial number and a tracking chip unique to that property. The said property owner will be responsible for it and will be billed for it.

I would guess that like the sewer & water bill late payments or non-payments on garbage collection will be added to property taxes.

No doubt the garbage men or women; sanitation engineers if you prefer will only pick up the mentioned totes.

Civil disobedience such as purchasing your own or sharing is an option although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Bob Harker
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Too bad this poll wasn't run BEFORE the decision was made. Maybe it could have affected the result

Mark Janofsky
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Tim, the reason for the difference between your cost for garbage pickup and the City’s cost for garbage pickup, is bids for the city garbage contract includes prevailing wage rate. I’m pretty sure the workers collecting your garbage are not getting prevailing wage.

Mark Janofsky
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This new garbage contract systematically raises taxes on the not-for-profits and all residential properties worth less than $125,000, while lying off about 8 people that will most likely never get another job that pays as well as the one they have now. Houses worth $250,000 will get a tax break worth about one high end case of wine, while houses worth $50,000 will cost them approximately a week’s worth of groceries. This is wrong! If the City needs additional revenues to pay for garbage, require and sell special bags and let ARC keep the existing contract.

Lincoln DeCoursey
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With the sub-contracting business model used by organizations like Hillside and ARC, properly managed, a group should be nimble enough to shift workers from expiring contracts onto ones which are ramping up. But it's very unfortunate to think of the ARC losing its big thing after having just invested in its new trash/recycling center.

Of course the ARC does need to be and remain competitive in the outsourcing marketplace in order for its sales team to secure business contracts. Beyond dollars and cents, there is a certain goodwill associated with the nature of its mission and status as an employer of the disabled. This plays to ARC's favor, but it's a limited thing which tips the scales only with other considerations being nearly equal.

To be competitive for any contract, trash hauling or otherwise, ARC needs to maintain core competency in the related function, to include attentiveness to efficiencies (automation trends, M&A activity, etc) being achieved by competitors. Certainly ARC took money out of its trash operation for a lot of years. I think a reasonable question is whether or not it also re-invested smartly enough to keep pace with customer expectations while reducing business costs.

One advantage which organizations employing the disabled (including the local ARC) enjoy in the competion for business is their ability to pay sub-minimum wage to many of their disabled workers.

It's disconcerting to see Tim Raine's earlier comment (to this article) that, although Batavia bargains for its residents, the best offer is way higher than what he pays under a privatized, market-driven system. According to the state comptroller, refuse collection costs to residents could drop dramatically when local governments contract for services on behalf of households instead of requiring households to contract for these same services individually. Of course "could" isn't "will" or even "should". Or is Tim's neighborhood that much different?

How do the Batavia offers compare to some other WNY communities?

tom hunt
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One thing that has not been mentioned in the comments above; the lowest bidding company will use one person, the driver, and a automated robot arm to pick up the totes. ARC currently uses three people; the driver and two assistants that do the actual pick ups. This reduction in man power represents a large drop in costs.

Lincoln DeCoursey
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Right, the new bidders use a modern tote-based system with specialized trucks that reduce labor, a capability which ARC has not developed. Evidently the industry moved in that direction some while ago. Totes is what customers expect. Did ARC miss something? Perhaps ARC was ignoring the trend. Labor-eliminating automation is probably a tough pill to swallow for the ARC. If a garbage truck requires only one operator, how to involve developmentally disabled workers on trash routes?

Mark Potwora
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Do people understand that even if ARC won the bid that they won't be picking up your trash.That task will be left to Boon and Sons..ARC will just sort out recyclables..I think ARC pick the wrong partner and that is why their bid was so high..Lincoln made some great points about ARC and outsourcing.ARC needs to be more efficient in the way they run thier business..How have they reinvested the money paid to them over the years...Not all that work for ARC are disabled,i would assume they are employable in other areas.Maybe ARC can contract with the city and county to clean all the offices and such.EX at the nursing home,court house,city hall.Maybe those services should be put out for bid...Many private companies contract that type of work out.

John Roach
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Not sure if you can still get it on the web, but channel 2 (WGRZ) out of Buffalo had a spot on Thursday that showed a modern recycling center in Niagara County. Highly automated, state of the art and efficient. Very impressive.

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