Published On: Wed, Jul 13th, 2011

Some Saratoga County construction equipment will be left outside…….

Some of Saratoga County’s construction equipment will be left exposed to the elements this winter.

Public Works Commissioner Joe Ritchey went before the county Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee Tuesday and requested a resolution to accept $195,465 in insurance money and put those funds toward the construction of a 6,000-square-foot cold storage barn at the county farm in Ballston Spa.

The county is eligible for the insurance money because a 4,000-square-foot storage barn at the site of the proposed county landfill in Northumberland collapsed in February under heavy snow, totaling the sheriff’s parade car and damaging some construction equipment.

The resolutions need to be approved by the Board of Supervisors before taking effect, but even if construction started today, Ritchey said it is unlikely that the Public Works Department would be able to construct the barn before winter because of ongoing highway and bridge repairs.

Ritchey said he’s looking to get the barn designed and purchase the construction kit so the Public Works Department can build the barn with its own equipment, tools and labor during the winter.

There are currently storage barns at the county farm site, but there isn’t enough space to keep all of the county’s construction equipment protected from the snow.

Ritchey said the county is going to have to prioritize what’s most important to shelter — does the county protect the sheriff’s boats, a water truck or, ideally, both? — and the rest would be left outside either at the landfill site in Northumberland or, more likely, in Ballston Spa.

“We’ll probably keep it down here,” he said, referring to Ballston Spa. “There’s no sense driving it up there (Northumberland) and parking it.”

Ritchey estimated the proposed, unheated shelter — which he described as a pole barn on a slab of concrete — will cost $161,000.

Any excess insurance money would go back into the county’s general fund.

The Board of Supervisors could vote to accept the insurance money but not amend the budget to build the barn, in which case the insurance payout would drop down to $161,858.79.

Following Ritchey’s requests, Deputy Public Works Commissioner Tom Speziale summarized the results of the county’s recycling efforts through the first six months of 2011.

Overall collections are down from previous years, he said. The county has only collected 1,941 tons of recyclables through June 2011, compared to 4,589 tons in all of 2010.

“We think this is largely attributable to single-stream recycling, which the major recycling vendors are practicing now,” Speziale said.

Single-stream recycling refers to a system where all recyclables are placed into a single collection truck, as opposed to having the resident individually sort different commodities like newspaper, plastic and glass.

The county has generated $294,957 in recycling revenue so far this year, but Speziale isn’t sure exactly how much additional revenue to expect.

To maximize recycling revenue, the department solicits quotes from vendors on a monthly basis for all recyclables before hauling them away to the highest bidder.

“We might be looking at a surplus of $100,000 in additional revenue by the end of the year,” Speziale said. “It’s a hard thing to predict.”

 

Source : www.saratogian.com