Hampstead's Town Council awarded a three-year trash contract to Hughes Trash Removal of Hampstead last night.
Although Hughes was not the lowest bidder, council members agreed to award the local company the contract because, they said, they were familiar with the company and had been pleased with its service.
For the past three years, Hampstead's trash has collected by Waste Management Inc. as part of a unified contract with half a dozen Carroll municipalities. Before that, Hughes collected the town's trash.
Hughes has bid $82,172 for trash collection next year; the lowest bidder was Frederick Sanitation with a bid of $76,969.
"They haven't shown they can do municipal trash," said Councilwoman Jacqueline Hyatt about the Frederick company. "If they have some real equipment malfunction, $5,000 [the difference between the two bids] is going to seem like nothing after dealing with those headaches."
Frederick Sanitation had provided the town with three references, all condominium associations.
Len Bohager, Hampstead town manager, told the council that the company had not contracted with any of Carroll's eight municipalities.
In other town business, council members discussed the countywide Main Street revitalization project.
Town officials and members of the Hampstead Business Association have attended meetings with officials and business leaders from other towns who are making recommendations to Carroll's municipalities about how to improve their downtown business districts.
At a March 21 meeting, Hampstead business owners said they feel the downtown area has a rich heritage of historical buildings, a reputation for good service and many small merchants who have a proven track record.
On the negative side, Hampstead merchants say heavy traffic on Route 30, the lack of an economic development plan and poor curbs and sidewalks are problems that must be overcome if revitalization efforts are to be effective.