Council extends contract with Pacific Coast Waste
COMPTON—The City Council approved a 10-year contract extension with Pacific Coast Waste and Recycling during its meeting Tuesday, July 17, and received significant fiscal savings with the agreement.
Council members Lillie Dobson, Willie Jones, Janna Zurita and Yvonne Arceneaux voted for the extension. Mayor Eric J. Perrodin abstained, due to a lack of information.
“This makes Pacific Coast Waste our waste service provider until 2022,” Budget Officer Michael Harvey said. “The city established its trash service with a $6 million bond, and this agreement gives the company one year to pay off those bonds and relieve the city of its obligations.”
Once it pays off the debt, he said, the city will release its 15- truck fleet to the company.
“That also relieves our liability to the Air Quality District of Southern California,” Harvey said. “These are 13-year-old diesel trucks and need rehabilitation. The city would have to pay for this if we keep them.”
The extended agreement also gives Pacific Coast Waste first right of refusal if the city sells the facility location bought with the waste bonds.
“We would offer the property to the hauler at fair market value,” Harvey said.
The group stepped in after the previous hauler submitted two weeks notice in 2008, Harvey said, and resolved a difficult situation at the time.
“The city faced no trash service for its residents,” he said, “That would have cost significantly more money. We also came off a 50 percent diversion rate compliance order from the state because the company worked diligently on the problem.”
City Attorney Craig Cornwell is still working on the contract, Harvey said, and its approval eliminates any concerns about trash service for a decade.
“All the current terms in the contract stay the same, except for the changes I mentioned,” he said.
Councilwoman Lillie Dobson said a friend in need is a friend indeed.
“I was here when the former company gave the city two weeks notice,” she said. “Pacific Coast Waste stepped up, answered our questions, and delivered exceptional service.”
The company offers scholarships to Compton students, Dobson said, and that impresses her.
“No one else does that,” she said. “The company increases its efforts every year, and that touches my heart.”
Councilwoman Yvonne Arceneaux agreed with Dobson.
“Even if we solicited bids we could not find a better company,” she said. “They are attentive to the needs of this community.”
Lynn Boone expressed concern that Pacific Coast Waste used city trucks in other communities and the group did not hire community residents.
“The trucks only get used in Compton,” Harvey said. “The only time they leave is for repair.”
The trash company hired Compton residents, Councilman Willie Jones said, and deserves accolades for its efforts.
“They teamed up with Career Link and presented us with two employees,” he said. “I do not know all the people hired, but they were from Compton.”
Harvey said Pacific Coast Waste trained five people.
“They paid for Class A licenses, even though their vehicles only require a Class B license,” he said. “That would cost each local resident $4,000.”
Mayor Eric J. Perrodin said the company is a tremendous community partner.
“I wish we had the contract tonight,” he said. “If we had a comparable report outlining how many years neighboring cities contracts with trash companies that would also be helpful.”
Harvey said the average contract length is between seven and 10 years.
“Carson renewed with Waste Management two years ago, and the agreement is for 10 years,” he said. “Gardena has a seven-plus year agreement.”
The long term contract enhances the hauler’s loan capability, Harvey said, which can be limited by short term agreements.
“This means better rates and financing,” he said. “The company can upgrade the trucks with the money.”
The city owes the balance of the contract to the organization if it breaks the agreement, City Attorney Craig Cornwell said, which is part of the current agreement.
“The city can terminate the contract for cause, but not business reasons,” he said.
Perrodin said he could not vote on a contract without reading the agreement first.
“A 10-year contract is major,” he said. “My first obligation is to the citizens, even though I trust the owners of the company.”
Tabling the agreement allows time for review, Perrodin said, and gives incoming City Manager Howard Duffey a chance to express his opinion on the issue.
“We do not know what his plan is,” he said. “Putting this on the agenda the week before he arrives is not in the city’s best interest. ”
Dobson and Perrodin voted to table the action for one week, while Zurita, Arceneaux and Jones voted against the motion.
The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 4.