The Norman Transcript

June 25, 2013

Contractor is providing full service debris removal

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A local company providing full-service debris removal in Moore was unfairly compared to out-of-state contractors who break service charges down into smaller increments. Those out-of-state contractors are removing debris in Oklahoma City.

“I’m paying all the landfill fees,” Silver Star President Steve Shawn said. “Oklahoma City pays their own. I pay Moore’s. My price is one price does it all.”

Silver Star is a local, employee-owned company. Shawn said he doesn’t know the details of the Oklahoma City bid, but he’s been told it’s a different contract than Silver Star’s contract with Moore.

“I know what we’re doing,” Shawn said. “We’re providing debris management. In Moore, if there’s a problem, FEMA calls me. I don’t know what Oklahoma City had those contractors bid on.”

County Commissioner Darry Stacy said not all contracts are the same. For example, Moore is paying by the ton, while Cleveland County is paying by the yard. Stacy said each entity bids the cleanup differently. There are different prices for construction debris, versus vegetation in the Cleveland County contract.

Silver Star bid a more complete package, Stacy said. The bids are not comparable.

“My bid is all inclusive,” Shawn said. “We do the removal from the right of way, we do the right of entries if a citizen signs up for us to come on private property.”

Stacy said when his county crews arrived on the scene at ground zero in Moore, Silver Star was there with equipment providing life-saving services from Day 1.

Debris cleanup services are varied and include much more than simple removal, but some companies bid each service individually or don’t provide them at all. In some cases, city staff may do some of the work.

“We do the demolition if there is a house to be torn down,” Shawn said. “We pick up the hazardous materials. If there’s something out there that has to be picked up, we pick it up and dispose of it. And we provide a truck inspection station. We inspect all the trucks and weigh them within our city limits.”

In Moore, the debris is weighed and reported by the ton to meet FEMA requirements.

“We also recycle everything that is economically feasible to do so,” Shawn said.

A recycle center will break up broken concrete and concrete foundations and crush them into usable road gravel. Washers and dryers are also recycled.

“I think we’ll save the city over $1 million dollars in recycling,” Shawn said. “Everything we recycle, we give the city credit for.”

In Moore, fewer city staff are involved in the debris removal because Silver Star is managing the event.

“It may appear on the surface that we’re expensive, and we may be a little bit higher, but we think in overall benefit for the dollar, we are worth it,” Shawn said. “FEMA tells me this is one of the best managed cleanup jobs they’ve ever seen.”

Shawn was taken aback earlier this week when an Oklahoma City media outlet unfavorably compared its debris removal charges to those of out-of-state contractors hired by Oklahoma City.

“I did this in 1999 for Moore,” Shawn said. “If it’s one price does it all, there’s less chance of fraud.”

Joy Hampton