City Council seeks subpoena of Red River CEO

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FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – Almost a month after Red River Waste Solution filed for bankruptcy, members of Fort Wayne City Council still have unanswered questions about the future of the business and service. city ​​garbage collection.

These unanswered questions prompted City Councilor Russ Jehl (District 2) to ask council to summon the current president of Red River to attend next week’s council meeting.

“I left last week’s Solid Waste Advisory Council meeting feeling that there has been almost no real discussion between the leaders of Fort Wayne and Red River over the past two years. years, ”Jehl said. “In addition, the performance bond that aims to protect the citizens of Fort Wayne and there is a default can be compromised as it must be renewed annually on a calendar year basis. Time is running out and waiting and hoping for things to improve for four years turns out to be a bad strategy. I move that the board invite the CEO of Red River to inform us directly and when he rejects that, we investigate the legality of the subpoena.

According to The Red River site, the Managing Director (CEO) is James A. Smith. The town’s attorney said there would be steps the board should take ahead of a formal subpoena from the CEO of Red River:

  • Ask the CEO to come voluntarily
  • Council opens investigation into Red River contract and creates committee
  • This committee can then meet to vote to summon him to appear.
  • If the CEO of Red River does not honor that subpoena, then the committee will have to go to superior court and get a court order for the CEO to testify.

In January 2018, Red River took over the Fort Wayne waste and recycling contract that covers more than 25,000 homes. Since then, thousands of complaints have been filed against the Texas-based waste collection company.

On the Tuesday following the bankruptcy filing, the board requested that an official from the company be present at the meeting. However, due to a “scheduling conflict” officials did not attend.

During the meeting, several council members raised concerns about ongoing complaints about missed or late garbage pickups. Some members were also concerned about rate hikes.

Councilor Tom Didier (District 3) is asking that council also send a letter to state lawmakers on what they can do in the future. Due to state law, the city must take the lowest bidder for a contract. For example, the city chose Red River for garbage removal instead of staying with Republica because Red River made a lower bid.

After more than 30 minutes, board chairman Paul Ensley said board members would all sign a formal invitation to invite the CEO to next Tuesday’s meeting.

The council also wishes to remind residents to report any missed collections by calling 311.

The next municipal council meeting is November 16 at 5:30 p.m.


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