City to vote on new SPSA agreement

Published 1:46 pm Friday, December 18, 2015

At Monday night’s Franklin City Council meeting, City Attorney Taylor Williams presented the council with the proposed Southeastern Public Service Authority Use and Support Agreement. Williams is one of Franklin’s representatives on the SPSA board.

The last SPSA Use and Support Agreement signed by the city was on April 7, 1983. That agreement will expire on Jan. 24, 2018.

The agreement that was presented during the meeting to City Council is the board reviewed draft discussed at the SPSA board meeting on Dec. 9. It was authorized to be distributed to the SPSA member communities for consideration.

“This agreement states that everybody [all SPSA members — Franklin, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth] will pay the same tipping fee,” Williams said.

All council members seemed generally pleased with the agreement with the exception of Ward 3 Councilman Greg McLemore, who argued that he doesn’t believe that SPSA is best deal for the City, based on his own opinion.

“My concern is that I think that we are being told that SPSA is best deal we can get for our citizens,” McLemore said. “I don’t see why SPSA isn’t a last resort for us unless it is the best price we can get … All we’ve got is what you’ve given us on SPSPA?”

However, City Manager Randy Martin and Williams said that SPSA is in fact the best choice for residents with the best price and that they have looked at other places and weighed the options.

Martin then went on the say that the council isn’t required to decide if they are willing to accept the SPSA Use and Support Agreement until the second January or the February meeting, and even at that time they wouldn’t be actually asked to sign it yet — communities wouldn’t have to sign it until all eight members agreed.

The length of the term for this agreement has not yet been selected by SPSA yet, but the options are either a term for 10 or 15 years.