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Senate bill clears path for Otsego County to withdraw from MOSA

By WKTV News

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.4555A) that would allow Otsego County to withdraw from the Montgomery, Otsego, Schoharie Solid Waste Authority (MOSA) at their discretion.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I, Oneonta), establishes the legal roadmap for Otsego County to leave the authority.

"The legislation follows a home-rule request made by the county board to sever ties with MOSA and move forward on their own in meeting the solid waste needs of Otsego County residents and businesses," said Senator Seward. "The request follows extensive study and exhaustive research on the part of the Otsego County Board of Representatives in regard to the future of solid waste disposal - I believe their decision should be respected."

Along with allowing Otsego County to leave MOSA, the bill also requires an equitable distribution of the authority's assets and liabilities between member counties. A population-based formula is used to determine the allocations.

The Montgomery, Otsego, Schoharie Solid Waste Authority (MOSA) was formed in 1988 to handle solid waste and recycling needs of the three member counties. A 2010 report by the state authorities budget office (ABO) identified significant operational and systemic deficiencies in the authority and recommended a complete overhaul of the authority's operations and an examination of its continued viability.

"Given that the authority is now debt free and all landfill post-closure responsibilities have been defined, Otsego County should be free to move on if that is what local elected officials desire and believe is best for their constituents," Seward concluded.

The bill has been sent to the assembly.

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