Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Friday, December 27, 2002

20021226 City seeks bids for collection of trash

City seeks bids for collection of trash

Waste removal is $900,000 of $21.9 million budget; Firms have until Jan. 28 to apply

Baltimore Sun

December 26, 2002

The city of Westminster is looking for someone to take out the garbage - for at least three years.

The city is putting out to bid a contract that ranks in the top 10 of municipal expenses: solid waste and recycling.

"It's one of the city's biggest ongoing costs," said Thomas B. Beyard, director of public works and planning. "We'll hopefully find something comparable to what we have now."

In the city's $21.9 million budget, sanitation and waste removal takes up nearly $900,000, the third-highest expenditure in the public works department behind streets and recreation and parks.

Companies that want to bid on the city's contract - worth at least $1.5 million for three years starting next summer, said Beyard - may pick up packages at City Hall and submit proposals until Jan. 28.

York Waste Disposal has collected the city's trash - 375 tons of garbage and 150 tons of recyclables a month - since 1998. At that time, the company collected from 4,177 houses and city buildings, Beyard said. Each house generates about 1.48 tons of waste a year, Beyard said.

Trash is picked up once a week at each location, but York's trucks navigate Westminster five days a week to hit all the spots. The city's planning and public works department picks up furniture and yard waste by appointment only.

Residents living outside municipalities have to contract directly with trash collectors and pay on average $200 a year, about double the average paid by Westminster homeowners, Beyard said.

"We get a volume discount," he said. "It's actually a good bargain for people."

A house in Westminster valued at $100,000 has a yearly property tax bill of about $400. The city allots about a quarter of that to take care of garbage collection. The trash is taken to a landfill in Pennsylvania.

At the beginning of this year, 4,373 houses and city buildings were using the city for trash collection. Beyard expects that number to rise above 4,500 by summer.

Bidders should submit a bid that covers each year through June 2008, when the city estimates nearly 5,000 buildings will be on trash pickup routes. The city asks that bidders submit two proposals: one for three years and one for five.

The Baltimore Sun,0,3981793.story?coll=bal%2Dlocal%2Dcarroll

Westminster Public Works Solid Waste Management

Westminster City Finance

Thursday, December 19, 2002

20021209 Short on space by Megen Wessel

Short on space

Writing for the Carroll County Times, Megen Wessel discusses the over-crowding in Westminster’s City Hall. To be sure, the building is an old mansion and NOT an office building. It certainly is quaint, but it has gotten hard to run a 25 million dollar public service corporation from within those quaint historic walls…

By Megen Wessel
Thursday, December 19, 2002

Times Staff Writer

Limited space in Westminster City offices means file cabinets in hallways, overflowing storage spaces and the inability to expand programs.

To get a handle on the current space issues and address space concerns in the future, the city formed a committee and hired a consultant.

"City Hall is not an office building, it's a mansion," said Thomas B. Beyard, director of planning and public works, whose office is in City Hall.

The study showed inadequacies in security, technology, communication between departments and working space for employees in most departments and suggested that the city consider building an central office building that would house all city staff.

"We enjoy our location, it's fun to be on Main Street," said Karen Blandford, Westminster's administrator of Housing and Community Development. "But it's difficult being away from City Hall and access to decision-makers above me."

The city's Housing and Community Development office and finance departments are both located in leased spaces at Winchester West on John Street.

City officials all agree that having all departments under one roof would help improve communication and teamwork.

But the proposed three-story building could cost the city as much as $4.5 million - an amount the city doesn't have and isn't willing to pay right now.

"I was shocked at the amount. We just don't have that," said Councilman Gregory Pecoraro.

In the meantime, staff members are trying to make creative use of what space they have. The council will begin discussing solutions and future growth during its upcoming budget discussions, Pecoraro said.

"I think there is enough room for everyone right now, but if we grow in any department then we will have to do something," Pecoraro said.