SPSA to meet Dec. 13

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Southeastern Public Service Authority will not hold its regularly scheduled meeting, typically on the fourth Wednesday of the month, this week.

The authority regularly combines its November and December meetings into one meeting in the second week of December, so that they don’t conflict with the holidays. But the board has several big issues to consider at its December meeting, set for Dec. 13.

The authority’s board voted at the October meeting to extend for a year an agreement with Wheelabrator to continue disposing of the region’s waste while the board evaluates other long-term disposal methods. There is an option to extend the agreement for another five months beyond that.

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The authority’s board voted in August to terminate its contract with RePower, which had proposed a plan to begin in 2018 to transform the region’s trash into energy pellets at a Chesapeake facility. The pellets would then be sold as an alternative energy source.

But the company missed a January deadline for its financial close, and Southeastern Public Service Authority board members had become increasingly concerned in the months prior to the August vote.

The board voted in September to retain Wheelabrator, its current disposal method, temporarily. The October vote extended that for a year.

At the October meeting, the board also heard that an excess of liquid in the landfill remains under control. The problem was first reported publicly in February and brought under control by July.

The authority also will hold a public hearing at its December meeting to set a revised fee schedule. If the fee schedule is approved, the authority’s eight member communities would pay $65 per ton to deliver waste to SPSA. Seven of them currently pay $125 per ton, while Suffolk pays nothing in exchange for hosting the regional landfill.

That is expected to change, however, in January, as decades-old agreements expire and new ones go into effect.