Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority is gathering approvals toward its longtime goal of bringing in outside revenues, officials said Tuesday.
The authority has provided solid waste and sewer services to Plainfield for about 16 years through an interlocal services agreement, but its early promise of expanding its range with outside contracts has yet to happen. Now it has received DEP permission to increase its maximum daily tonnage at the Rock Avenue transfer station from 99 to 280 tons and has won approval to charge tariffs
The authority still needs to get written permission from the city to go outside its boundaries for contracts and is entering into an agreement with the Union County Utilities Authority to serve as a “materials recovery facility,” authority attorney Leslie London said. The stage is set for “serious, meaningful negotiations,” London said.
London’s report was part of a regular PMUA meeting in which new Executive Director Duane Young thanked the PMUA board of commissioners for “blessing” a restructuring that resulted in no 2012 rate increase for solid waste services to property owners and a decrease in sewer rates. The restructuring led to savings of from $900,000 to $1 million, he said.
Young said the authority’s web site has been improved with minutes and meeting notices for greater transparency, something he promised in a September visit to the City Council.
“It makes it easier for the public,” he said.
In addition, residents who bring debris or vegetative waste to the transfer station will be able to pay with credit or debit cards in 2012. The authority lowered its rate for roll-off containers to a flat $150 for all sizes in another move to become more competitive and eventually increase revenues.
“We want to get new business,” Young said, so that its revenue does not “just come out of Plainfield residents’ pocket.”
Young said the PMUA will also streamline its senior discount system by using city records rather than trying to sign up seniors individually, which he called "a tedious process.".
“We want to grow,” he said. “We want to make this a better PMUA.”