Posted: Feb 25, 2013 2:15 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Feb 25, 2013 7:14 PM
NEW ROADS - For almost five years Progressive Waste Solutions has taken out the trash in Pointe Coupee Parish, but administrator Jim Bello is a part of a movement that wants the parish to handle the duties instead.
"It's about $500,000 that we feel we can save if we ran the business ourselves," Bello said. "We've been faced like a lot of municipalities and parishes with increasing cost to our residents for solid waste collection and ours have steadily gone up."
Progressive's contract expires at the end of this year. The company recently offered the parish an extension which includes a gas fee if fuel goes over $4 per gallon.
With a landfill inside Pointe Coupee, Bello believes the parish can cap the rising cost itself.
"We feel like it's not rocket science to hire drivers to operate the trucks," Bello said. He believes the parish would need to hire at least eight people, including four drivers.
Pointe Coupee Parish president Melanie Beuche is considering the change, but is not entirely sold the parish can do a better job.
"There are some things that come along with garbage pickup, drivers don't show up, trucks break down and you've just got a lot of issues to deal with," she said.
Parish jurors will vote on the issue at Tuesday night's meeting. Juror Kurt Jarreau said he thinks it's not the time to take a risk in the garbage business since the parish is $600,000 in debt.
"If we fail, I'm not sure where we'd end up at," Jarreau said.
The immediate costs to residents with the Progressive plan or the parish's plan both are around $18.50 a month.
"As long as it's done in a timely manner, who does it is not that important," parish resident Susan Navaree said.
"I don't know how government could take over something and save money," resident Richard Maciasz said.
The parish's plan would include a once a week trash pickup for residents. Progressive's offer gives a once or twice per week pickup option.