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Village Of Panama To Extend Garbage Contract With Casella Waste For Year

A representative from Casella Waste visited the most recent Panama village board meeting to talk about extending the garbage pickup contract for a year. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

PANAMA — The village of Panama recently voted to extend its garbage contract with Casella Waste for another year, following a representative for the company attending the most recent board meeting to discuss containers with the board.

Casella is currently working on getting all of the municipalities they serve switched over to their own bins that the company provides to customers. The representative said the bins help with problems such as rodents and crows, and also addresses safety concerns for truck drivers, specifically with concerns about fatalities that come from distracted drivers going by the trucks. The bins will allow for trucks to move to being automated and drivers will not need to get out to pick up the garbage.

All customers would get both trash and recycling bins, with no change to the rates. The bins are 96 gallons and Casella will still take all garbage that is put out. The new bins will not cost the village any more for their pick up, and the only thing Casella asked of the village was to extend the contract with them for a year.

Mayor William Schneider said he could see why distracted driving would be a concern for truck drivers in the industry, including in the Panama area.

“In that industry, and with the accident the other day over on Watts-Flats Road, yeah distracted drivers and people come flying over our hills in rural areas and stuff, I could see where it is a concern for people getting out of the truck,” Schneider said. “We’re lucky that we don’t have a lot of that open road business, but I could see coming over the hill into town, if he was parked right there and a car came flying by at 50 or 60 miles an hour.”

If the village was to extend the contract, there would be no need to put it out to bid in July like normal. The board was approached at the May meeting from a different garbage company interested in taking over pickup, and they discussed at the June meeting that changing the time frame for pickup as the other company asked to do was not something they were excited about.

“If cost wise that made sense then we’d have to deal with it, but I feel like, if Casellas is willing to stay the same and supply the bins … I feel like everybody has a dog in Panama and I worry about the dogs making a ruckus in the middle of the night,” Village Trustee Kim Davis said.

The board agreed that as long as Casellas keeps the rate the same and provides the bins, as the representative said they would, then extending the contract for a year was not a problem. Once the year is up, they could talk about taking it back to bids again next time. The board voted and approved to extend the Casellas contract for a year.

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