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County to see additional costs in wake of MOSA

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Updated: 12:26 AM

By NICOLE ANTONUCCI

For the C-S-E

FONDA -- Montgomery County will see additional costs for post-closure work at its former solid waste operation as well as operations at the transfer stations.

The Montgomery County Legislature passed several resolutions Tuesday concerning the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority, including the official dissolution of the operation.

"Thank you, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for signing the legislation in a timely manner, that has helped us move forward in this process and stick to the timeline," County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said. "Now we can move forward with all the legal paperwork regarding property transfers, etc."

As part of the intermunicipal agreement with the other two counties, Montgomery County will assume control of the post-closure work in the three counties where landfills need to be monitored and maintained.

The county has also entered an intermunicipal agreement with Fulton County to haul waste to the Mud Road landfill.

However, an outside contractor, GottaDo Contracting, will operate the transfer stations and haul garbage to the landfill.

A resolution amending the current budget to include anticipated revenues from GottaDo became an item of discussion among the legislators,

Chairman and District 2 Legislator Thomas Quackenbush amended the resolution to increase the anticipate revenues from $2.175 million to $2.275 million.

The resolution also broke down how those funds would be absorbed into the budget.

Treasurer Shawn Bowerman explained that the additional $100,000 would be used for miscellaneous support services, insurance, maintenance agreements and professional services to cover additional costs incurred from the county's transition of assuming control over the post-closure work and operations with the two other counties.

"Part of the increase in the revenue line has to do with the increase in the total number of tons [of garbage]," Bowerman said. "As tonnage increases, so do the costs we have to pay to GottaDo and to the county to cover post-closure work."

Members of the legislature questioned the breakdown of funds. District 6 Legislator John Duchessi questioned putting $2.1 million in the miscellaneous services line.

"I want to see it broken down more," he said.

District 5 Legislator Terry Bieniek questioned $60,000 being added for liability insurance.

"Didn't we figure that in from the beginning?" he asked.

Public works commissioner Paul Clayburn said initial cost estimates were based on if the county ran the transfer stations.

Bowerman added that the liability insurance was needed because the county will still own the transfer stations as part of the Intermunicipal Agreement between the three counties.

Duchessi, Bieniek and District 3 Legislator Roy Dimond voted against the resolution.

"When we had the election in November the people were looking to revitalize Montgomery county but when you are taking $2.1 million from the taxpayers and sending it [elsewhere] its not revitalizing Montgomery County and that is something I cant support," Dimond said. "This is a missed opportunity."

Bowerman emphasized that not all the funds were for GottaDo but also for contracts and other expenses for the post-closure work.

A resolution appointing Bieniek as a liaison to the landfill management oversight panel was also up for debate among the legislators and was tabled in a 6-3 vote.

Ossenfort said there was going to be a meeting with the other counties Thursday to address issues and answer questions of where the appointment lies and who is best to serve on the committee. Based on the discussion, there may be some revisions to the intermunicipal agreement.

"I would disagree with this resolution in its current form and I think you should table it until the issue is resolved," Ossenfort said.

He added that there is some question about whether the panel is actually an administrative panel because the committee would address future budgets. This panel is also going to be responsible for explaining to the other two counties how money is being spent.

"That is why I felt we should have officials that are running the day to day operations there," he said.

The legislature agreed to table the resolution for a special meeting on MOSA April 29 at 6 p.m.

     

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