Lexington might have a new garbage contractor for the first time in 20 years.
The Urban County Council voted 12-0 Thursday to give final approval to Waste Services of the Bluegrass for a five-year, up to $17 million contract to manage the city's transfer station and haul its garbage to an out-of-county landfill.
The vote came after Republic Services, which has had the city's solid-waste contract since 1995, asked during the council meeting to delay final approval. Republic officials say the contract was awarded inappropriately to Waste Services of the Bluegrass, a company with a landfill in Scott County.
Gene Vance, a lawyer for Republic Services, said after the vote that Republic had not decided whether to sue the city.
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Republic filed an appeal after the city awarded the contract to Waste Services of the Bluegrass this year. The appeal was heard Wednesday. On Thursday, the city announced that the appeal had been denied.
Nevertheless, Vance asked the council to delay the final vote, saying the company thought that concerns about the bid had not been addressed.
Council members declined after hearing from city officials that the appeal and the bid were vetted and scored correctly.
"I am very comfortable with the selection we made," chief administrative officer Sally Hamilton told the council. "From what we saw, I think we made the correct decision."
Republic alleges that the city miscalculated its bid and that its bid is lower than Waste Service's. It also maintains that Waste Services of the Bluegrass does not have five years of landfill capacity, which is required under the bid. Republic Services says Waste Services of the Bluegrass has only four years of capacity.
"The figures they submitted are flatly wrong," Vance said.
Waste Services of the Bluegrass, however, says it has the required landfill space in and maintains it is the low-cost bidder and scored higher than Republic in other key areas.
James Frazier, a lawyer for Waste Services of the Bluegrass, told the there was and extensive review of the bids.
"Those issues have all been looked at; they have been vetted," Frazier said.
The city's trash contract is one of Lexington's largest ongoing expenses and largest contracts. It is for nearly $4 million a year for five years and takes effect July 1.