PERALTA—The Peralta Town Council voted to enter into negotiation with Universal Waste Systems for solid waste services for the town during last week’s council meeting.
Councilor Leon Otero said he looked at the proposals to determine which vendor would be most beneficial for the town as a whole.
“From what I saw, and because this thing has drawn out for so long, I’m willing to make a motion that we go with the recommendation of the committee,” Otero said.
Councilor Joseph Romero seconded the motion, but said he struggled with the issue.
“One thing that hurts me right now is the sheer number of customers that AC Disposal has earned the trust of in our community. I don’t take that lightly,” Romero said. “This decision for me, at least, doesn’t come easily. Over time, I’ve come to the realization that it is within the best interest of the town to do it.”
Council members Claudio Moya Jr. and Randy Smith recused themselves to avoid a conflict of interest.
“I believe the process for what we utilized — an independent committee of citizens to review the bids and make a recommendation — was a good idea,” Mayor Bryan Olguin said during last week’s meeting.
“It took it out of our hands. It wasn’t a political thing. However, that didn’t go as we all expected it to.”
In December, action on selecting the town’s solid waste provider was halted. During that 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.
Peralta Town Clerk Kori Taylor said they sent out a request for proposal and received response packets from AC Disposal and Universal Waste Systems.
“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 Peralta’s governing council.
Based off the scores, the committee recommended the governing body enter into contract negotiation with Universal Waste Systems, the company that currently services unincorporated Valencia County.
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,” Romero said.
In a phone interview following the meeting, 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.
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 early last year.
Workshops were held to gather public input on what residents would like to see provided from a company.