Landfill agreement expected to bring $100 million

The Town of Colonie is expected to receive in excess of $100 million over 20 years if an agreement is reached between the town and Waste Connections, Inc., for a private partnership.

\If this agreement is reached, it will completely eliminate the deficit, both the landfill fund and the general, said Supervisor Paula Mahan.

This was revealed at the first of several public meetings in regards to the private partnership agreement. The town went over how it had originally came to the decision to put out an Request for Proposal back in January. The contract that is being negotiated would be for a 25 year period.

"If we were to continue to operate the landfill as we do now over the next 20 years, the landfill's deficit would drop from $7.1 million to $5.7 million," he said. "Bear in mind, the negative value is a taxpayer liability. If it were the close, that would go back to the tax payers. We needed to take a long term look to correct the situation."

The meeting became a bit heated when two Republican candidates running in the town, Denise Sheehan, who is running for supervisor, and Pete Molinaro, who is running for councilman, began asking questions.

Sheehan was skeptical about the value of the landfill and questioned whether the possibility of expanding the landfill was built into the $100 million figure.

"That $100 million has built in assumptions about the future that really hasn't been exposed here," she said.

Cunningham was quick to refute that and said that agreement is based on the fact Waste Connections, Inc., would come in and operate the landfill as it currently does. This is due to the New York State Department of Conservation regulating the permitting process. Currently the landfill is permitted to take in 170,500 tons plus cover annually.

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