BB recycling contract approved

Bradenton Beach commissioners recently signed off on a five-year contract for Waste Pro to collect recyclables.

The commission unanimously approved the contract during its regular meeting March 17, allowing the Waste Pro service to begin April 7.

Later this month, the commission will discuss contracting with a company for solid waste collection.

Currently, the city’s public works department collects recyclables, yard waste and garbage. Commissioners and Mayor Bob Bartelt began exploring the dissolution of the city sanitation service last year, with the goal of cutting maintenance and equipment costs.

The recycling contract gives Waste Pro exclusive rights to haul recyclables from residences to a processing center in Sarasota. Florida law prohibits cities from extending exclusive rights for commercial collection, although Waste Pro officials said they hoped to secure a number of commercial customers in the city.

Contract terms include a city franchise fee of 12 percent of gross revenue and a 50/50 split on the sale of recyclables, minus the cost of removing and disposing of residual garbage — unrecyclable material that gets mixed in with the collection, such as plastic shopping bags and certain paper products.

Collection rates are $3.07 per month per residence and $15 per month for businesses that use a 96-gallon cart.

Waste Pro officials plan to provide the city with a monthly report on their collections, which commissioners said could help them track any increases or decreases in recycling.

The Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008 signed into law by former Gov. Charlie Crist created established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by the year 2020. So the state Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging municipalities to implement programs to promote recycling.

For now, the city clerk’s office will bill recycling customers.

In other business last week, the commission:

• Approved payment of a $5,375 invoice from M.T. Causley for building department services in February; a $6,500 invoice from LTA Engineering for work on four new trolley shelters.

• Held the first reading of an ordinance adjusting the city’s candidate qualifying period to coincide with the county period. A second and final reading was scheduled for April 7.

• Tentatively authorized the removal of a tree on the southwest corner of Avenue C and 23rd Street North, which will cost $990.

The tree, a Cuban laurel, is hollow and rotted, according to C.S. Lawn Inc. consultant Casey Shoots, who recommended removing the tree and stump and grounding out the roots.

The commission authorized the removal pending a review for any nests and wildlife inhabitants. Later in the week, Commissioner Ed Straight, who lives in the area and runs a wildlife rehab center, reported that the tree is inhabited.

• Discussed a possible dunes construction project in the 100 block of Gulf Drive North and across the street from city hall. The issue will be presented at a community redevelopment agency meeting, probably in April.

Engineer and city consultant Lynn Townsend said the city owns some of the beach property and the BeachHouse Restaurant owns a large stretch of property.

Townsend said the city’s cost would involve dunes construction and work on its parcel, which is about 50 feet wide, but the BeachHouse ownership would handle the other costs.

• Discussed a lien on an undeveloped property in the 2500 block of Gulf Drive North. The city lien is the result of an ongoing code-enforcement fine at the site, which has been tangled up in a bankruptcy proceeding and is now owned by the FDIC.

• Heard from an Island businesswoman about a plan to set a world record for the longest conga line. The hope is to hold an event in April in Bradenton Beach, Susanne Arbanas told commissioners during the public comment period.

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