The lawsuit charges that the city takes a 5 percent cut from monthly fees to pay for billing and collection and 2 percent of net receipts "for the privilege of a long-term contract," therefore not paying H&B the rates promised in its contract.
The bid submission form offered bidders the choice of billing and collection fees or paying the city 5 percent for the city's work and the 2 percent.
Republic opted for the city to continue billing customers.
Burton said in an interview that the city had the opportunity to extend its current three-year contract with H&B for three more years at the same rates.
He said H&B charges $11 per month per customer to pick up garbage behind customers' homes. The contract approved by the city calls for a fee of $10.95 a month for curb-side service and $16 for "rear-of-the-premises" service.
Burton cited the bid package when asked why he did not bid the job. He said the new contract called for four roll-off dumpsters and eight 8-yard dumpsters. He said H&B would have to purchase the dumpsters and trucks on which to haul them.
City Administrative Officer Ed Music said the new contract represents "an expansion of services to clean up the town. We're getting more stuff off the curb that was excluded before." That includes grass clippings and bundled brush.
Based on the current contract and the stipulations of the new contract, the bid is worth between $8-$15 million.
For his part, Burton said he will try to pick up more business by branching out into the county for garbage collection.|5/6/04|***