By JOHN T. WARD
Still not quite at the end of a process it began 18 months ago, the council scheduled a special meeting for next Monday night solely to vote on the deal.
According to terms of a resolution that would have finalized the contract, DeLisa Demolition of Tinton Falls was the lowest bidder of five cartage companies that submitted bids opened on July 28.
DeLisa offered to continue the twice-weekly trash pickups and twice-monthly recycling pickups for three years at a cost to the town of $496,000 per year, or a total $1.49 million, the resolution states.
But the council chamber was cleared of spectators during Wednesday’s semimonthly meeting so the governing body could discuss personnel, contract and litigation issues relating to it in executive session, Mayor Pasqule Menna said.
Upon reopening the meeting, Menna announced that no immediate action would be taken, and set a single-issue special meeting for 6:30 p.m. Monday.
During the public comment session, resident Amy Goldsmith began to say that she was “very concerned about people who work” in the Department of Public Utilities when Menna interrupted her.
“Nobody will be laid off,” he said. “Everyone who’s employed by the DPU will remain” and the staff will shrink through natural attrition, he said.
A move to privatize cartage was aborted last October after officials said bid specifications had failed to include a provision that a successful bidder hire the town’s affected solid-waste employees and would be rewritten to with that requirement. It wasn’t immediately clear if the latest bids included that provision.
Officials also cited inadequate savings for rejecting the 2014 bids, in which five contractors also responded.
The borough has budgeted $547,250 in salaries and wages for the DPU’s sanitation unit this year, up from $520,000 in 2014. The budget also includes $384,000 in landfill fees.
Officials have said in the past that the switch to private collection would result in savings on equipment costs.