The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

March 27, 2014

In Our Opinion: Still biting our nails over MOSA

The Daily Star

---- — “Post-MOSA planning is long overdue,” was the headline on an editorial we wrote in October. 

“April 30 is less than seven months away. That’s virtually tomorrow,” we wrote at the time. 

And we’ve been biting our nails since then to find out what was going to happen with Otsego County’s garbage when that date finally rolled around. 

So it was with great relief when we learned, just a little more than a month before April 30, when the authority is set to dissolve, that the county had selected a company to manage its two transfer stations. 

Well, more accurately, that two county committees have recommended that Casella Waste Systems manage trash disposal for the county. The proposal will go before the county board in April. 

As in, a couple of weeks before the Montgomery Otsego Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority disappears into history. 

There are still a few I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed. The state still has to sign off on MOSA’s dissolution before it becomes official. A bill has passed both houses of the state Legislature and will be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his consideration — something we sincerely hope happens before April 30. 

But there has been progress. We were cheered to hear that Casella is expected to charge private haulers a tipping fee of $55 to $60 per ton, compared with the $72 per ton MOSA had been charging, according to Otsego County Rep. Linda Rowinski, D-Oneonta, the chairwoman of the county’s Solid Waste and Environmental Concerns Committee. 

“There really should be no difference for anyone, and the rates people pay shouldn’t be going up,” Rowinski told The Daily Star last week. 

And, of course, the county is expected to get a big bump when MOSA’s $4 million in assets are divided up. 

It’s not all good news; when MOSA goes away, so will the jobs that it provided for area residents. 

MOSA Executive Director Dennis Heaton told The Daily Star in March that the authority’s 20 employees will be out of a job on or around that magic April 30 date. (Heaton will be among them.) 

“The goal right now is to have a smooth transition and to make this as easy for everybody involved as possible,” Heaton said in an interview. “We have a really good team doing what they need to be doing. I’d like to thank them all for doing their job so well.”

We don’t belittle the hardship this will cause for those 20 families, but we still believe moving forward is the right thing to do. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that one month is enough time to get everything in order.