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Moorestown Looks to Save Money, Jobs with Sanitation Agreement

Council members will vote Monday on a contract with a private trash collector that would save more than $2 million over three years.

Council members will vote Monday on a contract with a private trash collector that would save more than $2 million over three years. Credit: Patch file photo
Council members will vote Monday on a contract with a private trash collector that would save more than $2 million over three years. Credit: Patch file photo

Moorestown officials may have devised a way to save millions on trash collection, without having to lay off a single sanitation worker.

Town council will vote Monday night on a three-year contract with Woodbury-based Casworth Enterprises Inc. that will save the township more than $700,000 in the first year and approximately $2.1 million over the life of the contract, according to Mayor Chris Chiacchio. Moorestown currently spends roughly $1.3 million annually on sanitation services.

Last year, this council committed itself to cut spending and save taxpayer money, without diminishing services,” said Chiacchio. “It’s not easy to make a decision like this … but our primary obligation is to the residents.”

He said Casworth—one of six companies that bid for the contract—would provide the same level of service, picking up the same items, as the township’s sanitation employees. The only possible change might be to the collection schedule, “but we don’t know that yet,” said Chiacchio.

“Other than somebody’s trash day changing, people won’t notice a difference,” he added.

Though some feared the township’s sanitation workers would be axed if it outsourced, Chiacchio said a combination of union concessions and reorganizing the Department of Public Works should allow the township to keep all seven employees on the payroll.

The proposed deal, much like the contract with Casworth, must be approved by council however, Chiacchio said. “It’s all in theory right now … I’m in favor of it. I can only speak for myself.”

If council OKs the agreement with the union, he said the sanitation workers would be moved to fill open positions in other divisions of Public Works.

“This allows us to focus on maintenance, our parks, our roads,” he said. “We will be in a better position to maintain the township.”

Chiacchio said he and Councilman Greg Newcomer, along with township manager Scott Carew, have spent the last few weeks in talks with the union—Communication Workers of America Local 1036 (CWA)—to come to an agreement.

We have been working diligently to work things out with the union,” said Chiacchio. “To their credit, the union has worked just as hard as the township has.”

The terms of the agreement weren’t finalized until Sunday afternoon, after which Chiacchio spoke with Patch.

When reached for comment Friday afternoon, CWA President Adam Liebtag said the union was “still working with the township to find an amicable resolution.”

Liebtag could not be reached for comment Sunday afternoon, nor could Newcomer be reached.

Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the IT room at Moorestown High School. Visit the township website to see the complete agenda.

Tom January 27, 2014 at 04:58 PM
I can't tell if we save money or not if the employees are not replaced. Why are the answers to some of these questions so difficult to report? Where is the transparency we were promised?
Rob Scott January 27, 2014 at 05:14 PM
For everyone demanding more transparency and more information, it's very possible you'll get it at tonight's meeting. So you might want to think about attending that. Barring that—if you can't make it—I'll have a story tomorrow.
sanlazarro12173 January 27, 2014 at 05:27 PM
Thanks Mr Scott. So much doublespeak to wade through. I'm sure you will be able to provide the civil service approvals, the title change approvals, etc. Not to mention the time and cost associated with approvals. If these positions are open will they have to be advertised? Will veterans have preference? All types of unanswered questions.
Tom January 27, 2014 at 05:38 PM
Mr. Scott, I think someone reported that the bids were in months ago and it is certainly reasonable to have expected some advance sharing of the details and/or have had a public discussion about it before voting on a resolution that is as complex as the poster above noted.

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