Company released from waste transportation contract

BLACKFOOT — In October, Ashfork Sanitation received the bid to haul solid waste from Bingham County's transfer station to Bannock County Landfill. Ashfork's bid was $7.60 per ton.
Thursday, Richard Stokes, owner of Ashfork Sanitation, and the Bingham County commissioners agreed to a "hold harmless clause."
"That's legalese for everyone walks away clean," said Mark Cornelison, Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Bingham County.
The two issues of disagreement were the unevenness of the loads (weight consistency) and the loading itself.
The difficulties included the fact the loads on the trailer would expand, depending on what's loaded, said Stokes.
"It needs to be establish who is liable if the trailer is damaged during the loading," he said.
"This [contract] is a like a five-year marriage," Cornelison said. "The 'marriage' is no good if it is not a profitable marriage for Ashfork."
Cleone Jolley, chairman of the Bingham County commissioners, asked what could be done to help the situation.
"Having your own person there to supervise loading the trailers," said Stokes.
The last day Ashfork Sanitation will deliver solid waste to the Bannock County Landfill is Wednesday, Nov. 30.
"I'll help you as long as you need help," Stokes said.
Stokes had a verbal agreement with the county, Jolley said. No contract had been signed.
The county put three contracts out for bid to handle solid waste. One contract was for the landfill; one for the transfer station and one for transportation. The company with the lowest bid will be offered a five-year contract.
Bannock County Landfill was selected with a low tipping fee of $28 per ton. Mill Creek Metals has a verbal agreement to run the transfer station for five years for $6.25 per ton.
Mill Creek Metals takes plastic, cardboard and metals out of the waste steam and recycles them, Jolley said. The recycling efforts have lowered the volume (and the cost to the county) of transporting and delivering solid waste to the landfill.
All prices are based on tonnage.
Eagle Rock Sanitation was the second lowest bidder for transportation with a bid of $8.89 per ton. The company will be offered a five-year contract.
"We've never done it this way before," said Richard Monson, Assistant Public Works Director. "Always before, the company that ran the transfer station also transported the solid waste to the landfill."
Should Eagle Rock Sanitation accept this five-year contract, it will cost the county $43.14 per ton to handle the county's solid waste.
The cost to the county [of handling solid waste] will go down with long-term contracts, said David Babbitt, Bingham County Public Works Director.
There will be no increase to the taxpayer, said Jolley.