Sandy cleanup a boon to Colonie

Town extends acceptance of superstorm debris

— “We probably won’t see the 5,000 number … we just left it at that. That’s a cap, we can’t take in more than that a day,” he said.

If the landfill were to accept 5,000 tons per day, six days a week for five weeks, the maximum total debris cap would be 165,000 tons. Cunningham said there’s a probability that there will be a continuation for collecting the debris past the Jan. 15 date, however the extension would have to be approved by the Colonie Town Board.

If the maximum tonnage were accepted at $4 per ton, the town would collect $660,000 off the extension alone. The cleanup has generated unexpected revenue that officials hope to apply to building up reserves.

“The town just got out of the deficit. The supervisor’s goal is to create some reserve account to fall back on, just in case we fall into an emergency,” Cunningham said.

Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan said the goal for the additional revenue is to “apply it to a rainy day fund.”

“While doing so will generate some additional revenue for the town, the most important thing is that we are able to help the state recover from the tragic devastation of this terrible storm,” Mahan said. “Our hearts go out to all those (who) will have to deal with its effects for months and years to come.”

The Town of Bethlehem is also cooperating with the agreement, as the Port of Albany, where the debris will be distributed, is within the town’s borders. Bethlehem will continue to take in debris from Downstate until Jan. 11.

“Our solid waste law is intended to deal with permanent facilities, and we wouldn’t want it to prevent assistance to those suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy,” Bethlehem Town Supervisor John Clarkson said.

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