Invitation to Webinar (Earn Credits) Tuesday, September 25 @ 3pm: Living in the “G” Zone: GlidePath, Peak Energy Power Plants and Zoning.

KingstonCitizens.org is presenting a webinar specifically for all planning and zoning professionals living in the “G” Zone (Ulster, Orange, Greene, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess Counties). We hope that you or someone you delegate can attend on Tuesday, September 25 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm.     A Q&A segment will be allotted at the end of the presentations moderated by Rebecca Martin of KingstonCitizens.org.

Please register to attend webinar:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6696709002886678019

Attendance to this free webinar event provides credits for the following: AICP (American Institute of Professional Planners) and NYS Planning and Zoning Board

This webinar event is brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org in partnership with Scenic Hudson, Citizens for Local Power and Riverkeeper.   With support from TownOfUlsterCitizens.org, CAPP-NY, Catskill Mountainkeeper, NP Climate Action Coalition. Additional supporters TBA. 

OVERVIEW

Invitees will include municipal officials, county and municipal planning departments, and professional planners.

This webinar will discuss the economic and regulatory framework that is compelling developers of small “peaker” power plants to site projects in the Hudson Valley, and what municipalities can do to protect their communities from the impacts of these plants. While larger power plants are regulated under New York State’s Article 10, these smaller facilities are primarily under local jurisdiction.

Most municipalities in the Hudson Valley do not specifically address power plants in their zoning codes and could be vulnerable to an ill-sited project, such as the Lincoln Park Power Plant proposed in the Town of Ulster.

This webinar will provide zoning strategies and model ordinance language that municipalities can use to ensure that power plants—if they are permitted at all–are restricted to areas where undesirable environmental, public health and quality of life effects would not impact community character.

SPEAKERS

Evelyn Wright, PhD – is an economist with 20 years of experience in climate and energy policy analysis. She is Founder and Principal at Sustainable Energy Economics, as well as developer of FACETS framework for analysis of climate-energy-technology systems. At the US Environmental Protection Agency, she led the development of the agency’s MARKAL modeling and scenario analysis team. She was a lead modeler training local experts and guiding development of national planning models in eleven Southeast and Eastern European states on behalf of USAID. Evelyn currently works with Citizens for Local Power, a community-based organization working to create a local, clean energy economy in the Mid-Hudson region. Dr. Wright has also taught economics and environmental policy at Franklin and Marshall College, Towson University, and The Washington Center. She holds a PhD in Ecological Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Hayley Carlock, Esq. – is Director of Environmental Advocacy at Scenic Hudson, where she spearheads multi-disciplinary environmental campaigns. Hayley uses tools including litigation, advocacy and grassroots coalition-building to fight threats to the Hudson River and natural resources in New York’s Hudson Valley. She has worked on numerous environmental and energy issues including the Superfund cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson River, energy facility siting, hydrofracking, drinking water and environmental impact review. Hayley has led Scenic Hudson’s successful initiatives to stop the Hudson River from becoming a crude oil superhighway and to halt plans for 43 new industrial barge anchorages on the Hudson. She also helped negotiate Scenic Hudson’s win-win settlement with LG Electronics that reduced the height of its planned corporate headquarters atop New Jersey’s iconic Palisades by more than half, significantly minimizing its impacts on spectacular Palisades views. Prior to joining Scenic Hudson, Hayley worked in private practice for a small litigation firm in the Hudson Valley. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Vermont Law School in 2009, where she concentrated in environmental law. She is a member of the bar of the State of New York.

WHAT’S NEXT

We plan to record and distribute the webinar as a video, but we hope you will attend so you can participate in Q&A and discussion. (The Q&A portion of the webinar will not be recorded or distributed, to facilitate open discussion.)

“Strong” Turnout for Press Conference on the Proposed GlidePath Fossil-Fuel Power Plant in Town of Ulster.

Today, over 25 residents gathered at a press conference organized by TownOfUlsterCitizens.org and Pat Strong, candidate for District 46 State Senate. The group met on Riesely Street in the Town of Ulster, a densely populated residential neighborhood and ‘ground zero’ for the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center, a gas-fired fossil power plant project by GlidePath.

“Glidepath, a company from Illinois, who has never built a fossil fuel project, wants to come into our town, and build something we don’t want, we don’t need, and that gives us no benefits whatsoever.” said Laura Hartmann, one of the founding members of TownOfUlsterCitizens.org. “They come because they can get their emissions permits easier because of our clean air.  They come because of the financial incentive from NYS of $1.4 million before they even flip the on switch.”

Read more…

GUEST EDITORIAL: Beyond ‘Streamlining’ – Improving Kingston’s Preservation and Heritage Programs

Click on Imagine to review educational panel “Historic Preservation in the City of Kingston: Re-thinking the Review Process”

By Marissa Marvelli

On September 19th, the Kingston Common Council’s Laws & Rules Committee may discuss whether or not to throw out or to table the Corporation Counsel office’s draft legislation to merge the Heritage Area and Historic Landmarks Preservation Commissions. It will be nearly the fourth consecutive meeting for which this matter has been a topic, and it’s our opinion that the Council should not hesitate to throw out the legislation and instead, continue on the promising path that they are on now.

The council members who serve on the committee deserve praise for their careful study of the Corporation Counsel’s draft legislation and the reasons why it is being proposed. After a lot of information-gathering—particularly at their meeting in July where they heard directly from program administrators—it appears the broad consensus of the committee is that merging the commissions will not meaningfully address issues concerning the regulatory review process, and in fact, may create new problems.  

And what are the issues exactly? What problems is “streamlining” meant to solve? Were other solutions considered before the legislation was put forward? No one could say for sure. The reasons repeated by city administration is that merging the commissions is a recommendation of the now disbanded Comp Plan Re-zoning Subcommittee without sharing any notes that show how that conclusion was reached. At face value, the idea to eliminate one step in the public review process by combining two related volunteer commissions would seem like a rational change. Why make an applicant appear before two separate commissions for a new business sign? No one is arguing in favor of such redundancy, but is there another way to solve this?

Read more…

SAMPLE BALLOT. Primary Day is September 13th. Vote!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Rebecca Martin

On Thursday, September 13th, the primary election will occur with polls open from 12:00pm – 9:00pm.  FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE.

In the City of Kingston, registered Democrats and members of the Reform party will have the opportunity to choose their candidate for the races listed below.   You may REVIEW the sample ballot in advance as well as to click on the links below to be taken to the webpages of each individual candidate.

Please vote!

Read more…

Town of Ulster Lawyer Reject Professionals and ToU Residents Request for Temporary Moratorium on Construction of Power Plants for Zoning Review.

Last evening, the Town of Ulster Town Board met for their regular monthly meeting. Although Town of Ulster residents and coalition partners/professionals requested that a “…temporary moratorium be placed on power plants to allow time to review zoning” be added to the agenda prior to the Monday deadline at 4:00 pm of this week, the Town Board rejected their request.

Because the item was not placed on the agenda, the public – who filled the room – were made to wait until the end of the meeting to address the Town Board. Items on the agenda can be addressed by the public prior to the start of the meeting. Items not on the agenda can be addressed by the public at the end of regular business.

During the meeting (where the Town Board approved one negative declaration in SEQR after another on new build projects in the town), when inquiring citizens asked questions about projects that were being discussed, they were met with eye rolls and sneers by some of the developers, town board members and even the Supervisor himself, “…so you’re asking the town board to stop development…no I’m serious. What are you asking of the town board?”  (31:55 -34:14)

Incomplete segments of the public comment period were reported in today’s local paper, having left out important points that were made. Fortunately, you can review the audio from last evening as well as to tune into some of the key moments identified below.

 

 

40:51 -43:26
Laura Hartmann
Town of Ulster resident
TownOfUlsterCitizens.org

Submits 177 signatures from a letter submitted by residents of the Town of Ulster requesting that the Town Supervisor and Town Board publically state whether they consider the “GlidePath project a “Utility Company Structure” permitted as-of-right in the OM zone as GlidePath have been claiming and; That a growing number of ToU residents ask for a temporary moratorium on construction of power plants while it considers zoning that specifically regulates power plants.” When asked when/if the Town Board would comment or make a decision on these requests, Supervisor Quigley responded, “You’re making your comments to the town board, we acknowledge hearing you. Thank you.”

Read more…

TOOLKIT AND VIDEO – Residents of Ulster County and ‘G’ Zone Counties: Temporary Moratorium on Fossil-Fuel Power Plants To Address Zoning.

By Rebecca Martin

Last evening, approximately 150 people attended our public forum and community BBQ “Living in the ‘G’ Zone: GlidePath, Peak Power and Ulster County.

We learned that residents of Ulster County and vulnerable communities throughout the ‘G’ zone have no time to waste to address 25 MW fossil fuel power plants (where local communities have oversight) in their zoning ordinances.

As promised, we have created action items for both Town of Ulster residents AND all Ulster County residents and all of those living in the ‘G’ zone.

Video and PowerPoint from both presentations are available following our step by step actions.

We would like to keep track of the communities who pursue this information, so please send any updates to Rebecca Martin at rebecca@kingstoncitizens.org


Additional Resources
:

1.  VIEW  Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Statement re: GlidePath.

2. VIEW Coalition Letter to Town of Ulster: Temporary Moratorium on Power Plants to Address Zoning Code.  

 

TOOLKIT: Step by Step to Address Zoning and Peak Power Plants
This resident action was made possible by the generous support of Scenic Hudson, Citizens for Local Power and KingstonCitizens.org

 

ACTION FOR TOWN OF ULSTER RESIDENTS

Urge your municipality to place a moratorium on fossil-fuel burning power plants while they consider zoning that specifically addresses power plants.

The next Town of Ulster Town Board Meeting will occur on Thursday, August 16th at 7:00pm at the Town of Ulster Town Hall, 1 Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine, NY.

1.First, in towns, zoning Must Be Consistent with Comprehensive Plans (NYS Town Law §  263)

2.Please request that the Town of Ulster Supervisor and Town Board adopt a temporary moratorium on construction of power plants while it considers zoning that specifically regulates power plants.

3.Demand that the town Supervisor and Town Board publicly state whether they consider the GlidePath project a “utility company structure” permitted as-of-right in the OM zone as GlidePath has been claiming.

 

ACTION FOR ULSTER COUNTY RESIDENTS AND ALL LIVING IN VULNERABLE AREAS IN THE ‘G’ ZONE. (Ulster, Greene, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Putnam Counties).

To ensure that your town doesn’t end up with a gas-fired power plant proposed just feet from a residential neighborhood, urge your municipality to place a moratorium on fossil-fuel burning power plants while they consider zoning that specifically addresses power plants.

Smaller “peaker” power plants (25 MW or less) are primarily under jurisdiction of local governments, and not “New York State” and are going to become increasingly prevalent throughout the Hudson Valley.

Most municipalities do not have zoning specifically regulating power plants.

Q.  Should power plants be allowed at all in our town? Would prohibiting them constitute impermissible exclusionary zoning? 

Not necessarily. NYS courts have stated that municipalities can ban industrial uses as long as prohibiting a use is a reasonable exercise of its police powers to prevent damage to the rights of others and to promote the interests of the community as a whole.
(Gernatt Asphalt Products v. Town of Sardinia)

If power plants are permitted in your town, how should our zoning regulate them?  They should only be permitted:

•In heavy industrial zones that are designated for uses that generate significant noise, traffic or pollutants and are far away from important environmental areas and residences;

•With a special use permit;

•Subject to strict conditions related to noise, stack height, etc.;

•Subject to minimum lot size and coverage (subject to underlying zoning requirements or can create specific new standards); and;

•With an enforceable decommissioning plan requiring restoration of the site to original condition or better.

 

VIDEO #1: “Living in the ‘G’ Zone: GlidePath, Peak Power and Ulster County.”

1:16 – 15:02
County Executive Mike Hein
“You’re here because you care about something that is fundamentally wrong and stopping it…your county executive is going to fight like hell to push back on this.”

15:10 – 17:55
Amanda LaValle, Department of the Environment, Ulster County
“Executive Order #2 of 2018 speaks to Ulster County’s commitment to renewable energy and insuring more renewable projects like the Town of Ulster Solar Landfill project, as well as to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and going further to expand with a community emissions reduction goal of 80% over the 2012 baseline by 2050.

18:01 – 23:13
Laura Hartmann, TownOfUlsterCitizens.org
Welcome and Thanks

23:15 – 30:00
Rebecca Martin, KingstonCitizens.org
Welcome, Coalition Partners and Panel Opening

30:38 – 53:25
Evelyn Wright, Citizens for Local Power
Please follow along with her powerpoint available HERE

Solutions to GlidePath’s peak power plant proposal in the Town of Ulster:

1.Serve the distribution system: Non-wires alternatives. ConEd is actively looking for storage developers for projects downstate.

2. Hybridize existing peaker plants. NYS has 3000 MW of very old, very dirty peaker plants that need to make changes to meet new air regulations (again mostly downstate).

3. Partner with an industrial or commercial site that can use some of the batteries’ services.

4. Storage-plus-renewables. Renewables do not have to be co-located on the same site in order to get state incentives!

5. Storage only. Actively participate in the evolving NYISO and NYSERDA/PSC processes that will change the storage market landscape over the next two years AND design a storage-one project that benefits from those incentives.

53:40 – end
Hayley Carlock, Scenic Hudson
Please follow along with her powerpoint available HERE

The role that local zoning plays with smaller power plants generally. Urge your municipality to place a moratorium on fossil-fuel burning power plants while they consider zoning that specifically addresses power plants.

Here’s how.

1. First, in towns, zoning must be consistent with “Comprehensive Plans” (NYS Town Law § 263).

2. If power plants are permitted in our town, how should our zoning regulate them?

They should only be permitted:

•In heavy industrial zones that are designated for uses that generate significant noise, traffic or pollutants and are far away from important environmental areas and residences;

•With a special use permit;

•Subject to strict conditions related to noise, stack height, etc.;

•Subject to minimum lot size and coverage (subject to underlying zoning requirements or can create specific new standards); and;

•With an enforceable decommissioning plan requiring restoration of the site to original condition or better.

 

VIDEO #2:  “Living in the ‘G’ Zone: GlidePath, Peak Power and Ulster County.”

Hayley Carlock, Scenic Hudson (Continued)

00:00 – 1:35
ToU History on Solar Moratorium.

1:36 – 4:03
Action for Town of Ulster Residents

4:04 – 10:06
Action for Residents if you don’t live in the ToU.

10:07 – 12:46
Update on GlidePath and SEQR process

13:00 – End
Question and Answer period

Coalition Partners and Citizens Request Temporary Moratorium on GlidePath Power Plant Project in Town of Ulster

Coalition partners ask about a temporary moratorium on power plants in the Town of Ulster to review zoning code, as they did on Solar Energy Systems last September.

Out ahead of this evening’s Public Forum (8/10/18) “Living In the “G” Zone: Glidepath, Peak Power and Ulster County“, coalition partners, who have been working together since November of 2017 to encourage a fully transparent, public process as it pertains to the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center (a gas-fired power plant in the Town of Ulster, NY), have requested a temporary moratorium on the proposal for the Town of Ulster Town Board to give “…clarity on whether the Town of Ulster Zoning Code (the “Zoning Code”) currently regulates gas-fired power plants, and specifically request a statement as to how the Town is treating the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center (the “Project”) under the Zoning Code.”

“In 2017, the Town proposed a temporary moratorium on the installation of freestanding or ground-mounted solar energy systems. The Town’s stated rationale for doing so was that solar energy facilities are “not currently regulated in the Town of Ulster Zoning Code.” Therefore, a solar power generation facility does not, in the Town’s view, constitute a “utility company structure”. As both solar facilities and gas-fired power plants generate electricity, and a solar facility would very likely have fewer negative impacts than a gas-fired power plant, it makes no sense that a gas-fired power plant would be considered a “utility company structure” while a commercial solar facility would not. Therefore, we request that the Town clarify that the proposed Project is not an as-of-right permitted use within the OM District in the Town.”

TownOfUlsterCitizens.org will deliver a copy of the letter with signatures from residents at the Town of Ulster’s next Town Board meeting on August 16th.

An action for communities who are vulnerable in the “G” Zone (living in an attainment area that includes upper Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Greene counties) will be led through steps to encourage their municipalities to shore up their zoning for peak energy plants that are 25mw’s or less at tonight’s public forum.  All materials, including video from today’s event, will be provided as a tool kit to be shared.

Read more…

CoK Mayor Steve Noble Advocates for Public Participation Plan for ToU Power Plant Proposal in Rondout’s Potential Environmental Justice Area.

In April, we learned that in during the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) SEQR Scoping comments regarding the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center (a gas-fired peak energy power plant in the Town of Ulster), state officials wrote that “If the air data indicates that the project’s potential impact area includes the Potential Environment Justice Area (in the City of Kingston’s Rondout) the applicant will be required to incorporate environmental justice into the permitting process and prepare a public participation plan as described in the attached environmental justice fact sheet.”

In the DEC’s Commissioner Policy #29 Environmental Justice and Permitting, the “policy amends the DEC environmental permit process by identifying potential environmental justice areas; providing information on environmental justice to applicants with proposed projects in those communities; enhancing public participation requirements for proposed projects in those communities; establishing requirements for projects in potential environmental justice areas with the potential for at least one significant adverse environmental impact; and providing alternative dispute resolution opportunities to allow communities and project sponsors to resolve issues of concern to the community.”

In the the City of Kingston, there are two “Potential Environmental Justice Areas“. One in Uptown and in the Rondout, downwind of potential emissions produced by the gas-fired power plant that is being proposed.

It was reported that the other comments about the environmental review of the project from the state include:

  1. Finding that the project is located within an area of potential historical or archeological significance and may have visual impacts on the Hudson River National Landmark Historic District.
  2. Requesting an evaluation of whether the project is consistent with the state energy plan and suggested the developer consult with the state Department of Public Service.
  3. Noting that the project site has the potential for a “high abundance and diversity of amphibians and other vernal pool associated wildlife.” State officials added that there are also potential impacts on habitat for the Northern Long-eared and Indiana bats due to planned tree removal.
  4. A reminder that some of the property appears on federal wetlands maps and that the developer will need to conduct surveys to establish precise boundaries.

Since then, the City of Kingston has not heard another word on how the project sponsor intends to respond to the DEC’s request.  On Tuesday of this week, Mayor Steve Noble sent a letter to the DEC’s Region 3 Regional Director Kelly Turturro to follow-up.

” … I ask that the DEC send a written notice to the applicant requesting that it immediately commence compliance with the requirements of the Department’s Environmental Justice Policy, as specific in the Department’s March 20, 2018 Comments on the Draft Scope. The City of Kingston, in which the PEJA area is located, specifically requests that the Department direct the Applicant to prepare and submit an enhanced participation plan for review and approval, so that it can be implemented before the public comment on the DEIS is opened. In this way, the intent of the Commissioner’s Policy is honored, and Kingston’s identified environmental justice community will be provided with sufficient time, tools and the opportunity to clearly voice, and have their comments be considered, on the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center. “

For today, you can reach out to our Mayor and thank him for taking a proactive approach on this. Without having done so, it isn’t clear whether or not the applicant would have complied.  This will most certainly help.

Send your thanks to:  mayor@kingston-ny.gov

We’ll follow-up as we learn more.

VIDEO: Kingston Laws and Rules Committee Host Roundtable to Clarify Kingston Development Processes.

 

CITIZEN REQUEST.  Please request that the Kingston Common Council Laws and Rules Committee throw out streamlining legislation and continue to collaborate with all relevant Kingston departments, boards and commissions to clarify the development process scenarios comprehensively in the City of Kingston. 

Contact:  Laws and Rules Committee Liaison to Streamlining Commissions:  Ward 9 Alderwoman Andrea Shaut at:  ward9@kingston-ny.gov

By Rebecca Martin

In April of this year, draft legislation to “streamline” the Historic Landmarks Preservation and Heritage Area Commissions was introduced by the City of Kingston’s executive branch to the common council with support from both the Planning and Building Departments.  Streamlining Historic Commissions, they argued, would eliminate any redundancies and create a more efficient process for project sponsors who came forward with development concepts for the city.

It’s been a rocky road since, with Kingston’s assistant Corporation Council misleading the council and the public by providing false time requirements and pending litigation that was never understood as reasons to get the streamlining legislation as a local law passed by September.

To help to better understand the process, we jumped in to provide an important educational forum so that we had good information for debate. With more questions than answers, the majority of the council (7-2) with the public’s support, brought the proposed ‘streamlining’ legislation back to committee from the floor for further review.

How did the City of Kingston’s Planning and Building Department come to the conclusion that streamlining commissions was the best way forward?  Was there a flowchart of all development processes? Had all parties involved been gathered to discuss the process to collectively agree that streamlining was the solution?

We got our answer during July’s Common Council Laws and Rules Committee meeting.  Led by Ward 9 Alderwoman Andrea Shaut, who serves as the liaison to the Laws and Rules Committee on the streamlining matter, a roundtable discussion was called that included invitations to all decision makers – whether regulatory or advisory.  Turns out that this was the first time that everyone had been brought together to discuss. The planning department didn’t have flowcharts and Kingston’s Planning Director Suzanne Cahill insisted that the development process was not ‘one size fits all’ so it wasn’t possible to create them.

Really? Even SEQR has a flowchart. When you are talking about processes that if not available, up-to-date or followed correctly will impact the public in profound ways, you better get that information out of your head and onto the page.

Read more…

UCRRA Board Unanimously Pass Resolution to Triple Kingston’s Single-Stream Recycling Costs through December.

Click on image to view video.

By Rebecca Martin

On Wednesday, the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) unanimously passed through Resolution No. 2445 that will end single-stream recycling for the agency on December 31st, 2018 and resolution No. 2446 to increase tipping fees for the remainder of the year beginning July 1, 2018.

What does that mean for Kingston?

Single stream recycling is Kingston’s current system, and we made a large investment in order to do so between 2011 and 2013 with UCRRA’s blessing.  Although Kingston is the only municipality who does so through UCRRA, other communities in Ulster County engage in single stream recycling through private haulers without any trouble.

The City of Kingston, that serves approximately 24,000 people, must now scramble to figure out how to manage its single-stream recycling  before the end of the year and in the meantime, the costs to use UCRRA as we have will TRIPLE from $20 per ton to $76 per ton in July ($61 + $15 user fee). The price may fluctuate from month to month, and be even higher until single-stream is discontinued at UCRRA and we go off on our own.

The bitter pill in all of this for the public is that during the UCRRA Board’s informational meeting earlier in the spring, the agency was aware of the potential changes in the market last October. Prior to the City of Kingston adopting its municipal budget and with more time to engage in discussions with the public and private enterprises.

VIEW  Video
Brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org thanks to the Kingston News

KingstonCitizens.org will host a public educational forum on the UCRRA board in September of 2018.

 

 

VIDEO: City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble UCRRA Public Hearing on Single Stream Recycling

Photo Credit: Phyllis McCabe for Hudson Valley One.  Click on image to view Mayor Steve Noble’s Testimony at the UCRRA Public Hearing on Single Stream Recycling and rate increases on June 14th. 

 

Mayor Steve Noble gave excellent testimony at Thursday evening’s Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency’s (UCRRA) public hearing on Single Stream Recycling and rate increases.  You may click on the image to view his testimony, or following along here:  VIEW 

The public can submit comments for the next 10 days (through June 24th) to UCRRA@ucrra.org

###

“I could come before you this evening to talk about how the city of Kingston began its single stream operation. I could talk to you about how the Research Recovery Agency blessed the city of Kingston’s transition to single stream recycling. I could talk to you this evening about how much money the city has spent with both local funds and state grant dollars purchasing recycling bins for the city of Kingston residents. 

I could also talk to you at length about the amount of money spent on mechanizing our equipment to have the single stream recycling trucks that we purchased with state dollars. I could also speak to you this evening about how our recycling rates have almost doubled in the city of Kingston since we implemented this new recycling program. But in five minutes, I can’t do that.  I also don’t believe I can do that in the month in a half that we’ve had since UCRRA announced its plans to discontinue single stream recycling. 

This is viewed as something that, as you all have indicated, has been happening because of China. But I would say that the issue of recycling has been happening around our country and around New York for decades, trying to get people to recycle. And it has not been easy. And it’s been something that we’ve all struggled with. 

Whether we’re single stream or dual stream, people still don’t know how to recycle correctly. People still put plastic bags in dual stream recycling just like they do in single stream recycling. They still don’t know where to put shredded paper. And whether it can be recycled or it can’t be recycled. And I think the same issue is here. This is an important decision. What do we charge? How do we manage it? Is it dual stream? Is it single stream? 

The agency is shifting course and deciding, again, that dual stream is the only way that Ulster County should operate. Then that should be a public discussion, and it should involve the county legislature. It should involve the recycling oversight committee. It should involve a whole lot more meetings like this, and it should involve the stake holders that will be directly implemented and impacted by these decisions. That should include the large haulers like Waste Management and County Waste. And it should involve the residents of the city of Kingston that don’t speak English. 

It should involve all of our residents. And the agency needs to step up and engage with our communities and really decide how can we build a better, more sustainable and also more resilient recycling industry here in Ulster County. And there is no way that that can happen before December 31st of 2018 before the proposed switch that you’re asking us to do. 

We need to be able to spend that time working together to decide once and for all how we do this. As many of you know, it’s taken the city of Kingston four years to completely implement single stream recycling in just the residential neighborhoods. On Tuesdays, we still have dual stream recycling, for the most part, on our business commercial districts in the city. And so we still haven’t gone fully single stream. 

I do think that it’s important that this decision not being made in haste. I think that the board has created a crisis, and made this seem like a crisis, making it seem that our agency is stockpiling single stream recycling. Making it seem that we have no place to put it. Making it seem that there is an emergency happening here in Ulster County, and it’s just not true. 

And yes, we all recognize that the market is changing, and that we have a huge issue that we all have to tackle together. But again, I don’t believe it needs to be done in six months. I don’t believe it needs to be done like this.  I encourage all of you to consider that when you’re deciding on how the board is voting on these next two resolutions. And so with that said, I just want to say thank you again for letting me speak this evening.”

PUBLIC HEARING ON THURSDAY 6/14. Request Agency Postpone Vote on Increase in Single-Stream Tipping Fees.

CITIZEN REQUEST.  Please request that the UCRRA board postpone its vote on Resolution No. 2446 that proposes a single-stream recycling fee increase (intended to begin on July 1st) to allow time for discussion, to budget appropriately and consider alternative options.

You can also call your City of Kingston Ulster County Legislator representatives to request that the county reinstate the Recycling Oversight Committee:

City of Kingston District 5, Lynn Eckert 
845/392-3205
lynn.Eckert@co.ulster.ny.us

City of Kingston District 6,  David Donaldson
845/399-8709
dbdonaldso@yahoo.com

City of Kingston District 7, Brian Woltman
845/331-2202
brian.woltman@co.ulster.ny.us

On Thursday, June 14th at 5:00 pm,  the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) will host a public hearing at the Ulster County Legislative Chambers located at 244 Fair Street, 6th floor (VIEW our Facebook Event) on the following resolutions:

Resolution No. 2445 states that UCRRA will no longer accept single-stream recyclables effective at the close of business December 31, 2018.

Resolution No. 2446 authorizes and approves the modification of the 2018 Tipping Fees and other Charges, to take effect July 1, 2018.

The event will be followed by UCRRA’s regular board meeting to vote on the proposed changes less than two weeks from their public hearing on Wednesday, June 27th at 12:00 pm at their offices located at 999 Flatbush Road in Kingston (VIEW our Facebook Event).

According to Resolution No. 2446, “…the Agency hereby approves the modification of the 2018 schedule of the tipping fee and other charges as it relates to single stream recyclables raising the tipping fee for single stream recyclables from $20.00 per ton to an amount set each month by the Executive Director, by calculating the average rate the Agency was charged to remove single stream recyclables in the previous month, plus a $15.00 per ton fee reflecting the Agency’s cost of storing and handling such material….for single stream recyclables will be adjusted the first day of each month commencing July 1, 2018 based on the rate calculated by the Executive Director.

A fluctuating increase in single-stream recycling tipping fees from month to month would make it a real challenge for our community to know what to anticipate. Given Kingston is in the midst of its already adopted 2017/2018 working budget with recycling tipping costs accounted for, how is this change mid-year in the best interest of 24,000 Ulster County residents who will bear the brunt?

“What is the financial impact on the taxpayers of Ulster county?”
– City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble

“We can’t pass laws, there’s no flow control on recycling.  The vast majority doesn’t come to us. The impact on taxpayers, hardly any difference at all.” 
– Timothy Rose,  Executive Director, UCRRA

“Just us.”  
– City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble

From UCRRA’s Informational Meeting, May 2018 VIEW
Mayor Steve Noble’s Quote begins at 34:23

How did we get here?  There is still much that is not understood, such as:

1. During UCRRA’s Informational Meeting last month, board members stated that a change in the Single-Stream market was known in or around October of 2017.  In April, an article in the local paper announced UCRRA’s plans to discontinue single stream by 12/31/18 and to also raise rates to take effect on 7/1 until single-stream would conclude at the end of the year. If the Ulster County Legislature has oversight of UCRRA, at what point were they notified of this change?

2. The Ulster County Legislature has a “Recycling Oversight Committee” that is charged to look at the changes in recycling trends and materials for the county has been inactive having  “…only met a few times over the past decade.” according to Manna Jo Greene .  Without it, how has the legislature used its oversight responsibilities to make any recommendations to UCRRA or impacted communities prior to proposed legislation being drafted?

3. Were there any communication made by UCCRA and the UC Legislature to the City of Kingston regarding these proposed changes prior to April, 2018?

There will be many questions posed during the public hearing on Thursday afternoon. The public deserves time for all parties to respond, discuss and deliberate before changes are made to UCRRA’s single-stream system or rate changes are made.  A postponement of Resolution No. 2446 is a reasonable request.

 

VIDEO: Kingston Common Council Sends Streamlining Historic Commissions and Legislation Back to Committee.

Click on image to review the legislation packet from last night’s Council meeting. Scroll down to see Resolution #107 and accompanying legislation.

By Rebecca Martin

In what might might very well be in my top 10 most perplexing processes I’ve witnessed in 12 years at KingstonCitizens.org,  good sense prevailed and Resolution #107 of 2018 “Common Council of the City of Kingston Establishing a Public Hearing Regarding the Possible Merger of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Heritage Area Commission” (with accompanying legislation from 5/16/18 to be sent out to Involved Agencies)   was referred back to the Laws and Rules Committee for proper vetting with a  7 / 2 vote.

In favor: Morrell, Worthington, Carey, Davis, O’Reilly, Schabot, Shaut
Against: Scott-Childress, Koop

The good news is that I think Kingston is venturing into a new kind of conversation to better understand Historic Preservation in Kingston with a secondary goal to identify best practices so to make the review process for development more efficient.

Thanks to council members for a thoughtful and robust debate.

It’s also a moment for the executive branch to contemplate better boundaries for its corporation counsel.  I hope that the Kingston Common Council will also consider advocating for a budget line to provide its own council on retainer for second opinions. With a new budget cycle coming up, it’s the perfect time to be putting that forward. I think the public might readily support that this year given this flub. The council should have staff, too. What happened to the council clerk position that began last summer and ended in the fall?

A refreshed value may be placed on the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission (HLPC), with the council allocating a council liaison and/or, assigning the HLPC to a council committee (perhaps Laws and Rules) for an ongoing dialogue to allow relationships to be built and for council members to have the opportunity to get to know Historic Preservation items and issues in real time, as well as to come to a new appreciation of the work that our commission is doing on Kingston’s behalf. That seems entirely possible to me now.

Below is video from the recent council caucus and meeting with excerpts. Thanks to my partner Clark Richters of the Kingston News for his great work in recording video for this, and all of the meetings that we cover. I couldn’t do it without him.

Read more…

The Proposed Legislation to Merge Kingston’s Historic Commissions is not Ready for a Public Hearing.

“So what does it matter, one historic window? Beyond being the physical evidence of history, all these details contribute to the greater ensemble of a historic neighborhood—its spatial structure, continuity, texture and depth—the general feeling that orientates us in time and place. That sense of place is what drew many of us here; it’s what inspires artists and entrepreneurs; and what drives important economic engines for the city—the specialized building trades and tourism. Historic buildings are often at the heart of our most exciting development projects and the backdrop of our annual community events—the chronogram block party, the Artists’ Soapbox Derby, the O+ Festival, the Burning of Kingston. Our historic fabric should be treated as a precious resource like water and air. It’s not renewable. Buildings don’t preserve themselves.   – Marissa Marvelli, Vice Chair, CoK HLPC

CITIZEN REQUEST

Please plan to attend the next Kingston Common Council meeting on Tuesday, June 5th at 7:30pm, where the council will vote on a resolution that would send the proposed legislation for a possible merger of Kingston’s historic commissions to involved agencies for comment that include the Ulster County Planning Department, Kingston Planning Board, Town of Ulster, NYS SHPO, Town of Esopus, Rhinebeck and Red Hook.  Request that Kingston’s Common Council deny the resolution and instead, send the proposed legislation back to the Laws and Rules committee for further study and development with members of the Heritage Area Commission, Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission and Kingston Common Council members.

VIEW our facebook event

By Rebecca Martin 

The current legislation to merge the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission (HLPC) and the Heritage Area Commission (HAC) is not ready for public comment. Something stinks about this process, and I can’t tell you why.

Recently, legislation appeared at the Kingston Common Council’s Laws and Rules Committee brought forward by Kingston’s Corporation Council to “streamline” or merge Kingston’s HAC and HLPC commissions. This month, and only two days after KingstonCitizens.org hosted a well attended educational forum on ‘Rethinking Historic Preservation” in the city of Kingston, the controversial legislation passed through committee unanimously to the floor, where a public hearing has been scheduled. Not because a public hearing was the correct next step, but mainly because I think the council members didn’t understand the weight of a public hearing at this time given the way this legislation was framed or explained.  This is all so complicated, so we appreciate you following along and connecting the dots.

A Brief History

For years, there have been conversations that seem to have come from the Kingston Planning Department, about developers trying to move projects through the city’s process with projects in historic districts getting help up in the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission domain.  Instead of looking at the sequence of these steps in what is called a coordinated review, some in the city believe that “merging historic commissions” was the best way in making the process for a development in historic landmark areas more ‘streamlined.”

The Local Law Process.

The city seems on a tear to want to pass this merger through whether or not preservation professionals have had the opportunity to participate.  At the May 2018 Laws and Rules Committee meeting, Kingston’s Corporation Council Dan Gartenstein laid out a timeline, recommending that the council hold a public hearing followed by two readings before a vote August to meet the City of Kingston’s budget cycle in September. When merged, the commission would be overseen by the planning department who could carve out a budget line in next years budget for funds in order for additional preservation work, such as identifying new historic districts or saving historic homes. When challenged to make the public hearing later in the summer, he stated that there was litigation in the wings that made the merger timely.

For the record, the HLPC is not concerned about a budget line at this time. The commission only wishes to make sure that their current ordinance is clear.

According to the Department of State’s document VIEW  “Adopting Local Laws in NYS” on page 14 under ‘Public Hearings’ in Step III, that the ‘law is presented to the municipal governing body and introduced by one of its members” and not the corporation council as has been done.  What is Kingston’s corporation doing introducing new legislation and then, placing pressure on council members to do so with speed?

Kingston’s Comprehensive Plan (CP) and Zoning and Historics.

The streamlining of commissions had come up as an item to place in Kingston’s new CP, but in 2015 – those who were concerned brought in State professionals from both SHPO and the Preservation League on the matter that led to it being retracted in the final document.  VIEW Daniel McKay’s Testimony.

Kingston City Planner Suzanne Cahill said to council members that the final CP had a goal to streamline commissions, it did not. However, it turned up again in the CP Zoning recommendations somehow.

On Gentrification. 

During the educational forum, the Mayor asked, “As properties are identified as landmarks, to bring them up to the standards to today’s Historic Preservation requirements can be expensive. In Kingston, people with money buying these historic houses raise the property values tremendously.  Because we have a housing stock of historic house, how do we provide access for all of those moderate/ low-income individuals? It’s a struggle that we have and may lead to gentrification if only some kinds of people can afford these houses.”

Erin Tobin, Vice President for Policy and Preservation, Preservation League of NY, said in response, “In many communities, there are vacant buildings and no one investing in them. Any investment requires the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Historic Preservation Tax Credit. You might contrast that with the only other analogy in NYS would be Brooklyn or NYC, where people are moving into neighborhoods that have lower property values and raising them. I don’t know if that’s Historic preservations fault, necessarily….one can have flexibility in approach….you can find ways to make that more affordable. I can’t underscore the importance of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit that we have in NYS….for people investing in historic homes. It is a rebate, at or below $60k that provides initial money in.  Communities can strategize to find ways to turn it into a loan, so the homeowner doesn’t have to put that money up front, or most of it…there are land banks doing that…I can’t say that I’ve seen a big issue with preservation causing gentrification. If anything, I’m seeing that in areas where there are preservation standards investors are using the low-income housing credit as a tool to use as an incentive.”

But it came up again in May’s Laws and Rules Committee meeting, where Majority Leader Rennie Scott Childress said, “…This is something that’s about rich people. And so we have to be very careful because we want to protect our historic heritage, but we also want to make sure that it’s not something that begins to price people out of living in Kingston. And so that’s something for us to keep in mind.”

You can watch the video where Erin Tobin dispelled this concern.   VIEW starts 27:31

“I believe justification does exist to maintain both the Heritage Area Commission and a Historic Landmarks Commission. I think an approach to look at is a coordinated review process which may include one application which would be reviewed by both Commissions collaboratively.” VIEW

In comments made by current City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble before he was Mayor portrays exactly what preservationists and citizen advocates are requesting.  What happened to Mayor Noble’s stance?

What’s at stake?

The Mayor believes that merging commissions without any substantive discussion about how the new combined commission will function and how the regulatory review process will change as a result (and that our state-level support will not be impeded) is not necessary to make clear beforehand. What is meant to be a marriage is more like a shotgun wedding.

Furthermore, the current legislation presented by Kingston’s Corporation Council has potential flaws, working with Kingston’s existing preservation ordinance that is based in part on a previous preservation model law that is 30 years old. It has been changed several times, to make that ordinance more murky  Because of which, the HLPC has taken up the preservation model law that is more up to date created in 2014, that provides NYS standards meant to help in providing good framework.

Streamlining isn’t yet consensual. If done at all, here are some of the real concerns:

1. Valuable state-level support in the way of training and grant opportunities may be in jeopardy if this new arrangement violates the terms of an agreement between CofK and NYS.

2. The proposed legislation goes beyond its stated intent to combine two commissions. Buried in the text are small but significant tweaks to the existing procedures of the HLPC, which prior to now have not been discussed or studied.

3. The proposed legislation misses a key opportunity to incorporate the 2014 Model Preservation Law, which offers clearer language and procedures.

4. The public is in the dark about the motivation for the accelerated timetable for this merging. At a recent Laws & Rules Committee meeting when asked what the hurry was, the deputy corporation counsel stated that there were other factors at play that he did not want to share in a public meeting.

VIDEO: UCRRA Host Informational Meeting on Single-Stream Recycling Rate Hikes and Discontinuation of Program.

CITIZEN REQUEST

Plan to attend the upcoming public hearing on June 14th at the Ulster County Legisaltive Chambers at 5pm to speak to UCRRA’s proposed plan to discontinue single-stream recycling (in 2019) and to raise rates in the meantime (effective July 1st, 2018) as well as to click on the following EMAIL hyperlink to send the following request to members of the Ulster County Legislature, UCRRA Executive Director and City of Kingston Mayor.

    1. Request that UCRRA research regional collection sites single-stream recycling and provide a report to the public on its findings“It would be helpful to put some real numbers together…what Mayor Noble asked you was, you stated what we’re making but it would be valuable to know the nearest single stream Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that are investing in the equipment and labor, to do a cost comparative” – Ulster County Legislator Manna Jo Greene
    2. Request that the Ulster County Legislature reconvene the Recycling Oversight Committee in 2018.“I want to make a recommendation that we consider reconvening an existing body which is called the Recycling Oversight Committee that the Legislature created to see which new materials we could add as mandatory recyclables. We’ve met a few times over the past decade…we’re now at a point where the markets are difficult, there is an international component. Because the Recycling Committee was so inclusive with citizens, environmental groups and the City of Kingston,  we should seriously consider doing a consensus building process for the long run.  I want to find a mechanism to work together.”
       – Ulster County Legislator Manna Jo Greene
    3. Request that the Ulster County Legislature and UCRRA finish what is currently a “draft” Solid Waste Management Plan from 2011 to take a countywide, holistic approach.  (The last ‘final’ solid waste management plan was completed in 1991.)“The point of the agency is to manage the county’s waste stream. With the Ulster County recycling law it tells the agency that it’s your responsible to manage recycling in the county….a prerogative of the agency, and the agency has invested alot of resources over the years. Recycling has changed, but the agency has not (to meet those changes). This is a countywide issue. How many county residents out of 180,000 people do single stream recycling?  My guess is a large majority of the county are served by single-stream. Transfer stations are a smaller number than they were 30 years ago. The question is, how do we look at solid waste going forward? Do we have a county plan?”  
      – City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
    4. The Agency postpone its vote on the proposed fee increases and not consider a fee increase to go into effect until January 1, 2019, to allow participating municipalities time to budget appropriately or consider alternative options.“It took (the City of Kingston) 4 years to implement single-stream recycling in the city. We just finished this year, and there are still business districts that don’t have their totes. To get them back to this new way, with three bins that doesn’t include composting which would make it four bins. How do we do that by January, 2019?”
      – City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
    5. Request that the Ulster County Legislature Energy and Environment Committee take up the issue of flow control over recycling by asking for the authority from the state.“It’s a state law in your enabling legislation. If we can get the state to amend it, the county should have a plan for recycling so that we can be in charge of our own destiny.”
      – City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble.

 

By Rebecca Martin

On Thursday, May 23rd, the Ulster County Recovery Resource Agency (UCRRA) held an informational meeting on the current climate of single-stream recycling,  it’s plan to raise rates as of July 1, 2019, and to discontinusingle-stream recycling as of January 1st, 2019.

What is UCRRA?

According to their website, “In 1986, the Ulster County Legislature obtained authorization from the State Legislature for the creation of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (the “Agency”), a public benefit corporation which was formed for the purpose of developing, financing, and implementing a comprehensive Countywide solid waste management program. In the mid-1980’s, after new initiatives to close non-complying exiting landfills were undertaken by the NYSDEC and strict requirements for the siting, construction, and operation of new disposal facilities were enacted, many communities found it beyond their financial and managerial capability to continue to dispose of waste in traditional ways. Consequently, many of the local municipalities in Ulster County requested that the Ulster County government assume the responsibility for solid waste management, and the Agency was created by the New York State Legislature pursuant to Chapter 936 of the Public Authorities Law approved December of 1986. The Agency’s organizational structure consists of a five-member Board of Directors; an Executive Director; Agency Counsel; and thirty administrative and operations personnel.”

UCRRA Proposes to Raise Rates and Discontinue Single Stream Recycling.

According to a chart presented during the meeting, UCRRA became aware of a changing Chinese market for single stream recycled materials in October of 2017.  As I understand it, although potential rate hikes had been discussed at around this time between UCRRA Executive Director Timothy Rose and City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, the decision for the county authority to discontinue single-stream recycling was learned from in a newspaper article released only one month ago.

 

VIDEO #1: Click on Image to View

1:01 – 16:19:   David Gordan, UCRRA Vice Chair
Presentation

Currently, the City of Kingston pays $20 per ton for comingled recycling materials. UCRRA claims that new categories have been formed, where rates will be $56 per ton for a ‘clean load’ (minimum contamination) or $107 per ton for a ‘dirty load’ (maximum contamination).

16:20 – 20:15:   City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
“We don’t know what companies are selling materials for after the single-stream plant processes it?” 

“We are presuming that the market is functioning honestly.” – David Gordan

“The Chinese market has decided to not accept our contaminated materials any longer.”   – Tim Rose, Executive Director, UCRRA

“When we talk numbers, I was wondering if your $400 a ton included the cost to the agency to get that amount…I don’t think that’s included. ” – CoK Mayor Steve Noble

22:51 – 25:51: UC Legislator David Donaldson, City of Kingston
“The plastic doesn’t get contaminated in single-stream…you still will receive money for plastic and cans.”

“Material Recovery Facility’s (MRF) are extremely expensive to operate. You are looking at labor costs, electrical costs.”    Description of an MRF is here: 24:10 – 25:05. 

“Plastic bags are a big issue.” (25:08 – 25:30)

25:52 – 28:47:  UC Legislator Manna Jo Green
“It would be helpful to put some real numbers together…what Mayor Noble asked you was, you stated what we’re making but it would be valuable to know the nearest single stream MRF that are investing in the equipment and labor, to do a cost comparative…I want to make a recommendation that we consider reconvening an existing body which is called the Recycling Oversight Committee that the Legislature created to see which new materials we could add as mandatory recyclables. We’ve met a few times over the past decade…we’re now at a point where the markets are difficult, there is an international component. Because the Recycling Committee was so inclusive with citizens, environmental groups and the City of Kingston,  we should seriously consider doing a consensus building process for the long run.  I want to find a mechanism to work together.”

38:12 – 38:44:  Charlie Landi, UCRRA Treasurer
“When the RRA first came to being, its losses were subsidized by the county through a net service fee. If the county wants to go back to that, we can work with that.”

46:25 – 48:46: Citizen
“Over the past 6 months when you’ve seen the direction we were going, dramatic change in where the ss is going, has that influenced private haulers?  Can you stop taking it from private haulers?”

“We can’t take any more single stream materials then we are taking. I am maxed out.” – Tim Rose, ED UCRRA

“Can you stop taking it from the haulers? – Citizen

“That’s what we’re discussing tonight. We are an authority, we can’t discriminate. We are talking about not taking it at all.” – Tim Rose

49:07 – 49:39: Introducing the UCRRA Board

29:48 – 54:39: UC Legislator Manna Jo Greene
“What are the options for the City of Kingston and haulers who are collecting single stream now?”

“(The SS recycling facilities) are limiting us to 2-3 trucks a day, 4 days a week. On Wednesday, it is only 2 trucks a day. We had to beg with them today, because we had 3 truck loads. I had no place to put it.” – Tim Rose, ED UCRRA

“Options for the CoK could be a couple of things. We could collect one type material one day then another on another day. There is 0 tipping fees for dual recycled materials.  Or you they can load it themselves and deliver it to a single stream facility.” – Tim Rose, ED UCRRA

 

VIDEO #2: Click on Image to View

00:00 – 2:25:  City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
“The point of the agency is to manage the county’s waste stream. With the Ulster County recycling law it tells the agency that it’s your responsible to manage recycling in the county….a prerogative of the agency, and the agency has invested alot of resources over the years. Recycling has changed, but the agency has not (to meet those changes). This is a countywide issue. How many county residents out of 180,000 people do single stream recycling?  My guess is a large majority of the county are served by single stream. Transfer stations are a smaller number than they were 30 years ago. The question is, how do we look at solid waste going forward? Do we have a county plan?”

2:26 – 3:12:  On the Flow Control Law, CoK Mayor Steve Noble
“I do want to make a point of clarification on net service fees. I indicted that the county took on a $2 million dollar burden before flow control took it back. That $2 million was placed on the backs of the residents of the city and towns that pay the tipping fees.  We went from $70 to $103 per ton.  The amount really just moved from the county as a whole to the city residents when flow control occurred. “

3:13 – 7:33:  Charles Landi, UCRRA Board Member
“There is another shortcoming of our flow control law, three years ago when it passed here – recycling was left out of it. We have no control over recycling. If we’re ever going to get the MRF running, we would need that flow. We need an amendment to our flow control law to include recycling.”

“It’s a state law in your enabling legislation. If we can get the state to amend it, the county should have a plan for recycling so that we can be in charge of our own destiny.” – CoK Mayor Steve Noble.

“Another option you have, talking to your engineering department, you have a transfer station that has a footprint of 8 acres which means that you have room to store single stream recycling.” – Charles Landi

“The point I believe of UCRRA is to have a coordinated countywide approach. The reason the agency came into existance was so that individual towns in the coutny wouldn’t be in charge of managing their own solid waste or recycling…with a proposal to stop accepting single stream and for the City to deal with it themselves and work with the same vendors that the coutny is working with, is again starting to shift their responsibility of countywide solid waste management to individual towns and communities. That’s a large policy shift, and the residents of the county should have a more robust dialogue…..my transfer station is only open 1 1/2 days a week and we only have one way master. We are only talking about 2,000 tons of single stream recycling per year. That’s 30 tons a week. We have 8,000 tons of trash. The cost of managing 2,000 tons a year of single-stream, there is an efficiency of scale…if we stopped bringing single stream to you all, I don’t think you’d be laying off employees.  It fits into the work load of the agency. it would just be passing that cost on to the city. Some of tipping fee ($103 per ton) goes to the agency operation.  We help pay for overhead, the MRF, any other activities.  We are already contributing as well as paying the $20 a ton.” – City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble.

11:07 – 15:40: Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley
“It was suggested at the end of June you were going to cease (taking SS recycling) There were some timelines thrown out, price changes, then the goal of stopping accepting single stream recycling. The ToU has to make a decision, so can you lay out a time line for what you may be visioning as to when you are going to make a decision about what you are going to do?”

“In an April resolution, we discussed hiking prices to $40 per ton, and to eliminate single stream as of January 1st….what we are now looking at now our regular meeting on May 30 is to settle on two resolutions: a price change and one considering ending single-stream recycling on January 1, 2019.  If we do a price change, it will take effect on July 1, 2018 – but that hasn’t been decided yet. It will be decided after we put it up for public consideration in a public hearing on June 14th.  The Board will vote on both resolutions on June 27th at 5pm.” – David Gordan

“The City of Kingston, Town of Ulster and Town of Saugerties equals approximately 35 – 40% of recycling. The balance is from private haulers, not including Waste Management and County Waste. Welsh is about 45%. The City of Kingston about 35%. The rest is the Town of Ulster and Saugerties.”

“The Town of Ulster is proposing to move from single-stream?” – David Gordan

“I’m not proposing anything, I’m considering. Big difference.” – Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley

16:25 – 21:18:  Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley
“What’s the probability of a tipping fee increase for next year?”

“Our five-year contract with Senaca falls is up in a year…landfills are closing around the state, so I’m nervous about what will happen next year that will take effect as of January 1, 2020.  We’ve done our due diligence. I’ve known this was coming down the pike, and we’ve been saving for this time.  Agency is planning to operate with a deficit to move things up incrementally.  The good news is that we’ll keep the tipping fee the same for another year….though the  landfill may be at capacity at 2025.

21:26 -25:30: City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
“Dual stream materials are sorted, in the end you end up with some materials you shouldn’t have to begin with. With the amount of single stream brought to you, is your line not able to process cans, bottles and glass and in the end, have a heaping pile of paper? If you are already sorting out trash in the line, what’s the difference in sorting paper our of the line, too?”

“With dual stream there is little garbage, I usually need only one guy.” – Tim Rose, ED UCRRA

25:31 – 34:22:  Emilie Hauser
“What has the DEC done or what do you have to do to.keep with your permit, how much recycling can you store?”

“There is a certain amount that we can take, 80 tons a day, 400 tons stored. We’ll store bales of material when the market is low, and watch the market to decide the best time to sell. The market can be low enough when we hold onto materials. If we don’t accept single stream, it will be a benefit for us, as we’ll have more space. We can store when times are bad, and sell when sales are high. This can help to keep the tipping fees low.” – Tim Rose, ED UCRRA.

34:23 – 37:58:  City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
“What is the financial impact on the taxpayers of Ulster county?”

“We can’t pass laws, there’s no flow control on recycling.  The vast majority doesn’t come to us. The impact on taxpayers, hardly any difference at all.” – Tim Rose, ED UCRRA

“Just us.”  – City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble

“When we do something fiscally responsible for us, it’s fiscally responsible for the county as a whole. If a municipality (like the city of Kingston) has chosen to invest in this way (single-stream), they may have problems. The real question is do we take those problems off of your hands?” – David Gordan

37:59 – 41:35: UC Legislator Tracey Bartels
“I agree with the Mayor that we have to take up the issue of flow control over recycling and ask for the authority from the state, we know it’s a problem going forward. As these markets dry up, we have two big haulers that are taking their single-stream out of the county because we don’t have flow control. I want to raise the concern that the agency exercise its responsibility of enforcement that that material is actually being recycled. If materials are leaving the county and going into the system and it becomes cheaper to go into their waste stream somewhere else, that would be against our county law…right now we have thousands of tons leaving the county saying ‘yes, we’re recycling’ but not a confirmation from the agency.  The city of Kingston is at a disadvantage because there is nowhere to hide…we want to make sure these private companies are actually recycling these materials.”

41:36 – 46:01: COK Resident
“How difficult would it be for the CoK to go back to dual stream recycling and also, did the state encourage SS recycling, or was it because it was easier to obtain it?”

“Currently over the past 5 years, we have purchased 96 gallon totes for everyone in the city to place single-stream recycling in that tote. At that time our recycling went up 30%. Prior to that, the agency stopped providing recycling containers. There wasn’t a coordinated recycling effort in the city.  We spent 1/2 million +.  The bins are picked up every two weeks. Trash pick-up every week. Yard waste on the off week. 35 members (of the DPW) to do that work. With a dual-stream system, there will be another set of bins (three large bins in total) that would require another weekly pick-up. We don’t necessarily feel that is something we can afford to do, nor do we have the manpower. Why did we get into this? For one, over the last 20 years, single-stream recycling has been in the market. We were the last community to go towards single stream recycling. When the agency accepted it, we said why can’t we do it too, and the agency said ”you can” and we launched our program. ” – City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble

46:02 -48:09: CoK Resident
“We either have to go to dual stream, or find a market for SS. Seems like the Agency has decided that they are not going to accept it. Am I right about that?”

“We are listening to everyone. The problem is the Chinese market has decided not to accept it.” – Dave Gordan

48:16 – 58:00: CoK Resident
“I wanted to understand whether the Chinese market has absolution stopped taking it, or is it that they are being more selective?  What do they do with the materials? Are they just putting it in their landfills? If that’s the case, that’s really expensive garbage.”

“…the Chinese market now has 24 categories of things that they will not accept, and among them is single-stream…as of January. 1 (2018)” – David Gordan

58:01- 59:50: UC Legislator Manna Jo Greene
“Our Economic Development people have got to start incentivizing here in NY and the US. For us to be dependent on China is foolhardy…I would like for us to find a grant to purchase the extra bins. We have to be solution oriented.”

VIDEO #3: Click on Image to View

00:00 – 1:45:  City of Kingston Mayor Noble
“If the city of Kingston was to go that route, it took us 4 years to implement ss recycling in the city. we just finished this year, and there are still business districts that still don’t have them. To get them back to this new way, with three bins that doesn’t include composting, and makes four bins. How do we do that by January, 2019?”