Councilman John Nickelson talks about the 4-3 vote to move ahead awarding Shreveport's new recycling contract to C. Edwards Concepts and how the addition of a surety bond to the agreement protects the city.

Earlier, the city council, by a 4-3 vote, amended the contract, now requiring owner Charlette Edwards to procure a performance bond. Nickelson authored the amendment to the proposed contract.

"(That bond) is a guarantee by a third party, usually an insurance company, that a contractor will complete the project according to the terms of the contract," says Nickelson, "I thought we needed a surety bond in this case because...(Edwards) has no equipment, no employees, no experience. So, particularly in circumstances where the contractor selected does not have a track record, it's very important to protect the city from default and a performance bond is one way to accomplish this."

Here are Nickelson's complete remarks to KEEL News:

Council members Nickelson, Grayson Boucher, James Flurry and LeVette Fuller voted to add the surety bond amendment. Jerry Bowman, James Green and Tabatha Taylor voted no.

Following the vote to add the bond amendment, the council then voted 4-3 to award Edwards the contract, which will pay her $1.9 annually for five years.

Fuller, Bowman, Taylor and Green then voted in favor of Edwards. Nickelson, Boucher and Flurry voted against.

And is it possible that Mayor Adrian Perkins, who has backed Edwards from the beginning, or Edwards herself might challenge the legality of the surety clause amendment?

"I was a little disappointed we were having that conversation," says Nickelson, referring to a vocal objection to the amendment by City Attorney Ron Lattier, "I don't know what the mayor or Mr. Lattier will do. I will say this. If the determination is made that a performance bond cannot be required of the contractor...then the proper procedure is for the contract to come back to to the Council without the performance bond. And I frankly don't know if they have the votes to get it through without that."

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