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Fort Wayne gets first win at Statehouse in effort to change contract bidding laws

Red River Waste Solutions

Fort Wayne received some good news in its ongoing garbage collection saga Tuesday.

House Bill 1286 passed in the statehouse by an overwhelming 86-4 margin.

The bill, which was sponsored by Republican representative Martin Carbaugh, seeks to give local municipalities more options and control when it comes to selecting garbage contracts than they currently have.

At this time, state law requires municipalities to give contracts to the lowest bidder. This has been a thorn in Fort Wayne's side, as this law forced them to select Red River Waste Solutions as its garbage contractor in 2018.

Following a litany of problems the last four years, Red River filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and is currently going through that process in the courts.

These issues forced Mayor Tom Henry and City Council to lobby for changes to state code several weeks ago, noting that it could more effectively choose a provider through requests for proposal.

Senator Justin Busch will serve as the lead sponsor as it heads to the Senate.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered, and hosted Morning Edition for the past few years. In 2022, he was promoted to Content Director.