Snellville leaders bring in new garbage service after 20 years

SNELLVILLE -- City Council members and Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer voted to hire a new solid waste contractor for city residents and businesses Monday evening, awarding a 5-year contract to lowest bidder Waste Pro. After 20 years of handling Snellville's solid waste removal, Republic Services Inc. has been replaced.

Council members weighed years and level of service against cost savings. Based on a comparison model devised by Snellville city staff, Waste Pro's service will cost the city about $2,500 a month less than Republic Services. But according to councilman Tod Warner, $2,500 a month in savings does not justify bringing in a company not accustomed to Snellville's high demands and expectations of service. Councilman Tom Witts agreed with Warner.

"The savings to the city are not great enough to take a chance," said Warner. But a majority of Warner's colleagues disagreed, voting to award the contract to Waste Pro.

"To me, the bottom line comes down to economics and customer service," said Kautz.

Farmers market kicks off Saturday

Snellville's popular Farmers Market will open for the 2011 season on Saturday. The market will operate on the city's Town Green from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through Oct. 29. According to committee chair Gretchen Schulz, 46 vendors have been approved for this year's market. New this year is a craft village the first Saturday of every month beginning June 1. Craft artisans will be in the market one day each month to exhibit their wares to customers.

"We wanted to stay true to being a 'farmers' market,'" said Schulz, but so many craft vendors had applied again this year that the committee decided to add that dimension to the market.

"I keep hearing how this farmers market has brought 'community' back to Snellville," said Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bender.