Salmo council’s decision to tender out the village’s garbage contract, has left a local company feeling the sting.
“My question is why now?” asked Darlene McConnell, from Salmo Garbage Services
“Our business has been locally employing people for over 21 years and the contract has never been put out to tender.”
The reason the garbage contract went to tender is that the contract was up, said Kandy Schroder, deputy clerk/treasurer.
“We are following a 2003 policy that states any goods or services over the amount of $500 over one year has to go out to tender,” she said. “The village has a legal obligation.”
McConnell countered that the job has been grandfathered in for many years, and since 2003 the service has signed two contracts.
“Maybe that wasn’t the correct thing to do and we are trying to do things the right way, the legal way,” said Coun. Janine Haughton.
This is a decision that was made by council last October, said Mayor Ann Henderson.
“Council will have to discuss it again, whether we continue or rescind, that again is a council decision.”
Coun. Merle Hanson, said the decision is not to criticize the quality of service.
“One of the only reasons of putting it out to tender was so taxpayers know that what we are paying is legitimate and the best return for their money.”
Earlier in the evening, at a committee of the whole, Salmo’s annual financial statements were released along with is annual report and 2013 objectives and performance measures.
Included was succession planning for chief administrative officer; complete looping of the water system; improve measurement and alarm system of wastewater; and provide affordable garbage collection by putting garbage contract out to tender and negotiating a new contract.
“That’s what I can’t get my head around it,” said McConnell. “We’ve always sat down and worked toward and agreement that would benefit the greater community of Salmo, keep our jobs local and keep the money in the community. So why now?”
In May, council was briefed by Scott Sommerville, then chief administrative officer, who said the village has seen a 26 per cent increase in garbage disposal fees over the last five years.
with the latest bill being $8,200 for five weeks of service to 471 houses.