SPSA to reduce tipping fees

Published 10:59 am Thursday, May 27, 2010

CHESAPEAKE—The Board of Directors for the Southeastern Public Service Authority voted Thursday to reduce the garbage tipping fees for its member communities from $170 per ton to $150 per ton in fiscal year 2011.

“It is a very, very positive thing for the future of SPSA,” said Everett Williams, who represents Franklin on the regional garbage agency’s board of directors.

The tipping fee reduction is expected to collectively save the communities served by SPSA approximately $5 million over the fiscal year. Williams said Franklin could save $94,000, Isle of Wight County $380,000 and Southampton County $178,600.

The tipping fees were raised to $170 per ton in 2009, essentially making them the highest in the nation, but a number of changes since then—including the sale of the waste-to-energy plant in Portsmouth—allow the board to reduce the fees for fiscal year 2011.

SPSA’s debt has fallen from approximately $218 million to $75 million, and the board is expected to use approximately $20 million for its cash reserves to pay down debt even further to around $54 million.

“We feel good about that,” Williams said. He said board members wanted to lower the tipping fees as much as they could.

“I’m just tickled to death that this amount of progress has been made,” he said.

SPSA serves eight communities in the region, including Franklin, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County.