Isle of Wight asks to withdraw from SPSA

Published 10:47 pm Friday, September 11, 2009

CHESAPEAKE — As the Southeastern Public Service Authority debates competing offers by private companies for some or all of its operations, one of its eight member localities — Isle of Wight County — is debating a move of its own: whether to withdraw from SPSA altogether.

The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors voted last week to have Interim County Attorney A. Paul Burton and County Administrator Douglas Caskey draft a letter to SPSA Executive Director Bucky Taylor requesting the county be permitted to leave the organization.

“We made a motion to see if we could negotiate with SPSA over withdrawing,” Windsor District Supervisor Thomas Wright said during a break at the SPSA Board of Directors meeting in Chesapeake on Thursday.

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“There are consequences to that; we would have to buy out our commitment and finish our terms. SPSA would get some cash in the pot right away. But it would give Isle of Wight a chance to negotiate with private haulers and have a contract in place.”

Wright said the county board would vote on whether or not to send the letter to Taylor at its next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 24.

“This is just a straight letter to the executive director,” Wright said. “He could say no. We do have a commitment to 2018. But if it’s cheaper for Isle of Wight County to buy it out and satisfy our debts, then that’s what we’ll do. If we find out that it would cost us more, we’ll stay until 2018.”

He added, “What’s best for Isle of Wight right now is to come out and try to save the taxpayers some money. It’s just simple.”