After about two years of work between the New Hanover County negotiations team and Covanta Energy, the final contract with the energy-from-waste company has been completed.
“It seems like a long time in the making,” county manager Chris Coudriet said.
Rick Sapir of Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP presented the 400-page contract, narrowed down to a five-page summary via PowerPoint at the regular commissioners meeting Tuesday night.
The county hit a crisis point with the closure of three landfills. Covanta’s proposal would refurbish the incinerator, formerly WASTEC.
The 20-year contract includes $32.6 million for the Phase 1 retrofit price and $12.5 million for the Phase 2 service fee at 150,000 tons.
The contract states that the county will bear responsibility in cases of uncontrollable circumstances, included but not limited to, changes in law, acts of God, exclusions and as-is risks.
Strategy and policy manager Beth Schrader came before the board to explain the changes made to the contract.
An important note is that the $88 to $90 tip fee works out to be about $2 per month for homeowners, a number lower than many homeowners are expecting, she said.
Commissioner Rick Catlin asked if the air emissions exceeded Titan’s permitted levels.
Schrader said the two biggest reductions would be mercury and lead, and that the topic will be discussed more at the work session.
Commissioners will read over their own copies of the updated contract before they convene at the work session at 2 p.m. on Thursday,
Sept. 13, in the Harrell Conference Room of the New Hanover County Government Center.
Chairman Ted Davis encouraged residents who are interested to come to the work session. The topic has been discussed since he was elected in 1996.
“I just can’t tell you how important this is,” Davis said.
The 45-minute presentation on the contract ended the meeting. A follow-up contract presentation will come before the board on Sept. 17, along with a public hearing with 15 minutes for and 15 minutes against.
The contract has garnered much attention from community members, particularly those in the group called The Citizens Protecting New Hanover County. The group purchased a full-page ad in the StarNews on Sunday, Aug. 26, titled “Lipstick on a Pig.”
Davis said the county’s fact or fiction sheet about the ad will be posted on the NHC website at www.nhcgov.com.
In other news, the rezoning request by Tom Tucker to rezone 11.67 acres at
7740 Market St. and
115 Amaryllis Drive was moved to the Oct. 1 meeting at 6 p.m. to allow time for residents of The Park at Three Oaks to be apprised of the request.
“In this case, they certainly would be affected by the project,” said Chris O’Keefe, director of planning and inspections.
The request is for an additional 45 units to be added to the 156-unit apartment complex, requiring that the property be rezoned to a high-density residential district.
The promotion of multiuse zoning by the county and the traffic already on
Market Street were concerns raised in the Aug. 30 work session.