BOC considers change to Waste Pro contract for fuel charge

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer is continuing to feel the increases of inflation in many ways. The county itself is also seeing this with increasing prices on bids that were approved before the massive increases. One of these increases comes at what gas stations charge at the pump, which is why Waste Pro says it presented a fuel surcharge addition into the contract for the county.

Originally bid in December 2021, Waste Pro set prices for hauling off dumpsters from convenience centers to begin in January 2022. Today, with continuing rising gas prices, Waste Pro is asking for an additional surcharge based of fuel prices starting from today’s average prices. This means that as gas continues to climb, an additional charge will be put on Gilmer County based on the price increase. That formula, noted in a special called meeting of the Gilmer BOC on June 22, 2022, would be 0.05 percent of every one cent increase in gas prices. It was also noted that this increasing surcharge added on as prices increase would also decrease back to zero as prices return back to the starting point based on today’s average prices.

In negotiations, Chairman Charlie Paris suggested also implementing a decrease on the same charge below the established zero point based on the gas prices. Both parties are still looking into the negotiation and possible inclusion of both concepts of the increasing and decreasing charge that could go below the bid price if gas goes below the average prices. Current understanding is that the surcharge will begin based on today’s average prices, so the county would not be paying the surcharge on how much gas has increased since December’s bid. If the decreasing charge, or discount, is based on December’s or January’s average prices, based on the original contract bid and the start date respectively, then this would establish a wide “zero” level between what average prices were then and what average prices are now where there would be no charge increase or decrease.

Paris did note that he didn’t want a formula based solely on original bid prices as Waste Pro is offering to start the surcharge increases based on today’s prices and he did not want Gilmer County also covering the difference over the last six months.

County Attorney David Clark also weighed in on the topic saying that the county could push to enforce the original bid contract. He noted that the county is being “accommodating” in the understanding of the rising gas prices. He went on to offer his opinion on the item saying, “By building in the fuel surcharge that they are proposing, whatever the base rate is, if it goes up, the county pays. If it goes down from that base rate, by virtue of you all accommodating that, it should be a decrease to the taxpayers. There shouldn’t be a gap between today’s price… and January’s price.”

With no set decision on whether the county would have that wide gap of no increase or decrease or simply base the decrease on today’s prices or earlier prices, and with Waste Pro looking at incorporating some kind of change in their proposal to include a decrease below zero, the item was tabled to be revisited. The Board is expecting to hear another proposal from Waste Pro during it’s July meetings. Post Commissioner Karleen Ferguson did note during the meeting that she has heard good things about Waste Pro’s services. Waste Pro began its service in January after the county began looking for competitive bids after increases with its previous service provider. The county has only had Waste Pro in service beginning this year.

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