Talking trash

Contracts for more than one year considered void

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The Moffat County commissioners hope to have a contract in place for trash removal at 16 county sites by April 1.

At a meeting this week, the commissioners discussed the status of their trash removal contracts with County Attorney Kathleen Taylor.

Taylor had been instructed to investigate all standing contracts in the county regarding trash removal, stemming from a dispute in January regarding trash containers at the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

In late December, Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead signed a one-year deal with the city of Craig for trash service at the Public Safety Center.

He did so to trim his budget after county departments had been asked to cut back by 3 percent, he had said.

The deal Grinstead signed with the city was for $1,600 a year, while the line item for trash collection at the public safety center had been $4,500.

But it was discovered that the county was already tied to a three-year contract for trash removal at the Public Safety Center with Waste Management.

With contracts signed with both agencies, the county was forced to figure out how to avoid paying for double pick up at the facility.

In her report to the commissioners this week, Taylor said of the 16 sites where trash was being picked up, there were five contracts.

But those contracts were for three years and state law dictates that counties can only sign one-year contracts, voiding those current contracts that are in place with Waste Management.

The commissioners decided Tuesday they would put all the sites that need trash removal up for one bid with the exception of the Public Safety Center, which is tied into a contract with the city this year.

"It would be my recommendation that we ought to go ahead and sign off on this and leave the other one in place to back up what he (Grinstead) has done," said Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele.

The commissioners agreed that they would pay Waste Management its bill for collecting trash through this month, then would postpone the contract and allow the city to continue its service to the safety center.

"I think we're obligated to pay the bill because they've been providing the service," said Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos of the outstanding bill with Waste Management.

Another item discussed in the meeting was how future contracts would be handled in order to avoid confusion like what ensued with the Public Safety Center.

"I think we need to have all the contracts come through this office and have the county commissioners sign off on it," said Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele. "I think we need to have the final say."

The commissioners agreed that they would discuss developing a policy for signing contracts with other elected officials at their next meeting with county officers.

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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