Prairie Village City Council gives next trash removal contract to Republic, ending years with Deffenbaugh

Service issues with Deffenbaugh prompted Prairie Village to put the city's waste contract out to bid.
Service issues with Deffenbaugh prompted Prairie Village to put the city’s waste contract out to bid.

The Prairie Village City Council voted Monday to award its next contract for trash disposal to Republic Services, severing its longstanding ties to Deffenbaugh after months of complaints about the service have piled up.

At its Aug. 1 meeting, the council had directed staff to negotiate a waste removal contract with Republic, but also indicated that any of the other companies that had submitted bids were free to approach the city with lower prices.

The meeting packet showed that each of the four bidders had submitted lower revised prices. Waste Management, which owns Deffenbaugh, was still offering the lowest price. Among the revised bids, though, Republic was no longer the second lowest, with a slightly lower bid from Jim’s Disposal Service. A note on the packet said the bids from Jim’s and Republic would equate to essentially the same rate.

Before the vote on the contract, the council retreated into more than 30 minutes of closed session discussion, citing attorney-client privilege. More than a dozen people waited for council members to come back into public session. Upon return, council member Steve Noll moved to award the contract to Republic on its Aug. 1 bid – not the revised prices submitted later.

Without discussion, the council approved the motion with Ted Odell and Serena Schermoly voting against it. Odell said he was concerned about the price increase residents would face and Schermoly said she had concerns about Republic not having equipment or drivers in place to handle the Prairie Village contract. Andrew Wang and Courtney McFadden were not present at the meeting.

Among additional factors listed in the packet were that Republic had agreed to allocate approximately $12,500 per year for community events and that it would use the consumer price index for future costs after 2019 with a cap of 3.25 percent for the remaining eight years.