South Glengarry was ‘fully entitled’ when it 86’d $2M garbage deal, lawyer says

In this March 2019, file photo, South Glengarry Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden takes part in a budget meeting. The township has sidelined a high-priced garbage contract over Warden's concerns bag limits haven't been addressed with the new council (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Update 3:19 p.m. Wednesday: Old South Glengarry garbage deal to continue through October 2020

LANCASTER – A legal opinion from a lawyer, hired by South Glengarry, says the municipality was well within its rights to cancel or terminate all bids for a $2 million garbage contract.

That’s according to a staff report for tonight’s (Tuesday) council meeting.

Two bidders had flexed their legal muscle in July, sending lawyer’s letters to the municipality, for not awarding a contract through 2023. The $2 million garbage contract was defeated during a May council meeting after Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden said bag limits had not been addressed with the new council.

Warden would like to see a two (2) bag limit. The current limit is eight (8).

Bidder Environmental 360 Solutions, which had the better bid, argued the process had exposed their pricing and put them at a disadvantage against the competitor and current contractor, HGC Management. The company also argued it was out of pocket $760,000 in equipment it bought, thinking it was going to get the deal.

But in tonight’s report to council, Infrastructure GM Ewen MacDonald says their legal opinion from a procurement lawyer “states that the Township was fully entitled to cancel/terminate the process at any time, without incurring any liability.”

It’s being recommended that council extend the contract until June 1, 2020 to HGC Management to allow a review of waste management, which would include bag limits. HGC has been doing the work since June this year after it agreed to the township’s request for a six month extension.

The monthly cost is around $37,000 and there is $490,000 in the budget for garbage collection.

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