Yorktown's previous garbage collector CRP Sanitation Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the town of Yorktown and the town's new garbage collector Competition Carting (see the attached to this article pdf files).
Last week, the town was served with the lawsuit, which is asking for the reversal and annulment of the town accepting Competition Carting and Refuse Removal Corp.'s bid for municipal waste hauling and recyclables, according to the lawsuit.
Yorktown town board members voted unanimously on Oct. 23 to accept the $2.49 million bid, which was the lowest out of four bids that were opened on Oct. 1. The second lowest bidder for the job at $2.98 million was Yorktown's previous garbage collector CRP Sanitation Inc. that had been serving the town since 2006.
The town's new garbage collector –Competition Carting – is owned by Yorktown resident Brian Amico, who is expected to begin work on Jan. 1, 2013.
The discussion about whether or not Amico was qualified as a "responsible" bidder and whether he could do the job drew criticism from residents and members of CRP Sanitation Inc., who attended last month's meeting at Town Hall.
The lawsuit now claims Amico was not a "responsible" bidder for not having the finances, the necessary equipment and personnel to manage the contract. Under law, the bidder may not be awarded the contract if town board members find the person is not a "responsible bidder."
"The Town Board failed to make such a determination," the lawsuit reads. "Failing to do so, the Town Board has violated its legal duty, and may expose tens of thousands of Yorktown residents to a serious public health issue."
The lawsuit claims by awarding the bid, town board members acted "arbitrarily, capriciously and in violation of law."
Yorktown Town Board members adopted a "best value" law in June, 2012 to allow for flexibility in awarding bids in the event board members felt the lowest bid didn’t provide the "best value." In addition, town board members changed the language in its bid specifications to allow a chance to companies with no experience or less than 10 years experience to bid on the job.
By switching to another garbage collector, Yorktown is saving about $800,000 – with the difference between the two lowest bidders being $500,000. Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco said last month that the savings would translate to about $70 a year per household.
In a letter to town board members, the town's Environmental Conservation Department Recycling Coordinator Kim Angliss-Gage had expressed concerns that Amico's company would be starting from scratch and would need to get everything in place in 10 weeks. She advised them against awarding the bid to Competition Carting.
"I am not confident that any new firm could put together the necessary fleet and manpower to manage the Town of Yorktown’s residential routes in only a 10-week period. Therefore, my primary concern is if Competition Carting was awarded the contract and failed, how we would provide the service?" Angliss-Gage said in her report as cited in the lawsuit.
During a contentious meeting last month and after town board members going into executive session, they unanimously accepted Amico's bid. They said they could not legally reject the lowest bidder who had met all of the requirements.
"The Town Board wrongfully abdicated its own responsibility to review Competition Carting's qualifications," the lawsuit reads. "Not only is this improper, but it is also against the public's interest, as the people of Yorktown need a qualified company to collect and dispose of their refuse."
A transcript of the meeting is attached to this article as outlined in one of the legal documents, labeled as Exhibit I.
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