Commissioners mull over $5.4 million landfill contract

The Lycoming County commissioners are putting off action on a $5.4 million contract to develop field 12 at the landfill until next week to give themselves time to review the document.

The contract, borne of a $5,373,066 bid from R and L Development Company freshly opened Tuesday, was reviewed intensively by Resource Management Services officials, said Director Jason Yorks.

“This is time sensitive,” Yorks said. “We are against the clock with mother nature.”

The commissioners did not meet Tuesday and want to review the contract themselves before voting on it, they agreed.

“Don’t take our looking as indication of not respecting your work, it’s just that we haven’t read it,” said Commissioner Rick Mirabito. “If a constituent said to me, ‘You signed a $5 million contract and you didn’t read it,’ I would say that’s not responsible. Hopefully, when we read it, we’ll come to the same conclusion as you.”

Only one other bid came in on the project, in the amount of $9,399,432.

The commissioners asked if there was a reason for such a large disparity, to which Yorks responded that R and L “is a dirt company, so to speak.”

R and L is an excavating firm that offered “aggressive” pricing for a lot of the dirt work the job will require, whereas the other bidder is a liner company that would have to outsource the dirt work, he said.

“Their pricing for the dirt work was significantly more,” Yorks said of the other bidder.

The county’s engineering firm estimated bids would come in around $6,350,000, he added.

Constructing field 12 is a project long in the making with bond money set aside in 2017.

“Field 12 has been on the books for a while,” said Commissioner Jack McKernan. “It’s certainly possible we could act on this by Tuesday.”

In another matter, the

commissioners voiced their opinions on the severance tax, known as Restore Pennsylvania, proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf.

All three agreed the bill needs to protect taxpayers by not opening up funds collected to being used by unexpected parties or in unexpected ways, such as how the gas tax, meant to maintain and repair bridges and roads, also has funded the state police for several years.

It has to be defined,” said Commissioner Tony Mussare.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved the emergency protection grant application from state Natural Resources Conservation Services in the amount of $250,991 to help with five stream bank stabilization projects.

• Approved maintenance to a 2006 Caterpillar hydraulic excavator for $24,291 by Cleveland Brothers Equipment Company Inc.

• Extended an agreement with Deacon Equipment Company Inc. to provide recycling tubgrinder materials and supplies by two years with no cost increase.

• Hired David J. Eitel as a full-time replacement maintenance III HVAC in the maintenance department at $19.81 per hour, effective April 29.

The next meeting is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday in Executive Plaza.