In the nose of the beholder

Published 10:10 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

Once again, members of the multi-city partnership that makes up the Southeastern Public Service Authority are acting like spoiled children, worried that one child may be getting more than the other.

During Wednesday’s SPSA board meeting, partner city Chesapeake brought up an old jealousy that only goes to undermine the important organization that handles the area’s garbage.

It seems that Chesapeake, which has through the years seen tremendous residential and retail growth, is once again upset with the arrangement that affords the city of Suffolk free tipping fees at the landfill in exchange for Suffolk hosting the landfill.


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This decades-old agreement allows the city of Suffolk to offer its residents free trash pick-up, but at the same time limits the city from developing what is considered prime real estate along the Route 58 corridor.

And one other thing. In addition to giving up the opportunity to develop the landfill property, those Suffolk residents who own land and homes near the landfill must deal with … wait for it … the smell.

Chesapeake has railed against this deal many times before. Its representatives on the SPSA board also have spoken out on the deal Virginia Beach was afforded to ensure that city’s participation in the partnership in exchange for lower tipping fees.

The representatives who sit on the board today and the city leadership in place today were not around at the time this agreement was reached or these deals cut. But that observation in no way diminishes the fact the deals are binding and legal.

If Chesapeake is truly upset about what it claims are inadequacies in the agreement, then we have an offer for them.

How about we give them the landfill and the free tipping fees and in exchange we get an equal amount of prime, retail and residential property in Chesapeake. Perhaps the area right around Chesapeake Square Mall? We’ve always wanted a Cracker Barrel.

It would seem to us that’s a fair exchange. Then, Chesapeake could have the smell, the trash and the free tipping fees.

If not, then we simply say this to Chesapeake and anyone else who believes this deal to be unfair: Deal with it.