Bidders lawyer up over South Glengarry $2M garbage contract

South Glengarry Infrastructure General Manager Ewan MacDonald. South Glengarry finds itself in a legal quandary after it didn't award a $2 million garbage contract in May. Both bidders for the contract have lawyered up. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – The two bidders looking to provide garbage collection for South Glengarry through 2023 have both flexed their legal muscle with the municipality.

Awarding the contract was defeated on May 21 after Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden brought up concerns bag limits hadn’t been addressed with the new council.

With the previous contract expiring at the end of May, the municipality kept its previous contractor on a month-to-month basis – possibly for six months – until it works out the new tender addressing bag limits.

Warden likes the idea of a two bag limit. Right now, South Glengarry has an eight (8) bag limit. Both firms have already indicated there will be no savings for the municipality with a bag limit because there’s usually never more than two bags per household at the curb, according to a staff report.

The tender was supposed to be discussed at last week’s council meeting but was pulled as the municipality is seeking feedback from its lawyer. The council package included a letter from Laflamme Legal, counsel for Environmental 360 Solutions.

In that letter, Peter Laflamme says E360 – given the tight start date – already spent $760,000 on new trucks, anticipating it would be starting work June 1.

With the pricing now public, Laflamme alleges HGC has an unfair advantage.

“Given that the pricing advanced by E360 in its Proposal is widely available online, the sudden extension to HGC’s services for 6 months puts HGC at an undisputable (sic) and unfair advantage in any tender process 6 months from now,” he writes in part.

South Glengarry Infrastructure General Manager Ewen MacDonald indicated to Cornwall Newswatch, the township also received a lawyer’s letter from HGC Management.

Environmental 360 Solutions had the winning bid at $467,000 a year for four years. It’s the same provider as the City of Cornwall. The bid was $1,000 less than HGC Management.

The contract includes weekly picked up for Hamilton Island which is billed back to Akwesasne. E360’s bid was $1,844 cheaper that HGC for that component.