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Harrisburg's incinerator buyer plans to take over by end of 2013 - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg's incinerator buyer plans to take over by end of 2013

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The buyer of Harrisburg's debt-ridden incinerator says the company is hoping to take over operations before the end of the year.

Jim Warner, CEO of Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, told abc27 the goal is to transition ownership by November 18.

Warner said he attended Tuesday evening's Harrisburg City Council meeting in the hopes members would vote on a resolution to allow the sale. Instead, council moved the measure into committee in order to give the public a chance to ask questions and weigh in.

"Because I think very few will read a 100-page plan -- exactly what's coming," council attorney Neil Grover said.

Lancaster Solid Waste plans to buy the facility for $126-$134 million dollars, according to state receiver William Lynch's new 'Harrisburg Strong' recovery plan, and will begin transporting trash from Lancaster to Harrisburg.

"The plant has capacity such that we will be able to send Lancaster County trash there over the next 20 years, because our plant is full and we want to keep processing waste for energy rather than land-filling it," Warner said.

If the plan is passed, Harrisburg's trash fees will go down by $10 per ton, while Dauphin County fees increase by about $2 per ton, Warner said. However, the city already pays $130 more per ton than the county due to Harrisburg's massive debt.

Warner said the bottom line is that this deal is good for both Lancaster and Harrisburg.

"We're very fortunate in that the neighboring waste authority to this problem here happened to need what that plant has to offer," he said.

The entire Harrisburg Strong plan goes before a Commonwealth Court judge on September 19. In the meantime, Grover said City Council will begin holding public committee meetings as early as next week.

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