FONDA – Faced with the impending dissolution of the regional solid waste authority, Montgomery County legislators have approved an intermunicipal agreement to haul its garbage to the Mud Road Landfill in Fulton County.
At a special meeting Tuesday, legislators unanimously approved the 10-year agreement, which now awaits similar action by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors.
The Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority, known as MOSA, has been in operation since the mid-1980s. Otsego County passed legislation in September 2013 withdrawing from MOSA, the last of the three counties to do so. MOSA will be dissolved by April of this year.
The intermunicipal agreement allows Montgomery County to dispose of its garbage at the Mud Road Landfill at a tipping fee that is 12 percent higher than Fulton County haulers pay. That would amount to about $38 a ton, which is still substantially lower than tipping fees charged by MOSA. In addition, Montgomery County will no longer have to pay a fine for falling short of the Guaranteed Annual Tonnage, or GAT, specified in the legislation that created MOSA.
Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort and Legislature Chairman Thomas Quackenbush said after Tuesday’s meeting they were pleased with the agreement.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Ossenfort said. “We know the clock is ticking on MOSA. The county executive has the power to negotiate contracts, and we’ve kept the legislature in the loop.”
Ossenfort said the 10-year agreement gives Montgomery County time to develop a long-term plan for solid waste disposal. County officials must also decide what to do with the solid waste transfer stations still in operation.
“The goal is to lower expenses, not only for the county but for the municipalities,” Ossenfort said. “This agreement sets us up for success. We now have stability in our solid waste costs.”
Quackenbush said the absence of the GAT penalty will save Montgomery County a lot of money.
“We can say goodbye to GAT,” he said. “We’ve had GAT bills in excess of $1 million. We no longer have to worry about the GAT, and that alone makes the agreement attractive.”