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City to pay more for removal of yard debris

The price to clear the city of McMinnville of yard debris is going up. 

“We took bids on our brush chipping and removal,” said McMinnville Public Works Department director Frank Southard. “We only received one bid. That was Big Woody’s Tree Service. It came in at $23 a ton for chipping and removing and a $4,000 setup fee, more or less. That’s the trip here and the setup fee.”

Big Woody’s Tree Service is out of Apison, located east of Chattanooga in Hamilton County. 

By the contract, it will furnish all necessary labor, machinery, tools, apparatuses, materials, equipment, service and other supplies required to chip, shred or grind, and remove wood, brush and other yard waste at the city’s Transfer Station at Sunset Point Road.

The contract was submitted to the city Streets and Sanitation Committee for its consideration. 

Southard informed Aldermen Sally Brock and Rachel Kirby the cost is higher than the city previously paid. 

“That’s the only bid we received so I recommend we take it,” he said. “It’s quite a bit more than what we were paying, but we can’t get them to come and do it. We were paying H.L. Johnson $17 a ton. I talked to two guys who worked for H.L. Johnson and neither of those guys put in a bid on it.”

Southard was asked if it would be less expensive for the city to purchase a chipper and do the work in-house, to which he replied he doesn’t think so. 

“Probably not. I don’t know how much a chipper would cost. In the long run it might, but if you’ve ever watched them chip, they work on them a lot. They need constant maintenance.”

Brock replied, “That would require additional manpower as well.”

The city Streets and Sanitation Committee unanimously approved the bid from Big Woody’s Tree Service to supply the department’s brush chipping and removal needs.