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Local

Batavia looking for better deal on brush pickup program

BATAVIA – Aldermen at Tuesday’s Joint Committee of the Whole meeting recommended that Batavia city staff elicit new bids for the city’s brush collection program because of increased costs with the current provider.

Since 2006, Batavia’s street division has contracted with West Chicago-based Kramer Tree Specialists for the city brush collection program. Earlier this year, Kramer Tree Specialists informed the city that the contract amount did not cover their actual labor and equipment expenses.

“They honored their 2013 contract price with the knowledge that they would be providing the program at a loss,” Batavia Street Superintendent Scott Haines told aldermen.

The cost of the contract in 2006 was $84,000 and the current contract is $94,325.

“Kramer has provided staff with a new proposal for the next five years that will significantly increase the cost of the program,” Haines said. “This proposal more than doubles the current cost of the program by the second year.”

As proposed, Kramer’s contract with the city would increase to $163,016 next year and to $203,770 in 2015. The program’s cost would continue to increase every year until 2018, when it would cost $242,039.

To cover the additional cost of the program, the city’s 2014 budget proposes a 75 cent increase in the monthly fee for the city’s leaf and brush program. The city in 2010 starting charging a $3 monthly leaf/brush fee on residents’ utility bills to dispose of their leaves.

Sixth Ward Alderman Lisa Clark said she first wanted to see if the city could get a better price from another company before raising the fee.

Seventh Ward Alderman Dave Brown agreed.

“The citizens deserve for us to go out to bid on it,” he said.

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