I would like to respond to the public comments and correspondence the Board of Commissioners received as a result of our decision on August 29, 2018 to reject all bids that were submitted for the operation of the Manzanita Transfer Station.
During the March 8, 2018 Commissioners’ staff meeting the Solid Waste Program Manager recommended to the Commissioners that we consider terminating the franchise agreement with CARTM for their operation of the Manzanita Transfer Station (MTS) and pursue a contract to better reflect how the MTS currently operates. Also attending the workshop was CARTM’s Executive Director.
The Solid Waste Program Manager emphasized that “this proposed cancelation is by no means a reflection of the performance of CARTM as the operator of this transfer station.” He went on to say the reasons for his recommendations were two-fold:
1. We believe that it is good public policy to review our contractual relationships from time to time, receive public input, and adapt to changing situations; and
2. Significant changes in the operation of the transfer station have resulted in a situation where our relationship would better be reflected in an operations contract, rather than a franchise agreement.
Also during the staff meeting the Commissioners expressed concerns about keeping CARTM operational and continuing with their wonderful program. Staff assured us that this would happen. CARTM’s Executive Director voiced no concerns about the suggested course of action.
The county received two proposals in response to the request for proposals of a contract. CARTM’s proposal was approximately $500,000 annually with the next proposal coming in at about $565,000 annually. This is significantly higher than the $100,000 average the county has paid CARTM for the operation of the MTS over the last five years.
Now the county is in a quandary. Our Solid Waste Budget can’t absorb this extra expense. CARTM’s Re-News edition dated 8/31/2018 stated that they will continue to serve north county while also preparing to close and will work with the county on an orderly exit. This may be premature and slightly alarmist. I am sure that, given time, we can reach a collaborative solution to provide necessary services to the citizens of north county.
Chair, Tillamook County Board of Commissioners