BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The question of whether Waste Mangement, Inc. will continue as Belleair Bluff's trash pickup company is still up in the air, but indications are that the company which has had a long-term relationship with the city will continue.
With a contract renewal coming up last spring, another company, Waste Services, came into the picture and the City Commission has yet to make a decision.
At Monday night's commission meeting, Commissioner Troy Krotz, who was charged with looking into the question, reported to Mayor Chris Arbutine and his colleagues that his committee's findings showed that 80 percent of the residents were happy with Waste Management.
No final decision was made, though, because Commissioner Bret Nelson was absent, and members wanted everyone there for a discussion.
Waste Management has been picking up trash in the city for 20 years. Waste Services promised extra service and a lower price.
The issue came close to resolution back in April when a 2-2 vote on keeping Waste Management or changing kept the status quo.
But because Commissioner Bob Russo was absent Commissioner Dave Shimkus insisted at a subsequent meeting that the subject be kept open.
In May, Arbutine appointed a committee to look into the question and Krotz reported those results Monday night.
At the time he created the committee, Arbutine seemed confident of the outcome. He said that to his knowledge there had been no indication from residents showing dissatisfaction with Waste Management.
At that time he pointed out that the idea of change "seems to be a commission generated idea" from three people who live on the same street.
He did not name them, but Krotz, Russo and Shimkus all live on Southwind Drive. All have indicated they want a change and favor Waste Services but given Krotz's report will undoubtedly bow to the will of the people.
On the commission headed by Krotz were citizens Al Simpson, Paul Kuykendahl, Joe Barkley, Wally Witham, and Robert David, the city's public works boss, and Debra Sullivan, the city clerk.
Waste Services has offered a price to each household in the city of $13.49 a month, $2.16 lower than Waste Management's price. The company also has said there will be unlimited bulk pickups.
Also okayed Monday night was a special master to enforce code violations stemming from a code that was developed by Tom Trask, the city's lawyer and approved by the commission.
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