Niceville is one step closer to keeping the same trash hauler it has used since 1993 after a unanimous vote by the city council to move forward with a new five-year agreement. If the ordinance is approved again on its second reading – the contract will be signed, sealed and delivered for the company.
The world’s biggest trash hauling company, now known as WM will share an option to renew the contract for another five years in 2027 – should a deal go through before October.
City Clerk Dan Doucet spoke glowingly about the company as he read from a memo that outlined his recommendation that the city keep the trash company as the exclusive provider of residential trash hauling services for the city.
Councilman Nodjomnian also took the opportunity to lay out some facts about the agreement to which the city would be signing – should the deal go through on the second and final reading.
“A lot of anecdotal evidence about the service we’ve historically gotten from Waste Management [was laid out by City Clerk Dan Doucet],” Nodjimian noted. “There’s 21 communities – cities and counties within our geographic region that are laid out here [including] DeFuniak Springs, Mary Esther, Cinco Bayou and so forth. And of the 21, the city [of Niceville] is the second-lowest on the list. The only one that is lower is Defuniak Springs, and they do not have recycling included in their bill. So, when you are out there talking amongst yourselves going, ‘hey, why are they [not] putting this out on the street,’ things like that – you need to have all of our information. And we have extraordinarily competitive rates right now.”
Inflation has crept into every facet of American life – and trash pickup has not been spared the devaluing of the dollar. As a part of the contract – the CPI-Urban, or consumer price index – Urban, would no longer be used as the rate at which the cost for WM’s service goes up or down. Currently, that number, according to Waste Management, is somewhere more than 6% for 2022. Instead, the contract between Niceville and WM would switch over to the WSD (water, sewer and trash number for inflation). This number is about 3% – instead of 6%. This should lead to lower-than-expected increases for Niceville customers, according to recent data.
City Councilman Williams asked about the call center locations for Niceville WM customers who have an issue with their service. He had received some information that complaints about service had been routed elsewhere.
Doug Rainer, with WM, told the council that there was still a local center in Okaloosa County which handled the vast majority of calls for service issues in Niceville. He mentioned that in cases of high call volume, disasters or time of day calls might roll over to a larger call center in Tupelo, Mississippi.
City Clerk Dan Doucet, mentioned earlier in the discussion that “The call center is very responsive to our inquiries,” and that issues were “taken care of the same day or the next day.”
The deal for Waste Management to continue service is not complete. The council will have to vote on a second reading at a future council meeting to pass an ordinance which will give WM another five-year term on their contract in Niceville.
The current proposed contract includes a five year extension – which would keep Waste Management as the provider for the city until 2032.
The current deal between the city and the trash hauler expires on Halloween, 2022.