Quick addition doesn’t add up on tiny issue like garbage

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Our Views

 Sometimes it might be best to wait a few minutes before elected officials vote on items.

But, at times, a little more information might help them make decisions.

Something as small as garbage service to the Bullitt County Animal Shelter could add up over several years.

A quick recap shows that the county was spending $329 a month for garbage service, plus fuel surcharges and environmental fees, which pushed the bill over $400 per month.

Over a year’s time, that is $4,800.

Realizing that the bill had grown tremendously under the past three years, fiscal court members ask for some options.

They got them. 

Current hauler Waste Management offered to drop its monthly price to $175, plus the extra fees. This would amount to roughly $2,100 a year for the next three years. A cap of 6 percent was placed on any future increases.

Right there, the county saved $1,800 a year. A good move.

But another option was to go with a proposal from Rumpke. That would be for $65 a month, plus the added fees. This would make the annual contribution only $780 for the county. If the rate did not increase over the final two years of the contract, the total expense over that time would have been $2,340, compared to $6,300 for Waste Management.

The only downside to terminating the current contract with Waste Management would have been a penalty of three months of billing – roughly $1,000.

So to save $4,000 over three years it would have to spend $1,000.

Sounds pretty simple. 

One problem is that we don’t know how much information magistrates had before them. It would have made the situation a lot easier for everyone if a simple spreadsheet had been presented to the court members.

It also would have made the decision a little simpler.

In the grand scheme of things, the savings might not seem like a lot. But it sends a message that every penny counts.

It also means that there needs to be a better job in keeping track of contracts and contracts renewals. Without someone on the court asking a question, the bill could have continued for years with the price only escalating. This is just one of the duties the judge’s office must handle on a daily basis.

Maybe the bigger question is that since cardboard is the biggest item in the trash and there is no animal waste, why not get rid of the garbage service, pack it up and bring to the recycling center or the courthouse dumpster?

Just a thought.