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Supervisors willing to pay for transfer station answers

Faced with continued projections of flat or declining tax revenue, Nevada County supervisors decided it’s worth paying $92,000 to see whether they can outsource management of the western county’s garbage transfer station.

Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to add $92,000 on top of an existing $25,000 contract with consulting firm Eisenhardt Group Inc. of San Francisco to handle the bidding process and make recommendations to outsource the McCourtney Road Transfer Station.

“We need the expertise of Eisenhardt Group,” said District 5 Supervisor Ted Owens. “Even if we don’t make this move, this contract will come in handy.”



“It’s worth asking the question, even if we don’t end up contracting,” said Board Chairman and District 1 Supervisor Nate Beason.

Some residents are worried about losing county jobs to a private firm and fee hikes at the transfer station, Supervisor John Spencer said.




“Citizens are rightfully concerned about the rates out there at the landfill,” Spencer said; they assume a private firm would increase them.

“We think we might be able to lower the rates for the public” by contracting the facility’s management, Beason said.

The public will be able to ask questions about what outsourcing might do to rates and offer comments at two open meetings.

“We’ll answer questions similar to what we did with the library,” said county Chief Financial Officer Joe Christoffel.

The first meeting will be at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at the Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City. The second will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 4, at the Banner Grange Meeting Hall, 12629 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley.

The county already contracts with Waste Management Inc. for the hauling of garbage and recyclables to the site and has another contract with Recology to dispose of garbage in a Butte County landfill. The county deals with the recyclables and the every-day management of the facility.

As tax revenues crashed with the economy the last two years, the county began considering outsourcing services to save money. Officials already are negotiating with Sammie’s Friends to run the animal shelter, but supervisors voted Tuesday against outsourcing management of the library system after several months of community outcry to keep it public (see story on Page A1).

If the board accepts a private proposal, the winning bidder would be required to pay a procurement fee of up to $100,000, paying back a large amount of the Eisenhardt contract which is now up to $117,000.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4237.


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