MAYVILLE - Municipalities within Chautauqua County could be saving $1,760 or more a year on tipping fees if amendments to the shared services agreement pass the legislature next week.
Monday, the Administrative Services Committee and Public Facilities Committee had a discussion with Steve Abdella, county attorney, regarding the amendments. Additionally, the Public Facilities Committee heard from attorney Mike Bolender and George Spanos, director of Public Facilities for the county.
The resolution calls to expand the countywide Public Facilities Shared Services Agreement to address derelict structures. Already, Chautauqua County's towns, villages and cities share county services relating to Public Works and Highway Department projects, which in turn saves money at the local level.
County Executive Greg Edwards proposed four amendments to the shared services agreement, all of which pertain to derelict structures in the county.
The first amendment pertains to tipping fees for construction and demolition waste. The resolution would provide each participating town and village with one credit for tipping fees of 80 tons of construction and demolition waste at the county landfill, which is the approximate weight for a single two-family home. Jamestown would receive four credits to waive tipping fees. Dunkirk would receive two.
Tipping fees at the county landfill are $22 per ton of waste. By waiving the fees, the county loses $1,760 per credit. Forty-two credits are expected to be issued throughout the county, for a total county loss of $73,920.
"The way I look at it, the county is losing revenue," Abdella said. "By the same token, most of these municipalities, if they had to pay these fees, wouldn't do the demolition to start with, because they couldn't afford it. It may be coming out of the county's pocket, but it's being saved at the local level."
Credits that are not used by one municipality could be traded to another under the amendments as well.
"Some years, one municipality may use three or four credits, but there are other years where they won't need them. Then, they can be shared and traded," Abdella said.
Additionally, the resolution would use the County Sanitary Code to help local enforcement of building codes, zoning ordinances and derelict structure laws to identify and hold responsible those liable for problem properties.
The resolution would also assist local governments to obtain titles through tax foreclosures to advance their funding awards and use the county land bank to help with the potential resale or redevelopment of project properties.
Finally, it would enable the county to provide project assistance where possible, and provide letters of support to assist individuals or groups with their grant applications and funding requests.
One of the concerns raised by chairman of the Administrative Services Committee Larry Barmore, R-Gerry, was the possibility of municipalities selling credits.
"I don't know how to say this tactfully, so I'll just say it, I guess," Barmore said. "I would hate to see this get to the point where someone started selling their credits to another municipality."
According to Abdella, there would be language added to the Shared Services Agreement which would not allow for the sale of the credits.
Both committees unanimously passed the resolution. The full legislature will have the opportunity to vote on the resolution Dec. 19 during the legislature meeting.