Letter to the Editor: Newest Cry from County Residents

Date: 10 Sep 2012 | posted in: waste - anti-incineration, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The No Incinerator Alliance of Frederick County, Maryland, continues to provide citizens with accurate information on the proposed incinerator for that County.

Reposted from the Frederick News Post – http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/opinion/display_lte.htm?StoryID=140039#.UE5IIrJlTWo

The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority has provided estimates that predict $527 million in bonds will be needed for the construction of the proposed regional trash incinerator in Frederick County. There will also be a $73 million capital contribution that must be repaid to Wheelabrator, the builder and operator of the facility.

Michael Marschner, the county’s special projects manager, and NMWDA fail to count this $73 million in the construction cost because they have decided to call the repayment of this loan an “operating fee.” If you add the total cost of construction, anticipated interest on 30 years’ worth of bond payments, and plant operating costs the estimated total cost will exceed $2 billion.

The bonds will be issued by NMWDA, the owner of the facility, but there is a contract in place that requires Frederick County, and currently Carroll County, to pay the expenses associated with the incinerator, including the cost of the bonds. It is clear the expenses will far exceed the income from electricity sales, a competitive tipping fee, and so forth (see www.no-incinerator.org for details). The taxpayers will be subsidizing the difference of $30 million to $40 million per year.

The bonds for this facility will not be general obligation bonds — they will be revenue bonds. The “revenue” that guarantees the repayment of these bonds is the service benefit charge found on each and every property owner’s tax bill. If these bonds are the same as Montgomery County’s bonds, it’s your property that is the guarantee; it’s stated at least four times in Montgomery County’s bond prospectus that the county has the right to foreclose on any property that does not pay this fee. And if the bonds for the Frederick facility have similar terms, it’s your property that is the guarantee to cover the financial shortfall.

Therefore, the newest cry from the residents of Frederick County is “Terminate the contract!”

Caroline Eader