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Town OKs landfill agreement

Final public hearing sees questions on finances and odor control

Scott Osur, a resident of Colonie, gives his support on the landfill agreement at the public hearing on Thursday, July 28.

Scott Osur, a resident of Colonie, gives his support on the landfill agreement at the public hearing on Thursday, July 28. Photo by Andrew Beam.

— She went on to say that she hopes to keep up a good working relationship with the town of Halfmoon with an open flow of information between the two towns.

Tom Nicotera, a resident of Colonie, asked whether the town was requiring Waste Connections to use any specific technology to control the odor. Town Attorney Mike Magguilli said there is nothing in the contract that would require them to use any specific technology but added that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requires them to control the odor.

“There is nothing to require them to acquire new technology,” he said. “We don’t know what new ones are out there so we can’t require them to get them because we don’t know how to do it. We believe they would just do it on their own.

Matt McGarry, director of the town’s landfill, said there weren’t any current citations for odor at the town’s landfill.

“I think it’s just going to be a short-term solution that within a few years, you’re going to see without other structural changes included in the budget, the town will be back in a deficit situation,” he said. “They need to look at the overall budget of the town and address the structural imbalance.”

At the public hearing, it was noted that even in a worst-case scenario situation, Colonie is guaranteed to receive $85.9 million from the landfill deal. Magguilli said that number was not contingent on anything once the contract is executed. He said, though, that the $100 million in his mind was a low-ball number.

“I think the $100 million is a conservative figure based on how I looked at the contract,” he said.

Republican Town Board member Dan Dustin, who voted against the resolution, said he believes the town will actually be $44 million in the hole if this deal goes though. He said to figure that out, you must take the current costs the town pays and project them out over 23 years. One thing to look at, he said, is the $25 million the town must pay for outstanding landfill bonds, which were used to develop new cells and buy equipment for the landfill. He also said the town must take retirement, salary and fringe benefits and post-employment costs into account, which he said would equal $50.6 million over 23 years.

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