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Keystone Waste Hauling Out in Douglass Township
Written by Sergei Blair, Correspondent

Officials open bids for new rash hauling contract


            After awarding a 3-year trash hauling contract to the Pottstown-based Keystone Disposal LLC last January, Douglass Township officials soon became overwhelmed with phone calls and complaints from residents about its poor service.

            Following repeated warnings and no change in its practices, officials were forced to place the disposal service on a month-to-month contract. And last month, they finally put the company out to the curb.

            Now the township is shopping for a new waste company by opening bids. About 10 companies picked up bid packages but only 5 submitted them for consideration in time for last Friday's deadline.

            "For me personally, [we're] looking for quality of service for now," township recycling and waste coordinator Andrew Duncan, said. "The level of service we were receiving is what we're looking to fix right now."

            During Monday's board of supervisors meeting, Duncan revealed the five submittals that officials are now busy mulling over: Advance Disposal with the lowest bid at $530,649.00; Whitetail Disposal at $532,450.00; Waste Management at $589,872.00; A.J. Blosenski at $603,506.00, and J.P. Mascaro at $923,952.00. The winning business will be awarded a 22-month contract that will run from March 2018 through January 2020.

            The initial contract will be on a month-to-month process. Duncan said that the township plans to award that contract during the board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday, February 20.

            Currently, Whitetail Disposal serves as an intermit hauler as township officials review the submitted proposals. "We met with Whitetail general manager and analyzed its ability to to pick up trash so that there's no interruption in the service to the Douglass Township residents," Chairman Tony Kuklinski said. "We independently verified that they were able to so that and they've in fact been able to do that."

            The board members may be going an extra step these days to make sure they get what they're paying for, but it was a lot different story just a year ago.

            Last January, the board of supervisors, in a unanimous vote, awarded the Keystone Disposal the contract at a cost of $278,333 per year despite a public record of its unsatisfactory business practices and rating of F from the Better Business Bureau. However, they did receive two positive letters of recommendation from officials in neighboring municipalities where the company also operated.

            A further look into the company's leadership revealed that former Douglass Township solicitor, Paul Bauer and his then-business partner, Shawn Watson founded the company in 2014 with its physical address now listed in Skippack, Pa.

            The Town and Country attempted to reach out several times to company officials through calls and emails seeking a comment but was unable to receive any response as of press time. In fact, the two numbers listed on the company's website and Facebook page are no longer active.

            Robert Brant, the township solicitor, specified that Bauer was out from his position for almost a year before the township decided to grant the waste disposal company the 3-year contract. Bauer's two-year stint as solicitor ended in April 2017 after he abruptly submitted a letter of resignation.

            Brant reported that board members held an executive session prior to Monday's public meeting where they discussed personnel and litigation matters. After a resident pressed further on the discussion of litigation, Brant did not go into details but said that it was about the ongoing Keystone Disposal issue.

            The Board of Supervisors' next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 20, at 7 p.m.





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