Board takes first step on transfer stations

A routine procedural vote did more than start the process of possibly eliminating the five Washington County solid waste transfer stations Friday morning.

It effectively laid out the opposing sides in what has been a contentious discussion in the past. The resolution to retain an attorney and spend about $3,000 to develop a request for proposals for the sale or lease of the five stations, which include facilities in Granville and Whitehall, passed fairly easily with 10 of the 15 supervisors present in favor of it. The other stations are in White Creek, Greenwich and Kingsbury.

This is the first step that could lead to the stations being sold outright or leased to a trash-carting company. A three-member subcommittee, which included Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks, recommended those two options, along with either continuing to run them as-is or make major changes in the way the county runs them. The transfer stations are $700,000 over budget so far this year.

Four of the no votes came from supervisors in the southern end of the county – Sara Idleman of Greenwich, Bob Henke of Argyle, William Watkins of Cambridge and Robert Shay of White Creek. The only other negative vote came from the north end of the county, from Dresden’s Robert Banks.

Matt Hicks was not at the meeting, but the RFP plan came out of his committee. Seth Pitts was also absent, but he was one of the supervisors who put forward the resolution. The remainder of the board voted in favor, and local supervisors including Dana Haff of Hartford, Brian Campbell of Hebron and George Armstrong of Whitehall have already said they feel the county should get out of the transfer station business.

 

In other business

The board raised the salaries of two positions at Pleasant Valley Infirmary, hiking the pay steps of the dietician and the admissions coordinator.

The county will do more road paving this fall than originally planned. The Department of Public Works received $315,120 from the state for the repaving of County Road 41, but that project has been eliminated. The board approved the use of those funds for other paving projects.

The board named five members to the county youth advisory board, including Chrys Nestle, a longtime 4-H leader and the supervisor of youth events at the county fair. She is from Hartford. Kevin Kortright, the county district attorney, who lives in Greenwich, was named, as were Keith Kelly of Salem, Mitchell Buell of Argyle and Tesha Pond of Kingsbury.

Supervisor Robert Banks announced he has been told the Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to stock tiger muskies in Lake Lauderdale for next fishing season.

The DEC had stopped stocking, because there was not public access to the lake. But now that the county has opened a canoe and small boat launch there, the DEC will begin stocking again.

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