MASON CITY – As part of City Hall’s quest to implement “managed competition” for city services, the Mason City Council recently directed City staff to solicit bids from private companies to replace the current services provided by its own sanitation department.
The bids were due this week, and sources have told NIT that only one bid was submitted.
“I found out that (company name withheld) under bid the city of Mason City Sanitation Dept. with a bid of $8.80/month per household and yard waste pick-up is included in this fee,” our source revealed.
The source also indicated that this company, whose name NIT is withholding at this time pending verification of the bid, provides waste pick up in some neighboring communities and the monthly rate is significantly higher.
At the work session where City staff was directed to request bids, the City Council indicated a 10% monthly cost reduction from the current fee of $9.60 as one of its thresholds to consider dismantling the sanitation department in favor of a private company.
If the information submitted to NIT from our source is correct, the $8.80 monthly fee bid would not meet this 10% cost reduction requirement, which would be $8.64.
Another source who called our office on Friday had this advice for City Hall: “The next target for managed competition should be the City Administrator. Sure, he might be doing a fine job, but maybe it can be done better and for less than $144,000.”