Garbage plan eyed by county

FONDA – Montgomery County is considering whether it should continue to contract with the regional trash authority for garbage-removal services or come up with another plan.

Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors hired Cashin Associates of Hauppauge, Suffolk County, for $25,000 to examine the county’s current and future trash situation and to advise the county on whether to continue with the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Authority.

The county’s 25-year service agreement with MOSA ends at the end of April 2014.

“We have to have a plan of action by the end of August because MOSA needs a budget. They have to prepare,” said Root Supervisor John Thayer, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors.

In January 2012, Otsego County submitted to the state Legislature a request to terminate membership in MOSA.

Otsego County officials have said their county is seeking to pull out of MOSA in 2014.

Dennis Heaton, executive director of MOSA, said if both counties leave, MOSA could dissolve.

Minden Supervisor Thomas Quackenbush said when Otsego decided to leave, it put the financial burden on the other two counties.

“How do we sustain a viable solid waste plan?” Quackenbush asked.

He said Montgomery County could continue its service contract with MOSA, renegotiate its contract or come up with another plan for waste removal.

MOSA, based at Howes Cave, operates five transfer stations throughout Montgomery, Otsego and Schoharie counties.

MOSA annually estimates the Guaranteed Annual Tonnage for each of the member counties. The GAT is used to determine the official tipping fee. Revenues generated by the tipping fee, when added to additional projected revenues, provide the source of funding for MOSA, according to MOSA’s annual report.

Through the service agreement with the participating counties, each county accepted the responsibility to assure all solid waste generated within its boundaries is delivered to a MOSA facility. If the amount of GAT solid waste delivered from to the authority is less than the aggregate GAT, the county responsible for the shortfall is required to pay MOSA a shortfall subsidy.

Because of reduced tipping fees, there were no county subsidies in 2011 or 2012, according to the report. The counties are responsible for deliveries of all waste generated or originated within their boundaries.

Board resignations

In other MOSA news, Thayer and Olga Podmajersky resigned from the MOSA board, effective last Tuesday, as Montgomery County representatives.

The Board of Supervisors appointed Charleston Supervisor Robert Sullivan and Robert Headwell to the MOSA board at a county board meeting Tuesday.

“I have too many responsibilities, and I needed to step down for the ability to represent Montgomery County when making decisions such as disbursing money to MOSA,” Thayer said.

Podmajersky had been serving on MOSA’s board since 2000.