OSWEGO, NY – Members of the county’s Transfer Station Advisory Committee offered some suggestions Wednesday night as to the fate of the transfer stations around the county.
The committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to the Infrastructure Committee.
Outside the county building one resident didn’t put much faith in the committee; inferring that it was thrown together to give the illusion the county is doing something, while the fate of the transfer stations has already been sealed and they will be closed.
That’s not true, according to Kevin Gardner, chair of the Oswego County Legislature.
“At this point, every option is still on the table,” he told Oswego County Today. “Nothing’s been decided yet.”
The legislature is trying to balance being fair to all residents and be as fiscally responsible as it can, he explained.
Among the recommendations brought up by the committee members were: place a minimal charge on every tax bill for the Department of Solid Waste based upon the funding needed, changing the hours of operation, increasing haulers’ fees, making all weighed tipping fees the same for all users and putting Bristol Hill Landfill back into the General Account (“Everyone in the county creates waste and in the end it will go to Bristol Hill. The cost to run the landfill should be everyone who creates waste responsibility,” said committee member Kern Yerdon, the deputy town supervisor of Richland.)
“I don’t think it’s going to be an easy decision,” said Legislature Linda Lockwood, committee chair. “It may take more than to the end of the month; it might not be until the end of October.”
The idea to possibly close the transfer stations was first brought up by the Infrastructure Committee, Gardner noted.
Only 15 percent of the Oswego County households (“directly”) use the transfer stations, according to the Legislature Chairman. That means 85 percent of county residents are subsidizing a service they do not use, he added.
He appointed the committee to examine future of the stations, including possible closure.
“Everything is on the table right now,” he said Wednesday night. “I appreciate all the hard work the committee members have put in. We will seriously consider all suggestions.”
Kenneth Sherman, mayor of Central Square, said, “I am really proud to say that I am from Upstate. The quality of life is good here.”
He added he doesn’t want to see the transfer stations closed and have garbage thrown out along the roadsides and water polluted.
“That’s obviously a concern,” the committee member said. “A lot of constituents in my area are elderly. They’re sharing their pass. Closing the transfer stations would be a hardship on them.”
“We have to find a way to fix this, for the long-term,” said Hannibal Mayor Fred Kent.
The group’s ideas will be passed along to the Infrastructure Committee next week, Gardner said. “They’ll take some time to look over everything before they request more information on the ideas and different things like that. Closure was the first plan presented. It is still on the table. If (the county) passes that, it can always change the date (to allow residents time to adjust). This was a great committee for coming up with more suggestions, more opportunities to look at cost-saving measures.”