City agrees to pay $4.8 million to Richard’s Disposal as part of judgment

Richard’s could stay in city until April 1, depending on Supreme Court ruling in related case.
A Richard's Disposal employee places residential garbage into a rear loading trash truck on...
A Richard's Disposal employee places residential garbage into a rear loading trash truck on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and the Jackson City Council have been feuding for several months over the garbage contract for the city of 150,000 residents. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 12:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A federal judge has finalized a settlement agreement between the City of Jackson and Richard’s Disposal.

Under the terms of the order handed down on Friday, Richard’s will continue to pick up trash in the capital city at least until the Mississippi Supreme Court hands down a ruling in a related case between the mayor and council.

Additionally, the city has agreed to pay Richard’s $4,848,210 for work the firm has already done dating back to April 1 of this year, and will make those payments to the company in installments.

The city shall begin making payments within 10 days of the execution of the judgment, and will pay three equal amounts of $1,616,070.

As for Richard’s future in Jackson, the ruling says that will hinge on the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision in Lumumba v. City Council.

The council sued Lumumba earlier this year after the mayor vetoed the council’s decision to reject awarding a contract to Richard’s. A special appointed judge ruled in favor of the council in Hinds County Chancery Court and Lumumba appealed.

In the event that the Supreme Court rules in favor of the mayor, the firm will continue working in Jackson until April 1, in accordance with terms and conditions of the emergency contract.

If the high court rules in favor of the council, Richard’s shall cease solid waste collection at the end of the month the decision is handed down, the ruling states.

The order also mandates the city pay Richard’s for work from October 1 on a monthly rate of $808,035. Payments shall be made no later than 45 days after the city receives a receipt for the invoice.

The firm began collections in Jackson on April 1 of this year, despite the council not approving a contract.

In other news, more details are coming out about the city’s recent vote to order the mayor to move forward with the RFP process.

An RFP is a request for proposals. Governments issue the requests when seeking professional services, such as trash collections. In Jackson, once proposals are received, they are evaluated and scored based on RFP criteria, and the highest-scoring proposal is taken to the council for consideration.

The mayor issued an RFP for trash collections last fall. Richard’s received top marks for the option for twice-a-week collections without providing residents with a garbage cart. However, the council rejected bringing on the company multiple times. The mayor, meanwhile, has not begun negotiations with the second-highest bidder, and instead awarded a one-year emergency contract to Richard’s.

At its meeting on October 11, the council voted 5-1-1 to authorize the mayor to “continue and complete the request for proposal process to allow an opportunity for a garbage contract to be approved by the affirmative vote of the Jackson City Council.”

The move could clear the way for the mayor to begin negotiations with Waste Management, another firm that submitted a proposal for the contract.

The order states that if the mayor does not move forward, “the city council of Jackson shall have its independent special counsel commence seeking other relief” to enforce the order.

Voting in favor of the measure were Councilmembers Ashby Foote, Vernon Hartley, Kenneth Stokes, Aaron Banks and Virgi Lindsay. Opposed was Councilman Brian Grizzell, while Councilwoman Angelique Lee was absent, minutes show.

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