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DeBary News: March 2018

The River City's first local newspaper. DeBary News offers news about City Hall, crime and entertainment.

lobbyists take note:

lobbyists take note: Trash-talking City Council members DeBary chat with you in private. won’t members last month Council backed a unanimously from Interim recommendation Manager Ron McLemore, City urged them to avoid private who with representatives discussions solid-waste companies. from discussions should only be Those during public meetings, held said. McLemore a veteran public McLemore, said the no-private- administrator, measure is needed as DeBary chat key decisions on waste faces services. pay $179 annually for Residents recycling and yard-waste garbage, council members need to City whether to renegotiate the decide of DeBary’s contract with its terms Waste Pro, or seek contractor, bids for the next competitive contract. city originally hired the The in 2004, with service company on Jan. 1, 2005 at a rate beginning $129.84 for the same level of of service. garbage contract is DeBary’s millions annually. worth council members will be City to make key decisions asked now and April in public, between manager said during a Feb. 7 the meeting. council reps who want to talk to Trash members in private should council told those discussions should be be held in public meetings, he only not too early to prepare for hurricane season. Volusia County recently It's a grand-funded program to help fortify owner-occupied homes. announced in Daytona Beach and Deltona are not eligible for Volusia Homes Wind Hazard Mitigation Program. County’s must meet certain eligibility requirements. The money can pay Applicants hurricane coverings for window and doors, gable-end tie-downs and for garage doors. Window replacements aren't covered. The wind-rated award is $10,000. "The funds are provided as a five-year, zero- maximum deferred loan secured by a mortgage," a county statement said. "If interest, homeowner lives in the home for five years and complies with the Affordable Housing Call Lori Brown at 386-736-5955, ext. 12969. Coordinator companies are Solid-waste he said, adding aggressive, decisions about solid- that could “go awry” if waste officials hold private elected with discussions from garbage representatives haulers. is something that I have “This involved with for a long been time, as well as most city long and you have to be managers, careful how you deal very this,” McLemore said. with are good companies. “There are bad companies There are companies in the there There’s a lot of middle. has annual Longwood, of $600 million. It revenues itself “one of the calls fastest growing country’s owned waste privately recycling, collection, and disposal processing companies…” that plant looking a little droopy? Here's a chance to get your Is checked out for free in DeBary. plant County’s master gardeners will hold a clinic from 10 Volusia to noon Tuesday, March 20, at the DeBary Public Library, a.m. N. Charles R. Beall Blvd. 200 will also share winter gardening tips and answer They is one of eight plant clinics planned in March in It County. "For more information about the county’s Volusia Gardener Program, call the University of Florida/Volusia Master Extension at 386-822-5778," the county said. County DeBary News Page 4 DEBARY OFFICIALS TO GARBAGE FIRMS: OUR LIPS ARE SEALED Ron McLemore tells council 'you have to be very careful how you deal with this' By Kevin P. Connolly DeBary interim City Manager Ron McLemore at stake.” money Pro USA, based in Waste added. GET YOUR PLANT CHECKED FOR FREE AT LIBRARY removal, all once-a-week services. LOANS OFFERED TO MAKE HOMES STURDY FOR STORMS questions. program restrictions, the loan will be forgiven." Details: www.volusia.org/affordable-housing.

City Manager Ron Interim defended himself and McLemore after Stephen Bacon alleged staffers bungling of rapid-cleanup costly approved after Hurricane contracts The City Council member last Irma. questioned debris-removal month negotiated under emergency deals and approved conditions by the City Council to unanimously the public after the storm protect across Florida in September. ripped is such a pile of bunk that I “That even want to answer you,” don’t told Bacon. McLemore Bob Garcia defended Mayor saying McLemore, Bacon’s more trees and than limbs expected. not “is happened what of recollection correct." Other council actually remained silent during the members between Bacon and exchange on Feb 7. McLemore were hard to find in after Contractors Hurricane Harvey’s damage to Irma. ramped up demand. Texas Sept. 20, as limbs piled up, On offered express-debris McLemore options council members removal members picked the Council expensive option – most at $540,000 – to hire estimated Pro and DRC. Waste was awarded a standard DRC negotiated a year before the rate per $7.62 yard for removal of debris cubic public roads. After the storm, on contractors ran to south as for higher rates, Waste Florida negotiated a $15.78 cubic Pro rate for pickup on private yard Initially, the city roads. it would cost $540,000 estimated all debris pickup. That for nearly tripled to $1.5 amount because Irma downed million officials are trying to get City from the Federal funds Management Emergency for Irma and Hurricane Agency could That months or longer. take two storms combined cost Those $1.8 million over two taxpayers years. budget the hurricanes had not If the city’s 2017 happened, fund would have closed general a $562,000 positive cash with flow. City Council Member Stephen Bacon, left, DeBary city manager Ron McLemore, center. Mayor blasted it had a negative balance Instead, $75,000. Reserves were used of balance the budget. As far as to for Irma, city staffers are costs examining the bills and may still a full accounting this have Bacon said he’s upset month. Waste Pro hired a because and made more subcontractor he expected from the city. than thought Waste Pro would He 40 percent of the contract. make remaining 60 percent, he The would go to the cheaper thought, contractor. in actuality, it turned “But Bacon said. “No one around,” that they would find a expected Why didn’t we find a contractor. that would work for a contractor price?” McLemore lower Bacon that he, along reminded other council members, with the contracts, the city approved facing an emergency and was were hard to find as contractors states cleaned up from two hurricanes. separate Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Then There were bidding wars Rico. contractors leaving with jobs to get better- unfinished ones elsewhere. “In the paying we were backed up into situation that particular time, we at get people to turn couldn’t DeBary on our original of And it had to do with agreement. federal government saying the they could charge the that money,” Garcia said. additional were the first city to have “We picked up and everything up so we did a very very cleaned job as far as that’s good concerned." governments experienced Local with a shortage of problems and equipment after contractors It hit two weeks after Irma. put a premium, this council “You a premium, and I agree with put to get this place cleaned up you, quick as possible for public as we were one of the first to And cleaned up when other people get the Waste Pro subcontractor that have a performance bond didn’t the city is unfounded. with sub was covered by Waste That bond and insurance. Pro’s is just a bunch of “This and I resent the misinformation that it’s put out here,” fact Page 5 DeBary News “We were the first city to have everything picked up and cleaned up so we did a very very good job as far as that’s concerned." Mayor Bob Garcia BACON'S BUDGET BURN BLASTED AS 'BUNK' BY DEBARY MANAGER Bob Garcia defended McLemore. 'That is such a pile of bunk that I don’t even want to answer you,' Ron McLemore fires back By Kevin P. Connolly Costs tripled storm. That rate was Harvey slammed Texas. 'Not actually correct' Premium on safety McLemore said. “We safety,” it. We did in a great way. did still trying to get trucks.” were said Bacon’s concern McLemore Matthew in 2016. Contractor shortage around and come to the city wanted. McLemore said.

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