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Thursday, Nov 21 2013 11:07 PM

Golden Hills board awards trash contract to Bakersfield firm

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A near-capacity crowd showed up for the Thursday, Nov. 21, Golden Hills Community Service District Board meeting to learn the results of the district's much-debated RFP process in order to find an alternate trash hauler. The board approved an agreement with Bakersfield-based, J Torres Company.

Mike Ferola, program manager for J. Torres Company Inc. address questions asked by attendees of the Golden Hills Community Service District's board meeting Thursday, Nov. 21, in the GHCSD board room. The GHCSD approved a resolution to enter an agreement with the J. Torres Company to provide an alternate trash collection service within the service district. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

J. Torres Co., Inc., a Bakersfield firm, has been awarded a contract for trash collection by the Board of Directors of the Golden Hills Community Services District.

The action came during a meeting of the board on Thursday night, Nov. 21, following a presentation by HF&H Consultants of Walnut Grove. The Bay Area firm was engaged by the district at a fee expected to be around $100,000 to conduct the request for proposals process after Golden Hills in June let Benz Sanitation of Tehachapi know it was asserting its power to contract for waste management services.

The contract, technically a memorandum of understanding, is contingent upon a favorable ruling by the Kern County Local Agency Formation Commission.

Benz has a contract with Kern County to provide trash collection in the area and Golden Hills directors indicated they believed the could get a lower rate for residents.

According to information presented by HF&H, Golden Hills customers currently pay $24.26 per month; J. Torres offered to handle trash collection for $19.43 per month while Waste Management, Inc., put in a bid for collection at the rate of $23 per month.

The agreement with J. Torres will include paying a 5 percent franchise fee to Golden Hills; the district had hoped to get 10 percent. The company will also be expected to reimburse the district for $100,000 in expense to develop the contract and RFP process.

Benz did not bid on the Golden Hills contract and has challenged the district's right to take over from the county. LAFCo has scheduled a hearing on the matter for Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. in Bakersfield.

A recall effort against the five Golden Hills directors is also underway.

Additional coverage will be provided in Tuesday's Tehachapi News.

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