Talking garbage

It seems we’ve been talking about solid waste disposal for what? 10 years?  And now time is really running out.

The latest word from the semi-autonomous Resource Recovery Agency is that the western New York landfill where Ulster trucks its garbage will close up shop within the next two years. Assuming nobody else wants Ulster’s garbage, it will take at least two years, probably a lot more, to site a landfill, get approval of myriad state and federal regulations and build it. Not good.

This is not to say the RRA hasn’t been working on this monumental problem, just that they haven’t gotten it done and now time is truly of the essence.

A regional approach taken about three years ago seemed to offer some hope. Called SUG -or was it GUS? – for Ulster, Greene and Sullivan counties, talks broke down over parochial interests and finances.

With Ulster being the geographical center, the RRA came up with an extensive list of possible sites around the county. It never got to the point of nearby residents reaching for torches and pitchforks.

SUGsters quietly dropped formal conversations last year. So here we are, clowns to the left, jokers to the right.

It appears the RRA is simply not up to the job of grabbing this bull by the horns and directing it to a suitable pasture.

What then…tick, tick, tick?

A suggestion: We have a go-go county executive who seems to like the challenge of really big challenges. Might he step up, step in and take decisive action before it’s too late?

Some people call that leadership.

SPLITTING THE BABY – Speaking of semi-autonomous agencies, Ulster’s IDA (Industrial Development Agency) is facing a unique dilemma in the long-running soap opera called The Kingstonian.

By rule, the IDA – no relation to the RRA- requires that local taxing authorities sign off on any tax exemptions the agency might grant to developers. At something like $56 million, the highly controversial Kingstonian project is the largest the agency has ever dealt with. Developers have tweaked their proposal somewhat but are still asking for over $20 million over 25 years in property and other tax breaks.

But the jury is divided. OK with us, said the city of Kingston and the county. No way, ruled the school district.

Developers swear if they don’t get the tax breaks, they’ll walk.

I can almost hear lawyers revving up their old ambulance chasers on this one. To wit:

Is this an IDA rule hard and fast, or just a courtesy to the taxing authorities directly affected?

Does two out of three constitute a “majority” and therefore “tacit approval? “

HERE AND THERE  –  I was saddened to read that Rudy Giuliani had contracted the virus, but at least it will keep him off TV for a few weeks. (Or is it still seven days now?) Sadly, “America’s mayor” (circa 2001) has made an absolute ass of himself. God acts in strange ways.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill is gearing up for next month’s opening of the state legislature by announcing a study bill for assisted suicide. And yes, Virginia, there is a state legislature, the governor’s unchallenged virus diktats notwithstanding.

Cahill has long been an advocate of assisted suicide which remains controversial but may be confusing constituents by repeatedly calling for in-depth studies where his mind is made up. Ready, fire, aim? Just wondering.