Partial breakup of MOSA called unlikely

Otsego County would end its membership in MOSA by the end of this year under a draft contract being
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Categories: Schenectady County

Otsego County would end its membership in MOSA by the end of this year under a draft contract being offered as a replacement for the agreement that created the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority.

The draft was reviewed this week by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors’ finance committee. All three of the counties paid for the contract to be drawn up, as a means of exploring the future structure MOSA might take for all three counties, but the final result was basically an exit strategy for the one county. Montgomery County’s share of the bill came to $13,833.

Finance committee chairman William Strevy said committee members found the document “one-sided” and said a plan to release one of the three counties from MOSA is unlikely.

Under the proposal, Otsego County would discontinue its membership in MOSA by Dec. 31. Then, the authority would sell Otsego County both of the transfer stations in that county, including the land and all the equipment, for $1.

Otsego County would also get its share of any reserve money MOSA has, according to the draft.

Strevy, who served as a Montgomery County representative on the MOSA governing board, said he doesn’t believe Montgomery and Schoharie counties produce sufficient garbage to go it on their own.

Montgomery County in the past has paid attorneys to look into ways to get out of the service agreement without the consent of the other counties and learned it is impossible.

There have been several changes at MOSA during the past year which relieved some of the costs Montgomery County supervisors have complained about, Strevy said.

“If MOSA did what they were supposed to and actually provided the services to the three counties, why would you try to get out,” Strevy said.

Amsterdam town Supervisor Thomas DiMezza said the draft is “not worth the paper” it’s written on.

DiMezza said even if MOSA is lowering the cost of getting rid of trash, he believes Montgomery County should start working on its own solid waste planning.

“We need to figure out what we’re going to do,” DiMezza said.

Schoharie County Board of Supervisors Chairman Earl Van Wormer said he believes the three counties should sit down and try to figure out what aspects of MOSA’s operations are causing concern at this point.

The garbage quotas the counties were held to have been lowered and the fee haulers pay to drop off trash was reduced by $21 per ton, factors Van Wormer said should be considered before fracturing the public authority. MOSA will dissolve in 2014 without action to preserve it.

“I guess that’s my biggest question, why would you get out of something that you’re helping to formulate, that’s going in the direction you want,” Van Wormer said.

Efforts to contact Otsego County Board of Representatives Chairman Floyd “Sam” Dubben Jr. and Vice Chairman James V. Johnson were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Otsego County District No. 6 Representative Donald Lindberg, a former MOSA board member, said Wednesday he’s unsure of the current status of the county’s plans, but he doesn’t foresee one county getting approval to leave MOSA without the entire authority being disbanded.

“My thinking is if we’re going to go they all should go,” Lindberg said.

Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chairman Vito “Butch” Greco said he believes MOSA is making progress and he hopes officials in all three counties will give it a chance.

“I think they have come a long way and I think they need a little bit more time to improve even further,” Greco said.

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