JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba hosted a Town Hall on Thursday night to discuss the contracting process for a garbage collecting company.
The current emergency contract with Waste Management is set to expire in April 2022, and city leaders will have to negotiate another agreement in the upcoming months.
As of now, the request for proposal was submitted on October 1, and bids will soon come in. Garbage collection companies have until November 23 to make their proposal then comes the evaluation before the winning bid is presented to the city council in January. The mayor said regardless of whichever company wins the bid, the people of Jackson will see an increase in their bill.
“Increase over our solid waste cost on your bill, this is in large part unavoidable,” said Lumumba.
When it comes to the cost of waste removal and sanitation in the City of Jackson, the price has been the same for over a decade.
“So, 2008 was the last time that we had an increase. And from talking to experts who have come in and helped us evaluate our situation, that is not typical,” said City Attorney Torri Martin.
According to city officials, not increasing the cost is hurting the city’s budget along with the Department of Public Works.
“I went from a staff of 42 to a staff of 17. We will not be able to provide you all with the services that you need in the City of Jackson. We cannot continue our free roll-offing services. We cannot have our community cleanup projects. We cannot do litter pick up. We cannot do illegal dumping pick up,” said Solid Waste manager Lakesha Weathers.
The people of Jackson will see the increase in their water billing.
“If you chose not to pay your solid waste, we can’t cut off that service from you, so that is why there is typically between water billing and city solid waste cost,” said the mayor.
“The goal is for an average family of four to be looking at $100 or less for water, sewer, and sanitation combined,” said Martin.
The mayor plans to continue hosting town halls in other parts of the city.