By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Manipulating the length of the county's waste-disposal contract so that a private company could build a trash-burning plant here is not a good idea.

That's the message that Kevin Hendrick of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will give to the Crescent City City Council Monday.

A short-term contract for waste disposal would be expensive and risky, according to his memo to the council.

andquot;The primary reason for advocating a shorter term disposal contract appears to be to delay enough to allow time for a private company to build a solid-waste incinerator,andquot; Hendrick wrote.

andquot;Although it seems accepted by some that having a private company develop a solid-waste incinerator would result in lower disposal costs, there has been no information provided publicly that demonstrates this,andquot; Hendrick's memo says.

Councilmember Herb Kolodner has championed the idea of a waste-to-energy power plant in the region, which would conceivably burn trash to produce electricity. Workshop meetings to study the concept have not been announced to the public, nor have local study results been published.

Last month, Kolodner suggested that the 25-year trash-disposal contract being negotiated with Dry Creek Landfill in Oregon be reduced to five years.

Council member Mickey Youngblood who, along with Kolodner, represents the city on the solid-waste board, disagreed about the need for a long-term contract.

Hendrick was invited to speak Monday as a result of that discussion.

Hambro Waste Solutions Group is contracted to operate the county's future transfer station. As part of that contract, Hambro was instructed to reach an agreement with Dry Creek to be the final destination for the county's refuse.

Kolodner has hosted meetings during the last 18 months with private interests and elected officials about the feasibility of a power plant in the area. Because such a plant would need a guaranteed amount of trash fuel to operate, Kolodner suggested the county should not commit itself too far into the future.

Jody Allione, project development director for Barlow Projects, Inc., which builds waste-to-energy plants, said last June that her company can work around a temporary lack of commitment from the county. Last month Allione said her company would eventually need some sort of commitment from the community to make the power plant feasible.

A previous company showing interest in building a plant here, Canadian-based Naanovo, was due to complete a feasibility study last spring.