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Delray officials consider hiring second consultant to prepare garbage bid contract

Hiring one outside firm to prepare the invitations for vendors bidding for a garbage pick-up contract with Delray may not be enough oversight to satisfy city officials.

Delray City Attorney Noel Pfeffer wants commissioners to hire a solid waste expert to finalize the bid — on top of the consulting firm the city brought on in May. That could cost the city an extra $25,000 and prolong a saga that's been going on for two years.

But Pfeffer says the extra help is needed.

"I saw the existing draft," he said of the bid proposal, which was slated go out on July 18. "I think it needs to be further refined and clarified."

After winning its legal battle against Waste Management, which allows the city to send its garbage pick-up contract out to bid for the first time in a decade, Delray commissioners hired RCG Consulting Inc. to create the bid packet and contract.

But after reviewing the 11th version of the proposed bid, Delray's legal team decided the draft needs more revisions before it is ready to be distributed to interested trash haulers.

Pfeffer and other city officials recommend commissioners bring David Dee on board to help finish the job. Dee is an attorney and expert in solid waste based out of Tallahassee.

He was in the mix of potential consultants to hire when commissioners decided to use outside help.

Dee charges cities $250 an hour for his services. Officials say they don't expect the city to pay more than $25,000 to hire Dee.

He has provided consultation services to cities including Coral Springs, Hialeah and Sunrise. He also serves as outside counsel for the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.

"The current consultant was very strong on solid waste operations," Pfeffer said. "Mr. Dee has a lot of experience. I think he can take the existing product and put it in a form where it will be much more understandable. I think it will be an improved product."

RCG Consulting representatives met with commissioners on June 17 and provided their timeline for choosing the city's next trash hauler.

The invitation to bid was slated to go out to interested vendors on July 18. The group also said they planned on bringing recommendations to commissioners in August and signing a contract with a trash company on September.

That whole timetable will now be pushed back.

While commissioners search for a garbage pick-up provider that will accommodate the city's needs for an affordable price to the residents, Waste Management, the current vendor, has continued picking up the trash.

The interim contract the city has with Waste Management expires on Oct. 31. Commissioners do have an option to award another temporary contract to the company if the city still requires the service on a monthly basis for three months, so there isn't a lull in services.

mgottesman@tribune.com, 561-243-6544 or Twitter @marisagottesman

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