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Norfolk approves SPSA discussions

Published 8:49pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Another locality has come on board the discussions to explore continuing regional cooperation for trash disposal past 2018.

Norfolk City Council adopted a resolution at its Tuesday meeting authorizing its staff to discuss what a post-2018 Southeastern Public Service Authority might look like, the authority’s Wednesday meeting was told. Suffolk and Virginia Beach already have adopted similar resolutions.

That leaves five localities — Franklin, Southampton County, Isle of Wight County, Portsmouth and Chesapeake — to consider where they stand on the issue.

The use and support agreements held by the eight localities end in January 2018, but the regional landfill located in Suffolk potentially holds several decades’ worth of space for the region’s trash.

If the localities do come to an agreement, it likely will require equal tipping fees for all. Suffolk currently pays no tipping fee — a per-ton charge to dump trash — in exchange for hosting the landfill, but some of the other localities have in the past called for that to change.

The new structure could involve Suffolk receiving a host fee.

The authority also approved its 2013-2014 budget during last month’s meeting by a vote of 11-2. The two representatives from Chesapeake, Marley Woodall and Eric Martin, voted against it.

The $42 million budget gives employees a 2-percent raise even as projected revenues are falling because of a struggling economy, more ecologically friendly packaging and recycling programs.

Liesl DeVary, the authority’s financial officer, reported at Wednesday’s meeting that tonnages delivered to the authority have decreased by 2.1 percent for the fiscal year to date.

The authority still holds about $34.6 million in outstanding debt. The tipping fee, currently $125, will not change for the coming year.

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