Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week signed a measure allowing Otsego County to leave the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority. This will leave only Montgomery and Schoharie counties in the authority. Meanwhile, the 25-year agreement that created MOSA?expires in 2014.
Otsego's impending departure and the expiring MOSA?agreement raise questions for Montgomery County. The biggest question is where the county will send its people's trash after 2014. Officials should work quickly to come up with answers.
Montgomery County has no plans to build its own landfill, so the county's focus may turn to reaching a contract with a landfill or waste- management group.
The three counties formed MOSA?in the late '80s. The purpose of the authority was to spread out the cost of solid waste and recycling services among the three counties. Now, with Otsego County leaving, the costs will be shared by the two remaining counties. How those costs will change for each county remains unclear.
Montgomery County officials have known about Otsego's plans to leave the authority and the possible demise of MOSA?in 2014. Officials have talked about potential alternatives but have reached no decisions.
It's time for county officials to get to work on this issue. After negotiating the division of assets upon Otsego County's exit, Montgomery County will have to determine how to get along in MOSA without Otsego; then, officials need to come up with a long-term plan for trash disposal.