County to save upward of $500K with SPSA

Published 11:24 am Friday, April 1, 2016

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors on Monday evening approved a resolution to authorize the agreement for the use and support of a solid waste disposal system between Southeastern Public Services Authority and its member communities, which includes the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Suffolk and Virginia Beach, as well as the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.

Pending final negotiations of a good neighbor host fee between SPSA and the City of Suffolk, Southampton County would save “$525,000 to $550,000 annually” when the deal goes into effect on Jan. 25, 2018, according to county administrator Mike Johnson.

Under the new agreement with SPSA, RePower South Chesapeake will guarantee the transfer and transportation of at least 350,000 tons of the region’s waste for 15 years at $56.52 per ton; the current tipping fee for Southampton County is $125 per ton.

Johnson said its possible, though unlikely, that the savings will be reflected in the tax rate when the Fiscal Year 2017 budget is adopted in May.

“There are decisions on several large capital projects over the next couple years which will determine [the tax rate],” Johnson said, citing the pending courthouse renovation or replacement project and facility upgrades to various Southampton County Public School buildings. “Regardless, the savings will certainly help mitigate future tax increases.”

With Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton having approved the resolution at their respective meetings within the last week, SPSA awaits response from Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. In the meantime, the board of supervisors will discuss Southampton County’s unpopular $200 trash fee, which was approved in 2012 to help balance a $3.3 million shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The fee generated $1.34 million and allowed the supervisors to decrease the real estate tax rate to 75 cents per $100 of assessed property value from 77 cents per.

“It’s possible [that the trash fee is done away with or reduced],” Johnson said. “This is a policy decision that will be made by the board of supervisors [when the deal with SPSA is finalized].”