BRISTOL, Tenn. — Bristol, Tennessee, could save more than $350,000 on waste disposal tipping fees by taking its trash to a private disposal site rather than the Bristol, Virginia, landfill.

At its work session Tuesday night, Tim Beavers, director of developmental services, gave City Council a presentation on bids the city received to replace its current landfill contract, which expires in July.

On May 3, the city received bids from Bristol, Virginia, and Eco-Safe Systems, which is a subsidiary of Advanced Disposal Systems, for landfill disposal of solid waste, leaves, brush and bulk wood collected from residential and small commercial accounts over the next five years. Eco-Safe’s bid was the lowest at $21 per ton for solid waste versus a $24-per-ton bid by Bristol, Virginia, though the fees would increase incrementally for both bidders each year.

Bristol, Tennessee, generates about 10,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year and has transported waste to Bristol, Virginia’s landfill since 1998, when the landfill started operating. Bristol, Tennessee, has been under a 10-year contract with Bristol, Virginia, since 2009.

Analysis and projections by the city’s staff show Eco-Safe’s bid would save the city a net amount of roughly $70,000 a year over the next five years.

Additionally, while a round trip to the Eco-Safe facility in Blountville would take longer than the trip to the Bristol, Virginia, landfill, the increased fuel cost would only add up to an additional $7,000 a year.

Switching landfills would save Bristol, Tennessee, money, but it would potentially result in a loss of $2 million in collected tipping fees for the Bristol, Virginia, landfill over five years, according to projected estimates from the city staff.

Council will vote to award a contract at its regular meeting on June 4.

In other business, J.J. Gillenwater, a partner at A.G. Commercial, gave council a presentation about early plans to redevelop the former Coyne Textile Building and Bristol Products properties into a mixed-use building that would combine commercial and residential spaces and add public parking downtown.

A.G. Commercial has worked with the city for about two years to set up a plan for the properties, which the city purchased to control how they would be redeveloped. The city has presented a draft development to A.G. Commercial, which it is waiting for the company to approve.

Under the current early plans, the first floor would house a grocery store, a bank, retail stores and restaurants, while the top two floors would be allocated to one- and two-bedroom lofts. Current plans also show the addition of about 170 parking spots with some serving as public parking and others serving as private parking for tenants.

Councilwoman Lea Powers said parking is an issue for downtown loft residents, and she supports allocating some private parking.

Under the current plan, Gillenwater said A.G. Commercial would be responsible for redeveloping the multiuse facility, but the city would be responsible for developing additional parking on the south side of the property along Broad Street. 

A.G. Commercial has agreed not to seek any tax incentives for the project, Gillenwater added.

Though the city and his company have not entered into a formal agreement yet, Gillenwater said if things go smoothly, he would like to see construction of the new building begin in 2020.

If A.G. Commercial approves the draft agreement, council will vote on it at its June 4 or July 9 meeting.

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