By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s elected officials will be asked to authorize an “emergency” trash contract this week after no bids were received for a longterm pact, redbankgreen has learned.
With the expiration of the existing garbage, recycling and bulk waste collection agreement on August 31, and no new contract lined up, the borough faces a public health “emergency,” according to a resolution added Monday to the mayor and council’s meeting agenda for Wednesday night.
Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told redbankgreen Monday that the specifications will be reviewed “and we will re-advertise a solicitation for bids as quickly as possible.”
In the meantime, DeLisa Demolition, the Tinton Falls firm that has had the contract since pickups were privatized in 2015, would be paid $10,000 per month over and above its existing rate, under a month-to-month agreement, if the council approves.
That would bring the monthly tab to $54,333, before tipping fees at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, which the borough must cover.
“Presumably, the additional $10,000 per month would be consistent with the increase in the costs of business for the collection and disposal,” Shehady told redbankgreen via email.
The interim contract would run through January.
Asked why no bids were received, Shehady said it would be “inappropriate” for him “to speculate on reasons why some prospective bidders did not submit bids.”
The bid specs, however, were questioned by Councilman Ed Zipprich, who raised concerns with Shehady via email in July. As reported by redbankgren, his concerns were later echoed in a letter to Shehady from DeLisa owner Tom DeLisa.
Among other similarities, both expressed misgivings that bids had to include trash pickups at borough schools five days a week, up from the current four times a week; raised questions about who would be responsible for supplying dumpsters at apartment and condo complexes; and questioned the cost impact of having the hauler responsible for discarding “white goods” appliances, a task now handled by the borough public utilities department.
The similarities in the issues raised by Zipprich and DeLisa prompted Shehady to complain in emails to other officials that Zipprich appeared to be trying to “sabotage” the bid process.
A leak of the correspondence to redbankgreen prompted Zipprich to demand an investigation into what he called an attempt to “besmirch” his reputation.
As previously reported, the appointment of a lawyer to conduct such a probe is also on the agenda for the council’s session Wednesday night.
The meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m. via the Zoom app. Instructions for watching, listening and participating are here.
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