City of Cape Coral decides how to move forward with Waste Pro fines
CAPE CORAL, Fla.– The city of Cape Coral will be looking at having flexibility when it comes to negotiating Waste Pro’s administrative charges.
At a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting Wednesday, updates were brought before the city council on Waste Pro’s progress. No decision could be voted on, but the council discussed how to move forward with fines as well.
So far, the company has hired at least 15 new drivers.
Waste Pro Division Manager Bill Jones said Tuesday’s job fair was the most successful they’ve had in three months.
Out of 55 people who applied, four very qualified applicants were offered jobs on the spot and eight or nine others will get second interviews.
All three bulk subcontractors the company has been using are still in place for the time being to help with pickups, although Waste Pro is no longer using City Public Works employees to help with yard waste pickups.
The city’s 311 call center also said they have been getting significantly fewer complaints the past few days about missing pickups than they had been getting in April and the beginning of this month.
Some people said they’re noticing the improvement in their neighborhoods too.
“Waste Pro has been doing a better job,” said Mark Herron. “It was looking pretty junky around here.”
Cape City Manager Rob Hernandez said he thought Waste Pro had made “good faith efforts” to improve service.
The fines stand at more than $1.6 million total right now. Without negotiation or flexibility, Jones said those fines would make it harder to hire more people, do business, and overall improve.
Some council members were unsure of the precedent it would set with other city vendors if they were to waive some of the fines Waste Pro has incurred for causing disruption to residents’ trash collection. Others wanted to show Waste Pro some mercy and claimed it had been a good business partner to the city before.
Mayor John Gunter also brought up the idea of looking at a six-month process where they deduct the fines over that period instead of one specific month at a time, to be able to provide some cash flow to Waste Pro in monthly invoices.
Council agreed to allow the City Manager some flexibility in negotiating administrative charges, although specifics will have to be brought back to Council at a regular meeting for a vote.
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