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Lockport, Modern Disposal open garbage negotiations

LOCKPORT – Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey will begin negotiations Thursday with Modern Disposal over the terms and prices for a renewed garbage and recycling contract for the city.

But Alderman R. Joseph O’Shaughnessy, D-at large, will try to win passage at next week’s Common Council meeting for his resolution ordering the administration to issue a request for proposals for garbage collection by June 1.

“So we’re contradicting ourselves,” McCaffrey said at Wednesday’s work session.

She received an informal go-ahead from the Common Council last week to negotiate with Modern, whose five-year contract runs out Sept. 30. Its terms allow the city to extend the deal for five more years, but it also allows the city to tell the Lewiston company by July 1 that it wants to rebid the deal.

“I think it’s proper to move forward with Modern first,” O’Shaughnessy said. But he said whatever offer the incumbent firm makes, “We don’t know if that’s going to be the lowest bid.”

“They’re going to give us a competitive price regardless,” said Alderwoman Anita Mullane, D-2nd Ward.

Everyone at the meeting except Mullane agreed that they had received no complaints from constituents about the service. .

She said, “Regardless of how great it is, I don’t think we should limit ourselves to one company. This is millions of dollars.”

McCaffrey said she will ask Modern for a three-month extension to the end of the year, so the city can shift garbage user fee billing to January. At present, the bills go out in May and November. The Council wants it to coincide with the calendar year.

O’Shaughnessy’s resolution, as revised by Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano, would ask companies bidding on the garbage contract to submit an alternate price for sending out the bills themselves instead of having the city do it. Ottaviano said if the city tries to do that, it would have to negotiate the ability to do so with the Civil Service Employees Association, because that would take work away from people in the Treasurer’s Office.

Ottaviano also cut out O’Shaughnessy’s effort to take the garbage directorship away from Pasceri and give it to the deputy city treasurer. The city’s current garbage law says the job goes to the city clerk or the mayor’s designee, so the Council can’t interfere, Ottaviano said.

The newly appointed deputy treasurer, Aaron E. Schifferle of Lockport, will start work May 9 at an annual salary of $44,951. McCaffrey, a Republican, and Treasurer Sue A. Mawhiney, a Democrat, jointly interviewed six applicants and chose Schifferle, 26, a registered Republican. He’s a 2012 Canisius College graduate who worked in banking for the past four years, first at Citibank and currently at M&T Bank in Lockport. His is a provisional appointment, requiring him to score in the top three on a civil service examination to keep the job.