Contractor to operate transfer site

Anticipating a quarter-of-a-million savings, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre is following through with plans to have a contractor transfer Homer’s waste to the Central Peninsula Landfill when construction of the Homer site is complete in August. 

“I actually signed approval to move forward with it yesterday, late afternoon,” Navarre told the Homer News on Tuesday.

The contractor of choice is D & L Construction, the lowest of three bidders responding to a request for proposal the borough issued earlier this year.  Also responding were Moore and Moore Services, as well as Alaska Waste Connections, who operates the Kenai, Nikiski, Sterling and Seward staffed transfer facilities and the borough’s unstaffed transfer sites.

Owned by Larry Smith of Sterling, D & L Construction bid $572,700, a considerable savings compared to the $821,436 the borough had budgeted for the Homer operation. Work at the site is currently carried out by four borough employees.

“The hard part of any decision like this is knowing there are impacts to the employees and families,” said Navarre. “That makes it difficult, but I think we did our due diligence and really, from the best interests of the borough as a whole, it was a direction, because of the difference in price, that we had to go.”

Navarre’s decision came after informing the Kenai Borough Employees Association of the savings possible by turning the site over to a contractor. KBEA refuted the numbers, contending “that the same cost savings, or better, could have been realized by involving the community and the employees currently employed by the Solid Waste Department in Homer,” said KBEA President Ryan Marquis in a written response to Navarre.

Proceeding now with the contract provides D & L time to be prepare to take over operation of the site when construction wraps up in August, said Navarre. The borough’s human resource office has been meeting with the Homer employees “to talk about what this means and what their rights are,” said Navarre. 

“There are rights where employees with more seniority can get other positions within the borough if they so choose. There’s a whole process that’s being worked through that will take some time to sort out.” 

Jim Norcross, facility superintendent, confirmed the Homer employees are in discussions with the borough regarding how their jobs will be impacted.

“Change is coming, change is inevitable,” said Norcross, who has been a borough employee for more than 18 years. “I don’t feel it’s a good change for the community, but that’s my personal opinion.”

Borough assembly members Mako Haggerty, who represents areas of the southern peninsula, and Bill Smith, who represents the city of Homer, have expressed their opposition to using a contractor to manage the site.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read