PERALTA — Action on Peralta’s solid waste provider search has been halted.

During last week’s town council meeting, the governing body voted to table the action to enter into contract with a solid waste provider due to confusion surrounding the evaluation of the solid waste response packets.

Town clerk Kori Taylor said they sent out a request for proposal on Nov. 7 this year and received response packets, two of which were from AC Disposal and Universal Waste Systems.

Taylor went over the evaluation factors, such as capacity and capability, past performance, fee schedule and consistent standard pricing, recycling options, support for community clean up events and bulk items and pick-ups, value added services and economic development.

Each of these factors were rated using a certain number of points.

“Remember, this is not selecting a provider. It is to pull someone in to go through negotiations of a contract,” Taylor said.

A committee of five people was created to evaluate and score the response packets and make a recommendation to the Peralta governing council.

Based off the scores, the committee recommended the governing body enter into contract negotiation with Universal Waste Systems.

However during the course of the meeting, it was realized that one of the anonymous committee members was late to the presentation of one of the potential providers and could not provide a fair score if they missed some of the information presented to the rest of the committee.

“If we have a score from someone who didn’t sit through the first interview, I would want to understand how he scored both and maybe strike that one and see how that would affect the outcome,” councilor Romero said.

Because the score sheets are anonymous, the council didn’t know definitively which score sheet belonged to the committee member who was late.

Romero, at the suggestion of the town of Peralta’s attorney, moved to table any action on the agenda item until they could identify which committee member was late and strike their score from the total score for both providers.

In a phone interview following the meeting, Mayor Bryan Olguin said they did match the late committee member to their score sheet and when they removed them entirely, it did not change the end result.

“I wish we would’ve had that information there and then at the meeting but it did not change the scoring on the committee. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to the council members to review the scoring.” Mayor Olguin said.

Council members Claudio Moya Jr. and Rancy Smith recused themselves to avoid a conflict of interest.

The council began discussing the possibility of hiring a single trash hauler to minimize damage caused by large trucks to residential streets and attain lower rates for residents earlier this year.

The recently approved solid waste ordinance allows for a non-mandatory exclusive contract with a single company, which allows for residents who wish to dump their own trash the option to do so.

Workshops were held to gather public input on what residents would like to see provided from the company.

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Anna Padilla, News-Bulletin Staff Writer