City Council approves contract assignment
By Wesley Gardner
The Lockhart City Council at a specially called meeting on Tuesday approved the assignment of its current contract with Central Texas Refuse (CTR) to Florida based firm Integrated Waste Solutions Group (IWSG).
While IWSG is set to acquire CTR, CTR will retain its name, employees and general structure, said CTR General Manager Mike Lavengco.
“Myself, all my staff, all the assets, everything that supports the city of Lockhart will continue to support the city of Lockhart, and our goal would be even more down the road as we continue to grow with the city and the opportunities that come along,” said Lavengco. “We’ve enjoyed the partnership with the city of Lockhart for many, many years and hope that will continue for many, many more years.”
Prior to voting, District 3 Councilmember Kara McGregor raised concerns about what she said was resistance to the idea of adding a performance bond to the existing contract.
Performance bonds, also known as contract bonds, are surety bonds issued by an insurance company or a bank to guarantee satisfactory completion of a project by a contractor. If the contractor fails to meet the specifications laid out in a contract, the client is guaranteed compensation for any monetary loss up to the amount of the performance bond.
“We had some discussion about the possibility of adding a performance bond to the proposed extension,” said McGregor. “I understand there’s some resistance to that idea.
“We are aware that there’s a bond with Cedar Park in their recent assignment.”
Lavengco said that while the company was not opposed to a performance bond in the future, the current contract being assigned to IWSG did not include one.
“In the potential [contract] extension down the road, we certainly are very open to incorporating that,” said Lavengco. “We feel we have the adequate resources, not to mention, even without a performance bond, if any company were to default on and not perform [its contract], that would go on our general record as a provider and that would prohibit us from participating within the region and any other opportunities.”
McGregor responded by noting the city was taking a chance by assigning the current contract with CTR over to IWSG.
“You’re asking a big leap of faith from us,” said McGregor. “It’s a big ask on your side and I feel like it’s a small ask on our side.”
Lavengco noted that those sort of contract stipulations are usually decided before agreements were entered into.
“Typically, that’s decided as the contract starts and prior to the contract being awarded,” said Lavengco. “The requirements of each one of those contracts are typically decided and that goes into the determination of the price and everything provided, usually before the awarding of the contract.”
Lavengco noted again that even without a performance bond, the new company would still be obligated to perform every aspect of the existing agreement.
Prior to calling for a vote, Mayor Lew White touted CTR’s work around the city.
“I feel like CTR has been a valued partner and has exceptional services and has been very responsive,” said White. “They’ve been fair in their pricing and in their request for upgrades and increase in their fees.
“I think they’re gone beyond the call for service.”
Councilmembers ultimately voted 5-2 to approve the assignment of the CTR contract to IWSG with a six-month extension to the existing contract. McGregor and District 2 Councilmember David Bryant cast the dissenting votes.
“[The extension] will give us time to evaluate the new company’s performance and to negotiate a new contract,” said White.