By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO April 11, 2006 Concerns over garbage from Pennsylvania being dumped at the transfer station in the Town of Highland led to Supervisor Steve Barnes and councilmen attending the Sullivan County Legislatures meetings on Thursday.
The group addressed the possibility of raising the fees for out-of-county waste dumped at the transfer station. However, County Attorney Sam Yasgur said the enforcement of such a new policy could be difficult since some of the countys haulers travel to neighboring counties and Pennsylvania to pick up trash.
Yasgur said the county has a legal right to charge higher fees for out-of-county waste. At least one reason is that the county subsidizes its landfill, he said. He suggested a coupon book for residents who live in towns with transfer stations. Town officials recommended a sticker for town residents to place on their cars.
Sullivan County Legislator Ron Hiatt said that local haulers should report the amount of garbage they pick up from Sullivan County and other counties.
Town Councilman Don Rupp suggested the county require haulers to transport their waste to the county landfill, rather than transfer stations.
Public Works Committee Chair Kathy LaBuda said she would bring the new rate proposal to the Association of Supervisors. If they agree, LaBuda said she would support the rate hike.
Sullivan County Department of Public Works Commissioner Robert Meyer said that towns would have to be in charge of the new stickers or coupon books, because his department does not have the necessary staff to implement such a program.
In a related matter, Yasgur reported that the countys landfill consultants are concerned about the life expectancy of Cell 6 and how long it will take to construct Phase 2 of the landfill. Yasgur said the county might want to consider banning all waste from outside the county limits.
Said Barnes, The last thing we should be thinking of is expanding the landfill.
He said he has been against the county building a landfill since the late 1980s. Instead, he offered the alternative of using incinerators. The only problem, as pointed out by Hiatt and Yasgur, is the dangerously high level of dioxins released by incinerators. That is the reason no incinerator will ever be built again in New York State, said Yasgur.
In other committee business, $85,200 was approved for groundwater monitoring wells for the Phase 2 expansion of the landfill.
The committee also gave the go-ahead to approve $133,000 in engineering services for a project to replace County Bridge 158 over the Beaverkill in the Town of Rockland. Albany-based Stantec Consulting Group Incorporated was awarded the contract.
The federal government will contribute $106,400 to the project, while the state will give $19,950 of the bill. The countys share will be $6,650.
The Planning and Community Development Committee approved $50,000 for the Beautification Initiative Grant by and among the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the Gerry Foundation and Sullivan County along Route 17B.
The grant is intended to assist in and create façade and signage improvements, a visual handbook and workshop/outreach efforts with planning and zoning boards.