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County, SWA cannot approve ADS contract
County - LOCAL

County Manager Lloyd Kerr said as county ordinances stand now, neither the Newton County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) nor the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) could vote to go into contract with Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) for curbside pickup because of the clause requiring mandated service in its contact.

Kerr said the county would need to pass an ordinance, which would require public notice and a first and second reading by the board before approval, allowing for mandated services before the contract could even be considered.

Thursday night in the Historic Courthouse of Downtown Covington, after nearly three hours, Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston, who serves as a member of the SWA, encouraged the SWA to officially vote down the ADS contract once and for all. This came after the authority spent time reviewing, editing and approving its proposed intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the BOC, which, if approved by the board, will give the SWA franchise rights over the solid waste in Newton County.

“I’d like to make a motion and put it out there that that contract is nil and void,” Johnston said. “If I can do that.”

Kerr also specified that even after the IGA is approved, the SWA would not be able to approve the contract with ADS as it currently stands because there is not an ordinance allowing for mandated services.

Commissioner Lanier Sims, who serves as a SWA member, said instead of adding the ADS vote to Thursday’s agenda at such a late hour, the authority could take action on it at its next meeting.

“I’m just trying to make it crystal clear that this authority does not have the ability to put the current Advanced contract in action, period. We don’t have the authority,” Johnston said.

“If in a year we determine that we are going to go back at looking at curbside services then we will rebid that process and it will be open to all haulers,” Commissioner Nancy Shultz, who serves as an SWA member, said.

The ADS contract was originally introduced at the first of the year as an effort to keep the Recycling Centers open through June and offer a service after their close. The contract requires mandated curbside pickup throughout the entire county through ADS.