City officials and Clydebased FSI Disposal president Duke Fultz negotiated a preliminary five-year deal, calling for his company to oversee recycling operations at First Street near Cedar Point and Marquette Street by Lions Park.
The proposal calls for leaving both centers open while scrapping all public responsibility to fund them.
Fultz vowed to fund the pair of recycling centers along with cleaning and emptying each bin at least once a week.
He asked city commissioners to cover a one-time expense of about $25,000 to purchase a dozen bins, six at each site. Fultz, who provides a similar service for Margaretta Township, said he won’t ask the city for any more money. Rather, he wants his volume-driven company to process as many products from recycling as possible so he can increase his profits.
“I want the material, and as long as you can put the equipment in, I can justify coming in and grabbing it at your existing sites,” Fultz told commissioners.
Since January, when three new commissioners entered office, officials have tirelessly searched for ways to save costs in dealing with an ongoing budget crisis.
A $1.1 million shortfall threatens to severely reduce public services. By late March, officials must balance the city’s $16.3 million everyday operating 2014 budget, which includes at least four layoffs in the fire department.
Among the cost-cutting measures: city officials ridding themselves of spending more money on recycling. City taxpayers have collectively fronted about $131,000 in 2012 and 2013 to fund both recycling centers.
Projections this year call for city residents to spend at least $65,000 on the bins. Officials considered removing the recycling bins altogether, but state law requires public entities to provide ample opportunities for people to recycle. The recycling center satisfies this requirement.
About a month ago, city officials asked several haulers at a public meeting to submit bid proposals in hopes one of them could supervise the recycling centers and make them a break-even venture for Sandusky.
To public knowledge, only FSI Disposal representatives submitted an offer.
And the company’s proposal greatly benefits Sandusky.
“As part-time legislators, we don’t have a clue how to solve our recycling problems,” commissioner Dick Brady said. “Who doesn’t think this is a great deal? One person stepped up to the plate and offered a solution. This is worth listening to and certainly worth taking action”
It’s not known when commissioners could ink an official deal with FSI Disposal.
After a contract is signed, Fultz said it would take about a month for the new bins to come in. After then, he would begin servicing both centers.