continued “You’re not putting this thing on eBay,” she said. “You have to ask, ‘Are you getting what it’s worth?’”
Of the six different landfill bids, five of them had proposed to bring the town $100 million over a 25-year time period, with varying upfront payments. Waste Connections came in the highest with $23 million. Cunningham said those six proposals gave the town an idea of what the landfill was worth.
Sheehan also criticized the town for transferring employees from the landfill to positions created within the town. Sheehan said the move forces taxpayers to pay the salaries of 21 new employees. One of the other landfill bidders, Interstate Waste Services, had proposed in its operating agreement that it would help in transitioning employees at the landfill into its company. Sheehan said it is something the town neglected to put on the negotiating table with Waste Connections.
“I used to do real estate appraising,” he said. “The one thing you learn is you have the value set when you have a willing seller and a willing buyer. You can say something is worth $600 million, but no one is ever going to give us $600 million.”
Cunningham said that situation would not be ideal for a private company because many of the town’s employees are unionized and came in through civil service. He said the other proposals were not nearly as lucrative as Waste Connections was and that it fit into the community much better.
He also added that the town had been preparing for this situation for quite some time.
“When positions opened up, we weren’t filling those positions,” he said. “It made a zero sum transfer out. There will be no need for additional revenue raisers to be built into the budget.”
The town will also be reducing the amount of private contracting in departments for tasks such as snowplowing and some operations at the Sewer Department. All of these tasks will be done in house, ultimately saving the town more money, Cunningham said.