FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — City councilman Jason Arp, R-4th Dist., was one of the speakers at a press conference hosted by Mayor Tom Henry on Tuesday to introduce the city’s new trash hauler, GFL Environmental USA.
Behind the scenes, Arp is one of the council members who put a ton of work into studying GFL’s ability to fulfill its contract with Fort Wayne, especially from a financial standpoint.
Arp told WANE 15 he spent weeks with professionals looking at the company’s finances to make sure it’s strong enough to survive anything that happens with the economy.
He said he feels good about the financial stability of GFL.
Red River Waste Solutions filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proved to be a difficult time for the city’s administration and for council members looking to get out from under the Texas-based company.
Arp, the current council president, said that the new contract with GFL provides safeguards to avoid another “hands-tied” situation like what happened with Red River.
For starters, the definition of “default” is much more clear, according to Arp, this time around.
“I don’t think that we’ll get to that position. I think GFL has the financial wherewithal that we won’t have to worry about those things, but they are in the contract this time,” Arp said. “So, if there is a problem, then we know we’ll be in a much more comfortable position than we are now.”
A part of the contract that Arp views as “very rare” is a clause that gives the city of Fort Wayne to take possession of GFL’s trucks and hire new drivers if there ever were a situation where GFL became unable to fill its obligation.
That being said, Arp believes the issues that came about with Red River won’t happen with GFL.
“They are a $6 billion a year company. To put that in perspective, the city of Fort Wayne’s contract with GFL is about $11 million. So, they have more than enough capacity,” Arp said.