Proposal to Spend $300k to Design New County Trash Transfer Station Put on Hold
A special meeting of the Cortland County Legislatures’ Solid Waste Committee that was scheduled for today to consider spending over $300 thousand dollars to design a new county transfer station as part of a proposal to accept Onondaga Counties incinerator ash and ship out Cortland County’s trash has been canceled.
Cortland County Legislative Chairman Mike Park says the meeting has been scrapped in effort to get more details about the proposed partnership to local lawmakers and to make sure that Onondaga County lawmakers support the plan before any taxpayer money is spent.
Park says he has spent the last year and half working on the proposal which was announced earlier this month. Under the tentative agreement trash generated in Cortland County would be shipped to the Onondaga County incinerator, in exchange the incinerator ash would be shipped back and dumped in the Cortland county landfill. The partnership has the potential to generate $500 thousand dollars a year for Onondaga County and a million dollars a year for Cortland County.
In order for the partnership to work, Cortland County would have to provide a transfer station where the local garbage would be collected and placed on trucks.
Park and Solid waste Committee chair John Troy had called a special meeting of the committee to consider spending $300 thousand dollars on engineers to design the transfer station. Upon further discussion Park said he realized that more work needs to be done before any money is spent.
One of the major lynch pins in the deal is that both the Onondaga and Cortland County Legislature’s voting to amend local laws to allow for the acceptance of trash generated outside the county. Currently local laws in both counties prevent importation of solid waste. Even though Cortland County currently allows for ash to be used as daily cover at the landfill, County Attorney Ed Pursor says the local solid waste laws must be amended.
Park says he’s prepared to see this plan through and is looking to build consensus with lawmakers and the public. Park plans to develop a timeline to provide everyone involved with detailed information on proposal.
Initial estimates are that the transfer station could cost taxpayers around a million dollars, the trash to ash plan would be a long-term contract meaning the county could recover the million dollar investment and begin to make money within a couple years.