Settlement accepted in landfill dispute

Montgomery County to pay Fulton County $450,000

JOHNSTOWN — Montgomery County will be paying Fulton County $450,000 in a landfill waste disposal lawsuit settlement, after the latter county agreed Monday.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday authorized settlement of litigation commenced by Fulton County against Montgomery County. The litigation was related to the two counties’ intermunicipal agreement for waste disposal services from March 6, 2014.

After four years, Fulton County terminated its 10-year agreement with Montgomery County to use the Fulton County landfill on Mud Road in the town of Johnstown. Action was taken, effective June 14, 2018 by Fulton County and a lawsuit was commenced by Fulton County on Oct. 3, 2018 in state Supreme Court.

At the time, Fulton County issued a news release indicating that in the fall of 2017, it was “discovered” that Montgomery County was delivering waste from other areas of that state — “not authorized under the agreement.”

“By entering the two-county Intermunicipal Agreement for Waste Disposal Services, the county of Fulton agreed to accept municipal solid waste at its landfill that was generated by citizens of Montgomery County and managed by that county and its constituent municipalities,” the release said. “Waste generated in, delivered by or on behalf of other municipalities, was not acceptable.”

Fulton County officials said that during the four-year period, Montgomery County made close to $2 million in profit by accepting outside waste, charging an additional markup fee and delivering it to the Fulton County landfill on Mud Road. The release said that process was not authorized by Fulton County. The outside waste consumed over 50,000 tons of Fulton County landfill capacity, Fulton County officials said.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors action on Monday at the County Office Building followed a closed-door, executive session to discuss “pending litigation.”

When the chambers were opened publicly, the board approved a settlement that Montgomery County had already approved.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors authorized board Chairman Jack Wilson, County Attorney Jason Brott and special counsel Miller, Mannix, Schachner & Hafner LLC of Glens Falls to execute a “stipulation of discontinuance” and “settlement agreement and release” related to the pending lawsuit.

“It appears to be in the best interests of both Fulton County and Montgomery County to settle this matter and any related claims to avoid the costs that would result if litigation continues,” the resolution said.

According to the settlement — released publicly Monday by County Administrative Officer Jon Stead — Montgomery County agrees to pay $225,000 to Fulton County at the time of the fully-executed settlement agreement and stipulation of discontinuance.

“Montgomery County additionally agrees to pay Fulton County on or before March 1, 2020 an additional $225,000,” the agreement states.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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