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County Supervisors approve waste hauling contract


In their March 7 meeting, the Gila County Board of Supervisors awarded a contract to haul waste to an alternate site during construction work at the Russell Gulch Landfill.

County staff reported that the landfill, which receives around 80 tons of municipal solid waste daily, will reach capacity in 1-2 months; at that point, they added, daily tonnage must be hauled elsewhere. With the floods of 2021 producing more debris than planned for, the landfill’s existing cell has already reached capacity. Construction of a new cell and pond started at the end of January 2023, with a target completion date of May 19, 2023. Public Works Director Homero Vela reported that scales and a scale house have been purchased, and a bypass road is complete.

The waste hauling contract, for $1,000 a load, was awarded to NorthStar Transport, the sole respondent to the county’s invitation for bids. Staff initially planned to take the trash to the Buckhead Mesa Landfill in Payson; however, that facility could reach capacity within two years. With that in mind, loads will be delivered instead to the closest landfill, in Apache Junction. Staff reported that this would save space in Buckhead Mesa as well as being a shorter trip, and NorthStar agreed to the change in destination.

The board also approved a $162,558 contract with Earthquest Plumbing and Pumping, of Globe, to repair the wastewater system at the Pleasant Valley Veterans Retreat in Young, which is projected to open this summer. Staff reported that the pumps at three lift stations were not working. “This creates something of a public health situation, so we’d like to get it resolved before any contractors begin work,” said County Finance Director Maryn Belling. Due to this urgency, the county used emergency procurement rather than a formal bid process, which staff reported would lead to a delay of at least two months.

Several measures related to funding for the county’s Community Services Department also received board approval.

The first amended an existing contract between the department’s Community Action Program and the Arizona Community Action Association, dba Wildfire; the latter will administer $48,900 in Arizona Public Service (APS) funds for fiscal year 2023, an increase of $10,950. With that funding, CAP can provide eligible citizens with services promoting economic self-sufficiency.

A second contract amendment, between the Community Services Department, Housing Services and the Arizona Department of Housing, will provide $350,701 in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds for weatherization services to eligible Gila County citizens. The department’s weatherization program enables eligible families to make their homes more energy-efficient, reducing energy bills. Another funding agreement with ADOH will provide an additional $372,706 in weatherization funds to eligible citizens through June 30, 2025.