After a tie vote on Monday, the El Campo City Council declined to remove an exclusivity provision in their new contract with Texas Disposal Systems.
The board was split over whether or not to give TDS exclusive rights to roll-off containers or allow an open competition among businesses in El Campo.
“The biggest issue here is that we already voted and went with this contract with the exclusivity provision included in it,” Harris said. “TDS put up a lot of money to ensure us if they aren’t doing their job properly we can fine them. We need to honor this contract the way it is.”
Mayor Chris Barbee joined both council members Anisa Longoria Vasquez and Gloria Harris to not eliminate exclusivity while Eugene Bustamante, John Hancock and Philip Miller voted to remove it.
Council member David Hodges was not present during the meeting and did not vote on the agenda item.
The biggest issue among council members is regulating roll-offs and ensuring no one can take advantage of the system.
“If we are going to have this open up to businesses, I request we have staff come up with an ordinance that is in place with clear guidelines for these companies,” Vasquez said. “From our last meeting, it did not sound like that was happening at all. Guidelines need to be enforced, bottom line.”
The existing fee structure for nonexclusive franchise temporary roll-offs includes a $500 annual registration fee, a cost of $25 per roll-off fee and 8 percent of the gross.
“It’s going to take some controls in order for the non-exclusivity to work,” Assistant City Manager Rene Garcia said. “We are going to have a hard time validating if we are receiving the right revenue if we don’t really know what that contractor is charging.”
TDS was willing to modify the contract to lift exclusivity if the city agreed to remove a 20 cent discount they offered as part of it’s incentive.
“As the sole service provider, TDS’ services will be fully transparent and integral to the city’s utility billing,” TDS said in a statement. “This is as an inherent check and balance, ensuring that customer billing reconciles with TDS service records.”
The discount saves the city more than $800 a month once it officially starts next month.
“It’s not that they can’t do roll-offs themselves. We would just be allowing other companies to be hired,” Miller said. “I think this is something that is beneficial because these people are actually located in El Campo. I think it will benefit everybody either way.
After the discussion, the City Council voted and became deadlocked. This non-decision automatically causes the agenda item to fail.
TDS and El Campo will not modify existing contracts, and no further action is necessary to move forward.