NORTH KINGSTOWN—On Monday evening, town council members continued a discussion on the merits of privatizing and sharing services of the North Kingstown Transfer Station at 345 Devil’s Foot Road. During the budget process earlier this year, Councilman Richard Welch had asked Phil Bergeron, director of Public Works, to produce a study on the feasibility of increasing the allowance of commercial hauling at the station, as well as potentially contracting private haulers instead of utilizing town employees.
“I would like to see us do what South Kingstown has done and go out for an RFP to see what it would cost to do it by contract, as opposed to how we do it now,” said Welch. “I am looking for efficiency and cost savings, while at the same time giving the same service to the community we used to have before going to three days.”
Bergeron produced the requested study at Monday’s meeting, detailing what other communities of comparable size have for transfer station capabilities. According to the Public Works director, North Kingstown’s commercial hauling capacity is much lower than many cities and towns, and for good reason.
“About half of the transfer stations are managed by municipalities, the other half managed by companies, and more than half are residential only,” said Bergeron. “That is important. When you look at the South Kingstown operation, there is a tremendous difference in commercial tonnage, [which is] the reason they can offer a much lower commercial rate.”
“In 1985, we had a much larger commercial operation, about 15,000 tons a year, which is comparable to South Kingstown and Pawtucket,” he continued. “There was a decision back in the early 1990s to get away from the commercial end of things, and our rate dropped to about 1,000 tons per year. So there has been an effort in North Kingstown to really focus on the residential piece.”
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the Sept. 12 issue of the Standard Times.