Port Alberni city councillors voted three to two in favour of purchasing two new automatic-arm garbage trucks at a cost of $560,000.
Mayor Ken McRae, councillors John Douglas, and Kenn Whiteman voted in favour of the initiative
Couns. Hira Chopra and Jack Mcleman voted against the move.
Coun. Cindy Solda was absent from the Monday afternoon meeting.
Rollins Machinery Ltd. of Langley won the bid to build the trucks.
The initiative is being underwritten with money from the equipment replacement fund.
Delivery is expected in September.
More than 6,300 new bear-resistant auto-load specific garbage cans will be supplied to customers at a cost of $473,000 after the trucks go into service.
The company has deployed 30 such trucks around B.C. including to the municipalities of Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam.
Couns. Chopra and McLeman expressed concerns that not enough information was provided, that the project moved too quickly and that further study was needed.
“Are we saving money, providing better service – we don’t know yet,” Chopra said to city engineer Guy Cicon..
“You need to satisfy the public and me – is this worthwhile?”
City manager Ken Watson reminded council that they approved pursing the project “as quickly as possible” in February.
The plan was to have the trucks in operation by 2012 or by fall of 2011.
The matter came up at council again because of the amount of money involved and because the tender isn’t being awarded to the lowest bidder, Watson said.
Mayor Ken McRae asked Cicon whether communities that employ the automatic-arm trucks collect garbage on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Most of the municipalities collect garbage on a bi-weekly basis but collect kitchen and yard waste weekly, Cicon said.
The city is “…moving in that direction,” he added.
Read companion story here.