TARE reaches settlement with city's trash provider

TULSA - Turns out a chore for you has become a controversy for the city. It all started last month when Tulsa Refuse Inc., or TRI sued the trash board, called the TARE board. TRI said that the trash board had violated the Open Meeting Act.

Then Monday morning there was some resolution. The trash board voted on an agreement that lead to a judge dismissing the suit.

"We approached the subject Friday at the end of the last deposition that was scheduled by suggesting that if the lawsuit were dismissed that we would recommend to the TARE board that each party be responsible for its own attorney fees and costs," said Drew Edmondson, the independent attorney the city of Tulsa hired.

The trash board and TRI will pay for its own fees, but the city says it could be months before we know how much the attorney fees will cost the TARE board.

Another part of the agreement, TRI, the current trash collector, would continue collecting trash for the city on a month-by-month basis if the trash board doesn't reach an agreement with another bidder by July 1st of this year.

"We're very pleased with the settlement arrangement we made," said Dan Richey, TRI's attorney.

Still, the whole suit was over the Open Meeting Act and that issue seemed to just disappear.
"It goes away like many things in litigation without having to find a resolution," said Richey.

Still, the defense is standing it's ground even if the suit's over.   

"We alleged a month ago that there was no evidence to support a violation of the Open Meeting Act," said Edmondson.

The trash board has a special meeting set for Thursday. They'll continue the process of selecting the city's trash collector. Six companies, including TRI, submitted bids.

Also, the Tulsa city council is set to hold a special meeting on Tuesday to approve the purchase of trash carts.

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