Editor's note: This story was updated on October 22, 2022 with a statement from RePower South emphasizing that the contract they have with the city has 22 years remaining.
Mayor Steven Reed informed the Montgomery City Council, at its meeting on October 18th, that the city has ended its relationship with RePower South recycling.
Reed said he made an “executive decision” to end the partnership which began in 2019 under former mayor Todd Strange. The mayor says that in that time the company has not made a profit and has failed to meet the city's recycling needs.
“We've done everything in our power to make this work for over two years,” Reed said, but, “we can't continue to subsidize a private company.”
According to Reed, the city has subsidized the company “to the tune of $2 million” and it is not fair to other local companies that are not subsidized by the city. Another company has shown interest in purchasing the $37 million facility that currently houses RePower South but nothing has been finalized as of now.
In response to Reed's comments RePower South told the Independent, "In December 2021, RePower South asked the City for an amendment to its current contract. We learned from Tuesday nights comments at the City council meeting, the Mayor has rejected that request. We thank the City for considering our request. RePower will continue to operate under our existing contract with the City which has approximately 22 years remaining. We are excited to continue to deliver recycling and sustainable living to the great City of Montgomery. In fact, RePower will soon be announcing a new partnership to bring an advanced plastics recycling capability to Montgomery to build a sustainable, circular economy. The partnership will include a new $50 million investment and over 50 new, high paying green jobs. Montgomery will instantly be a national if not international leader in recycling and environmental sustainability."
The council also voted unanimously to approve a resolution that will allow the city to expand the Riverfront Greenway trail. The planned extension will run from the new pedestrian bridge at the Cypress inlet to Lafayette Street.
The total cost for this project will be just over $375,000 although 80% of that cost will be covered by federal funds. When completed the one mile extension will allow the public to walk from Riverfront Park to Capitol Oyster Bar along the riverfront.
Along with extending the trail the city will also make upgrades to ensure that the trail is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mayor Reed says this project “will compliment what we're trying to do with the riverfront over all.”
The next meeting of the Montgomery City Council will be held on Tuesday November 1st at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.