Council Memo

Council Discussion of Solid Waste Delivery Study.




  1. Printout

Document Comments

Recommended Action: Discussion and possible direction for staff to perform a solid waste services delivery study.


Item Summary


Councilmembers Goode and Scholl would like to discuss whether or not council is interested in conducting a solid waste service analysis.


Meeting History

Jan 22, 2019 3:00 PM  City Council Voting Meeting
draft Draft

City Manager Michael Lamar introduced the presentation in follow up to requests from Councilman Goode and Councilwoman Scholl for an open discussion regarding possible feasibility to have a solid waste delivery analysis, and deferred to Councilman Goode for further discussion.

Councilman Goode commented that his concern was for escalating fees in solid waste service and that revenue going to the very aged trucks and fleet which need to be replaced and updated. There will be substantial capital to get a modern fleet and this would be the time if ever to look it if private trash would be more feasible for accomplishing those goals. We do have great service, however, it is good to take a look at it.

Councilman Blair said he is not opposed to doing a legitimate study but what is the cost of that and does it justify having the private sector take over those services. He discussed the two previous studies, both of which showed that it was less cost effective to privatize.

Councilman Sischka concurred that he does not have issue with looking into this. He inquired what the contract is with regard to Waste Management for the landfill.

City Attorney Jon Paladini said that he would need to look into it further, but that tipping fees would have to be included in the study to review all aspects of service delivery models.

Mayor Pro Tem Orr stated that we looked at this approximately three years ago, and asked if we had any kind of report for that.

Public Works Director Craig Dotseth showed the results as part of the previous study as well as the residential rates of other cities. He also showed that fees in Prescott are lower than the local municipalities, and the additional services that the city of Prescott provides related to household hazardous waste.

The following are included in Prescott fees:

*Annual Bulk Cleanup

*Christmas Tree Pickup

*Brush Month

*Downtown Cleanup

*Neighborhood Cleanup

*Prescott Creeks Cleanup

*Recycle Center

Mayor Mengarelli said that when doing a study, these items need to be considered when factoring in costs.

Councilman Goode commented that he feels the question is what can be done, what services could potentially be outsourced and stated that he feels now would be the time to look into it and do a study. In 2021 Prescott would be the highest on the graph.

Councilman Sischka stated that just going private doesn't guarantee that it would cost the city less, the private industry also has to maintain vehicles. But, it may be worth it to take a look at it.

Mayor Mengarelli asked if there is an estimate or idea of what the costs would be.

Mr. Lamar said these analysis are done fairly frequently, he does not have a cost at this time but could bring that back to Council at a later time.

Councilwoman Scholl said she would like to see an analysis, there is a significant capital investment in our solid waste department and if we chose to outsource it that would have an impact which would also need to be looked at and included in the analysis.

Mayor Mengarelli said there is a lot of infrastructure that is already owned by the city that needs to be considered.

Mr. Lamar agreed that it becomes a much more complex situation to change the model regarding solid waste and will have to rely on a third party to do the analysis in order to ensure everything is covered.

Mayor Pro Tem Orr said Prescott has a very high level of service and wants to ensure that it stays that way which could be difficult. She is not opposed to looking into this, but cautions losing that.

Councilman Lamerson echoed Mayor Pro Tem Orr's comments regarding the level of service the city provides, but also that it's important to look at everything in a comprehensive way.

Councilwoman Scholl commented that another thing to think about is how this would potentially impact the morale of the city employees and how we appreciate their level of customer service.

Councilman Sischka commented that it is important to compare ourselves to cities that are equally aged in their infrastructure, and look at what we have in place currently.

Mayor Mengarelli discussed serving on the Prescott Unified School District Board and how they privatized some services which impacted relationships with staff and that is something intangible to consider.

Councilman Lamerson asked for the possibility of a cost-benefit analysis of the services we offer.

Councilman Blair commented that his issue is if we privative you have to go to the company to get things done and that can impact quality of life. If isn't broke, just leave it alone.

Councilwoman Scholl discussed the other in-kind services that the solid waste department provides with special events and the like, her concern is that if we went with a private company we would not get that level of service.

Mayor Pro Tem Orr echoed the comments of not fixing something that isn't broken. There are so many other things to do, why would we create another issue with it.

Councilman Goode said now is the time to look at this legitimately, and other than comparing rates to other cities this has not been done.

Mr. Lamar confirmed that an RFP has never been done to get costs for outsourcing and an extensive third party analysis has not been done.

Finance Director Mark Woodfill confirmed that fact, but that it has been discussed extensively at a staff level.

Motion by Sischka, seconded by Blair to not do the study. Passed 6-1, Goode dissented.

MOVER:Steve Sischka, Councilman
SECONDER:Steve Blair, Councilman
AYES:Greg Mengarelli, Billie Orr, Steve Blair, Jim Lamerson, Alexa Scholl, Steve Sischka
NAYS:Phil Goode