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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

Measure to dissolve MOSA works its way through Legislature

Measure to dissolve MOSA works its way through Legislature

The Montgomery Otsego Schoharie Solid Waste Authority is one step closer to the end of its 25-year l

The Montgomery Otsego Schoharie Solid Waste Authority is one step closer to the end of its 25-year lifespan.

The authority was formed in April 1989 by an act of the state government, its mission to collect and dispose of trash from all three counties. Now, with the service contract running out, an act of the state is required to dissolve the thing.

On Thursday, the state Senate approved legislation allowing the dissolution of MOSA and sent the measure to the Assembly.

“MOSA was created following a home-rule request. Now, after a quarter-century, it is appropriate to honor a similar request to dissolve the authority,” said Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, who sponsored the legislation. “With the service agreement governing the authority scheduled to expire in April 2014, the time is now to take this step.”

The Assembly is expected to pass MOSA-dissolving legislation early this week. Then a signature is required from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

With the end in sight, few tears will likely be shed over MOSA’s passing. All three counties have at various times been hit with millions of dollars in shortfall fines for not producing enough trash. Those fines prompted Otsego County to seek an early exit from the authority.

Montgomery and Schoharie counties stuck it out to the end of the 25-year service contract, but aren’t looking to re-up.

“We’ve been making preparations for this,” said Montgomery County spokesman Andrew Santillo.

Ever since the county’s new government took over Jan. 1, Executive Matt Ossenfort has been working to find a new way to haul away the county’s trash and a new place to put it. With MOSA’s end date coming up next month, it was a bit of a rush, but doable.

In February, Fulton County agreed to take Montgomery County trash in its Mud Road landfill. At a Tuesday meeting, the Montgomery County Legislature will decide what to do with the old MOSA transfer stations.

“They’ll either vote to contract out their operation,” Santillo said, “or run them ourselves or some combination of the two.”

According to Jeff Bishop, a spokesman for Seward’s office, legislation dissolving MOSA is expected to be fully approved by the Assembly and signed by Cuomo before the service contract ends April 30.

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