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Landfills, Haulers Contracts Discussed in Waste Management Meeting

June 30, 2006 – Despite the extra trash generated by the July 4 Celebration, the transfer of trash from St. John's Susannaberg landfill to the Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas is expected to be adequate, according to May Cornwall, V.I. Waste Management Authority director, speaking at Friday's meeting of the Authority's board.
Landfills on all three islands are closed on July 4 and open only from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 3, Emancipation Day, which could further hamper operations.
Board President Winston Adams and Board member Keith Richards didn't agree with Cornwall's assessment.
"You're going to have trash in the street," Richards predicted.
The meeting was held at the Westin Resort and Villas.
Cornwall said the Authority will look at a site in Coral Bay so the Dumpster currently sitting adjacent to the mangroves along Route 107 can be moved.
"The mangroves are full of the garbage from the Dumpsters," said member Brion Morrisette.
Cornwall said that Deputy Public Works Director Ira Wade is mentoring Avery Christian, an Authority employee, to take over the reins of the St. John operation. Public Works and the Authority's jurisdictions remain meshed on St. John currently.
The board took action on only one item – contracts for five St. Croix trash haulers. All four board members at the meeting unanimously voted to approve contracts for Bates Trucking and Waste Removal, Dan's Trucking and Trash Removal Services, Paradise Waste System, Gold Mine Trash Removal, and Marco St. Croix Inc.
Cornwall said the contract details are still being finalized, but will total $2 to $2.5 million a year for two years.
The Authority will pay contractors $80 per 23-yard, roll-on and roll-off bin, an increase from $68. It will pay $11 for each house on the house-to-house pick up route, an increase from $9; and $2.25 for each 55-gallon drum of trash emptied in Christiansted and Frederiksted, up from $1.90.
Cornwall wasn't sure of the prices for four-, six- and eight-yards bins.
She said the contracts contain a provision that requires the contractor to notify the Authority if its trucks break down so the Authority can bring another contractor in to do the job.
She said plans are under way to cut contractor costs by doing the job in-house.
"Two trucks are arriving on St. Croix next year," she said.
The meeting, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., didn't get under way until 12:30 p.m. Cornwall's flight from St. Croix was delayed because of weather.
After she and the rest of the board members and staff arrived, they had to wait another half hour for the St. John-based Morrisette to arrive. He had waited until he got a call that everyone was on-island to leave his office.
After discussing the St. Croix trash haulers contract, the board went into executive session for about two hours. Richards said they discussed issues surrounding the transition of staff and assets from the Public Works Department to the Authority.
He said they also discussed legal issues with contracts. "It's confidential till the legal issues are resolved," he said.
After Adams adjourned the meeting, the board members and staff stayed on for a Finance Committee meeting not open to the public. The meeting, which board attorney Iver Stridiron said is expected to run through Saturday, is to hammer out details of the user fees the Authority will impose.

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