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Commissioners hear bids for solid waste services
Hall's bid is the most expensive
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The Hall County Board of Commissioners heard an analysis of the bids for the county’s solid waste services contract at its Monday work session.

The county put those services up for bid last spring.

Stephen Egan Jr., senior vice president of The Mercer Group, a consulting firm, and commissioners discussed the report in the public meeting. They didn’t release it publicly because the bid process was still open and under review, Egan said.

The county’s purchasing department opened the bids in May of 2012 and recruited Mercer last summer to study the offers, Egan said. The report is dated Nov. 30.

Services include responsibility for the county’s 13 compactor sites and transporting the collected waste to the landfill for disposal. The county needed an independent party to review the bids because the county is one of the bidders, said Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton.

The request for proposal called for a base bid or an alternative bid, and the private sector bids were alternative.

“The bids were distinctly different,” Egan said during the work session. “The private sector tended to bid on unit cost. The Public Works and Utilities Department gave an annualized cost. So we had a bit of apples and oranges to try to sort out as we went through this.”

The county received six bids, with one from the county’s Solid Waste Division. The firm looked through each bid and asked follow-up questions. Finalists were asked to give presentations because their bids were too complex.

The finalists included Advanced Disposal, Hall County Solid Waste and BFI/Republic Services. The bid amounts ranged from about $3.7 million to about $5.3 million, with the county being the highest bidder, Egan said. The county’s bid would handle all the services in the request for proposal, including picking up dead animals and disposing of Christmas trees.

If the commissioners don’t pick the county bid, there are residual services that the county will still have to do, Egan said. Mercer has not called references yet. The companies have many Georgia customers and are capable of doing the job. The study cost $20,000, Egan said.