The Town of Babylon has awarded a new residential garbage contract to a subsidiary of a Bay Shore refuse company.
The town board approved a 10-year contract with Jody Enterprises of Babylon Inc., at a special meeting on Friday.
The 7-year-old company is owned by Giustino Gallone, an Italian immigrant who started as a garbage collector. The subsidiary was formed specifically for the Babylon contract.
The town's current residential garbage contract -- a 20-year agreement with Babylon Source Separation Inc. (BSSI) of West Babylon -- ends Oct. 1. That contract's annual 3 percent increases led to Babylon paying more than $27 monthly per household for garbage pickup -- more than double what nearby towns pay.
The new contract with Jody will cost the town $12.99 per month for each of its 43,000 tax parcels with annual increases at roughly 50 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 2011, the average increase in the CPI was 3 percent. Pickup times may change, but service should not change, town officials said.
The town estimates the new contract will save it $10 million in the first full year of service. Officials noted that projected savings from a new contract for the fourth quarter of this year resulted in a garbage tax decrease for residents, but they said it is unclear what this new contract might mean for taxes in 2013.
"This provides long-term stability and the same level of service at a much cheaper price," said Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer, adding that the company received "stellar" recommendations from other towns.
An independent selection committee -- made up of Barbara Stevens, Philip Scala and Joseph Conway -- received bids from six companies, including Jody and BSSI, the lowest and highest, respectively.
Stevens said the committee liked that Jody offered to use new compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks with low-entry cabs. The trucks are less noisy and more environmentally friendly, Stevens said; and the low cabs speed up operations and provide better driver visibility. Jody has also agreed to build a public CNG fueling station in town.
The committee members reported that they were impressed with Jody's financial plans, "attention to detail and concrete plans for implementation."
The company was one of the smallest to bid -- its assets and revenue were the lowest among all six companies -- but that was motivation, said Jody spokeswoman Jackie Stegemann. "We're not part of a bigger corporation so we did feel like a bit of an underdog in the race," she said.
Matt Fenster, president of BSSI, said he was disappointed in the town's decision. "We really do believe we gave above and beyond what any company could offer because of our great relationship with the community," he said.
Stegemann said Jody officials may hire some BSSI workers.