Scrubbed vote could doom SPSA

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A hearing for an increase in the Southeastern Public Service Authority tipping fees scheduled for Wednesday morning has been canceled, and the result could mean that SPSA will run out of cash before the meeting can be rescheduled.

The public hearing was to receive comment on a proposed tipping fee increase from $104 per ton to $245 per ton.

SPSA, the regional trash disposal authority, is mired in about $240 million of debt, and its executive director, Rowland Taylor, has said the authority does not have the cash to survive another 60 days unless the tipping fee is increased.


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The public hearing to increase the tipping fee was not properly advertised, and SPSA canceled the hearing Tuesday at the advice of its legal counsel. Virginia code states that public hearings such as this one require 60 days notice and two separate newspaper advertisements. SPSA, however, only advertised Wednesday’s hearing once.

That means that the new public hearing must be scheduled for at least 60 days from now, and then advertised properly. However, the cash shortage is an issue, said Tom Kreidel, SPSA spokesman.

“It’s not out of the question to say that we could run out,” he said. “The worst case scenario is we shut down the operation.”

Kreidel said SPSA is searching for ways to hang on, but he currently does not know how that will happen.

“I don’t have an answer for you,” he said. “Obviously, we’re doing everything we can to avoid that scenario. Our main topic now is to figure out how we’re going to get through this.”

The rest of tomorrow’s SPSA board meeting will go on as scheduled. It includes a vote on capital budget transfers, a closed meeting, a treasurer’s report and other items.