PLATTSBURGH — The county landfill will remain under ownership of Clinton County until 2021 and residents will have to pay a portion of the price.
The county legislature voted unanimously last week to extend Casella’s 25-year contract with Clinton County for another 20 years and make changes to the current agreement.
That includes increasing garbage bag fees, which will rise from $2 to $3 per bag within 30 days after the signing of the agreement and $3.50 starting the second year.
County Administrator Michael Zurlo said he didn’t have an exact date for when the deal will be inked.
“It should be soon,” Zurlo said.
Casella Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Shelley Field said there hasn’t been a bag fee increase since 2008. The fee was increased due to a decline in recycling revenue and an increase in operating costs and employee benefits.
The minimum scale fee at the landfill in Schuyler Falls and the Mooers Transfer Station will also increase from $20 to $25 within 30 days of the agreement execution.
The fee will increase to $27.50 in 2018 and $30 in 2020.
Residents will notice a change at all the convenience stations throughout Clinton County within 30 days of the agreement being signed.
Zurlo said each station will either have their hours or days of operation altered in order to accommodate staff changes.
None of the 11 stations will be closed, he said.
The exact details, Zurlo said, are currently being mapped out.
Zurlo said the two entities will keep the public in the loop: “We don’t want to surprise anyone,” he said. “We want to make sure we get people aware of this.”
MORE TONNAGE, MORE MONEY
The extension will net the county an additional $17.1 million in host fees and recycling payments and $13.3 million to Schuyler Falls in host-community fees and property taxes.
The amount of trash by tons in the landfill will increase from 175,000 to 250,000, a change that will take years to complete, said Field.
Field said Casella Waste is currently in the permitting process with the DEC regarding this increase.
Once the DEC greenlights the change, the company’s host fees to the county will increase.
Right now, Casella Waste pays the county $2.50 per ton up to 125,000 tons and an additional $3.50 for up to 175,000.
With the increase, two more brackets were tacked on. If the county gets between 175,000 and 200,000 in a year, there will be no additional fee, but another $3.50 will be tacked on for up to 250,000.
Field said Clinton County is anticipating 150,000 tons of garbage this year, meaning Casella Waste needs to pay about $400,000 in host fees.
Last year, Zurlo said the county generated $687,000 from Casella Waste.
Since entering the agreement in 1996, Field said Casella Waste has generated $21.9 million in revenue for the county and $5.8 million for the town of Schuyler Falls.
OTHER CONTRACT DETAILS
Waste will now be accepted from its current stopping point in Saratoga County to the southern border of Westchester County.
Casella Waste agreed to pay $50,000 and offer 10,000 tons of free disposal to Clinton County over the course of 25 years.
Clinton County has agreed to contribute up to $30,000 for Household Hazardous Waste Day, shifting the burden from Casella.
Casella Waste plans on paying a salary for a sheriff’s deputy and a new car every five years, so long as the county pays for overtime, uniforms, vehicle maintenance and fuel for that officer.
“This was definitely a process,” Field said. “But I believe we’re off to a great start.”