SOUTH WHITLEY – A conflict of interest made choosing a trash contractor “really tough.”
“This is a tough decision,” said Council President Tony Starkey. “These guys are both friends of mine.” Starkey was referring to town council member Steve Smith and his associate with Whitley Environmental.
Smith removed himself from all discussion as well as the final vote on trash collection bids due to his personal tie with one of the companies vying for the right to collect South Whitley’s trash.
The bids came down to two contractors — Whitley Environmental and Veolia Environmental Services.
“Veolia is who we are working with now and they have always done a good job for us,” said Council member Bill Boggs.
The matter of trash containers and price became the deciding factor. While Whitley Environmental offered a lower price, for an additional $2,500, Veolia’s bid included trash containers.
“The containers will add some uniformity and it will be good for the town,” Boggs said.
Whitley Environmental reminded the council that should they get the chance to service South Whitley, the council would be supporting a Whitley County business.
But Veolia representatives spoke up and shared that their company would be open to supporting Whitley County by way of fuel purchases, employees, etc.
“No doubt there are pros and cons either way we go,” said Starkey. “But I think giving the town containers would be best.”
On that remark, Boggs made a motion to accept the Veolia contract. Starkey and Boggs voted in favor of the contract with Smith abstaining.