Council divides on trash contract

July 22, 2003 12:00 am

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Two members of the Crescent City City Council displayed their division last night over the future destination of Del Norte County's garbage.

Councilmember Herb Kolodner garnered support from the council to hold off voting on a long-term contract for disposal of county trash, should the vote appear before the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority this week.

Councilmemebrs Herb Kolodner and Mickey Youngblood both represent the city on the Solid Waste Board. The city attorney said the council could direct the representatives on how to vote on the Solid Waste Board. Both were directed to abstain from a vote dealing with a long-term contract to dispose of county waste.

"With a 25-year contract, and all the things that can occur, that's a long time," Kolodner said. "... and it precludes the possibility of its movement from the transfer station to a power plant, if one were to come online."

Youngblood and Kolodner disagreed about the contract. The motion directing Kolodner and Youngblood to abstain from the vote was approved 4-1. Youngblood dissented. Kolodner has championed the idea of a waste-to-energy power plant in the region, which would conceivably burn trash to produce electricity.

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

Youngblood argued that the long-term contract was set up to give the county the best rates possible, and the decision about the contract's length rested with Hambro anyway.

All parties appeared to be in agreement when staff was directed to invite Solid Waste Director Kevin Hendrick and a Hambro representative to the next council meeting to explain the benefits of the contract.

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 a five-year contract with Dry Creek.

Jody Allione, project development director for Barlow Projects, Inc., said last June that her company can work around a lack of commitment to provide trash fuel for a waste-to-energy incinerator.

A previous company showing interest in building a plant here, Naanovo, was due to complete a feasibility study last spring. Naanovo Vice President Richard Brant said, at the time, there have been some delays in getting the study completed.