HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Calling resident input at the recent transfer station public hearing, “always valuable and given due consideration by the Board,” County Commissioner Director Zach Rich reported, at the July 5th Hunterdon Commissioner Board meeting, on the taxpayers benefits of the potential sale of the county’s solid waste transfer facility.
“The facility, which faces substantial capital improvement costs due to new environmental requirements, services private solid waste haulers serving residents and commercial entities from some, but not all communities in Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren Counties,” Rich said.
“There is concern that having all county taxpayers pay for improvements when the site does not serve the entire county and also serves some Warren and Somerset County municipalities would create an unfair burden on our taxpayers. The County is considering selling the ownership of the station through the state’s contract bid laws in order to totally privatize the operation and move those capital costs away from the taxpayers,” Rich said.
In his report, Rich also addressed concerns raised by residents at a June 27th public hearing in Clinton Township.
“Under the bid established contract with the company that manages the facility, Waste Management is responsible for day-to-day maintenance, and only limited capital improvements. The host community benefit received by Clinton Township for being the station’s site, will continue. State law requires a minimum benefit and if a bid is released for the sale, bidders will have to commit to maintaining the present host benefit for Clinton Township. The free drop off day for Clinton Township residents is controlled and paid for by the Township, not the County. The Mayor has indicated that the drop off service will continue if the station is transferred to private ownership. All New Jersey DEP rules and regulations, as they pertain to the maintenance, control and transportation of solid waste, will continue to be in affect regardless of the ownership of the station,” Rich said.
“The potential sale of the facility would be very much in line with the Board’s Taxpayers First philosophy which has resulted in a tax rate freeze for the past five years, no county debt since 2014, and approval of the County’s financial controls by the independent auditor. The Commissioner Board will continue to consider this matter, as we do all matters, with a business like approach and a determination of what is best for the taxpayers of Hunterdon County,” Rich said.
Written public comments on the proposal will be accepted until September 25th and can be submitted to Andrew Russano, Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners at email@example.com.