KENNER, La. (WGNO) – A dispute between the City of Kenner and its garbage contractor is headed to court.
City leaders say Kenner is being overcharged by IV Waste for supplemental services, like recycling and oversight of a drop-off site.
During a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Michael Glaser says the city deliberately has not been paying their entire invoice since October because the supplemental services have cost the city twice as much as the contract allows and are three times higher than they’re obligated to pay.
“My administrative team has thoroughly examined and eliminated services outside of waste collection that are excessive in cost and not in the best interest of the Kenner taxpayers,” Mayor Glaser said.
The mayor says before he and his administration decided to suspend supplemental services, they tried meeting with the owner of IV Waste, Sidney Torres, to discuss their interpretations of the contract and resolve their differences.
“’Explain how you’re billing,’ and once we got all the stuff, a lot of stuff has changed, and [Torres] walked out of here, and two days later, we get hit with a request for a declaratory judgment.”
Torres filed the petition last Friday, citing a violation of the contract, and the City of Kenner filed a countersuit, accusing Torres of engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices.
In a statement, Torres said:
“While IV waste is making every effort to continue providing reliable waste services to Kenner residents, it’s become clear Mayor Glaser is intent on violating the city’s contractual obligations in order to give one of his biggest political donors a no-bid contract.”
“Apparently, he doesn’t know how he’s been billing,” Glaser said during the press conference. “It strictly has nothing to do with him or his company; it has to do with what’s he’s charging the taxpayers in the City of Kenner.”
Glaser says the surplus had been coming out of the city’s general fund. IV Waste is expected to suspend all services on March 1, and Glaser says the city will restore its contract with Ramelli Janitorial, to which the city is also involved in litigation.