Garrard at odds with BFI over lack of payment

December 12, 2003|JIM LOGAN

LANCASTER - If trash hauler BFI doesn't make Garrard County officials happy soon, it'll find its relationship with the county in the dumpster.

Although the national company was granted an exclusive franchise to pick up commercial rubbish in the county in March, it has not signed its contract, nor has it paid the fees required by contract, which was to begin June 1. In addition, BFI missed a new Oct. 15 deadline to sign a contract.

As a result, the county's Fiscal Court voted Tuesday to direct the county attorney to give the company two weeks to sign the contract and pay its fees, or the county will reopen the bidding process.

"It's so messed up, it's just not good business," said Angela Bowling, deputy judge-executive and financial officer, who served on the committee that initiated the bidding process.


At stake for the county are thousands of dollars in fees that are supposed to go into its solid waste fund, which pays for such services as recycling, litter pickup and operating the convenience center on Danville Road.

Under the contract, BFI is required to pay the county 3 percent of its gross receipts.

"It's kind of low, actually," Bill Hack, the county's solid waste coordinator, said of the fee.

Hack has a strong interest in seeing the contract enforced; the fees also are supposed to pay his salary. His patience at an end, he was the one who urged the Fiscal Court to force BFI's hand.

County officials say the company has been unresponsive and blame its sheer size.

"Part of the problem is that they got so big, you have so many people to deal with," said Bowling. "It's hard to get one person you can deal with."

Bowling said the company has claimed not to have collected payment from its commercial customers in the county. But at least one executive who declined to be identified said her company has been paying BFI monthly.

Joe Probst, sales manager of BFI in Lexington, declined to comment Thursday.

Waiting in the wings is Waste Management, an international disposal company. The company already has contacted the county and pledged to upgrade various facilities if awarded the contract stripped from BFI.

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