The REAL Facts about SB 1167
SB 1167, Senate Calendar No. 246 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE MID-CONNECTICUT TRASH TO ENERGY FACILITY – would require OPM to assign CRRA’s Mid-Connecticut Project trash-to-energy facility in Hartford to a “public entity” effective July 1. No one has identified the “public entity,” but the Metropolitan District is frequently suggested. If it is MDC – or an agency which would contract with MDC to run the plant – please consider:
SB 1167 would be political payback:
MDC’s contract with CRRA to operate part of the Mid-Connecticut facility expires Dec. 31, 2011. MDC failed to win the bid after CRRA completed a fair and open competitive procurement process last December. Engineering a legislative fix would satisfy the unions to which MDC employees belong and preserve revenue MDC uses to subsidize its sewer rates, which increased 4.5 percent this year.
SB 1167 would cost towns more money:
CRRA competitively selected a new contractor to ensure CRRA towns pay the lowest possible price for trash disposal. With the new contractor, CRRA will be able to drop its disposal fee from its current $69 per ton to $61 – or even lower. MDC’s proposal would have cost towns at least $73 per ton.
MDC’s proposal would increase their costs more than $3.7 million per year.
SB 1167 would require immediate repayment of millions in bonds:
The Legislative Office of Fiscal Analysis, in an addendum to File No. 431’s fiscal note, makes clear that millions of dollars in bonds issued by CRRA and backed by the state’s Special Capital Reserve Fund and the full faith and credit of Mid-Connecticut cities and towns would have to be paid immediately if this bill were to pass.SB 1167 would require immediate repayment of millions in bonds:
SB 1167 seeks a political fix during pending litigation:
Just hours after CRRA selected a new contractor, MDC sued to overturn the selection process. Trial is scheduled to start May 3 in Hartford Superior Court.
Mid-Connecticut towns oppose SB 1167:
The Northwestern Connecticut Council of Governments, Litchfield Hills Council of Governments, Council of Governments of Central Naugatuck Valley, Lower Connecticut Valley Selectmen’s Association and the Connecticut River Valley Council of Elected Officials have all voted unanimously to oppose this bill.
Additionally, the leaders of Mid-Connecticut Project towns Barkhamsted, Canaan, Canton, Chester, Clinton, Colebrook, Coventry, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, Essex, Goshen, Guilford, Haddam, Harwinton, Hebron, Killingworth, Litchfield, Lyme, Middlefield, Norfolk, North Canaan, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Rocky Hill, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon and Westbrook oppose SB 1167.
Whether individually or through their regional organizations, leaders of 45 of the 70 Mid-Connecticut cities and towns have voiced their opposition to SB 1167.
SB 1167 would reinvent the wheel:
MDC or any new “public entity” would need to hire a new staff to do all the jobs CRRA does as part of overseeing the system. In effect, the new entity would have to create another CRRA.
SB 1167 would cause chaos in trash disposal:
All contracts between CRRA and Mid-Connecticut communities would be voided. CRRA would be unable to honor its commitment to take towns’ trash, meaning they would need to find another destination for it starting July 1, or sooner – exactly the time when garbage production increases.
SB 1167 would end many payments to towns:
CRRA would no longer be responsible for host-community benefits, PILOTs, transportation subsidies and other municipal benefits dictated by its contracts with towns.
SB 1167 would jeopardize closure of the Hartford landfill:
Nor is it possible to determine whether this public entity would assume the Mid-Connecticut Project’s continuing obligations, such as closure and long-term maintenance of the Hartford and Ellington landfills.
SB 1167 would jeopardize oversight of trash disposal:
Without knowing the identity of the public entity which would take the Mid-Connecticut facility under SB 1167, it is impossible to know whether this entity would be subject to the same restrictions and protections as CRRA, starting with CRRA’s obligation to provide service at our net cost of operation.
Don’t confuse SB 1167 with SB 1170:
It is important to note that SB 1167 is separate and distinct from SB 1170; SB 1170 would terminate the current CRRA board and create a new one. SB 1167 ignores the governance question and takes the plant from CRRA.
SB 1167 would force 63 towns to subsidize eight:
Several times, MDC has admitted money it uses money made from its contract with CRRA to keep its sewer and water rates lower. Giving MDC the Mid-Connecticut system would mean the 63 non-MDC towns that use the system would be helping pay the sewer and water bills of the eight MDC towns.