January 21, 2022

Essex Town Meeting Approves CRRA Lease and Police Budget Overrun

ESSEX— Voters at a town meeting Wednesday approved a new 15-year contract and a lease agreement with the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA), and a $106,574 overrun in the police budget for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The town meeting, held amid a developing early season snow storm, attracted only a handful of residents. All of the agenda items were approved on unanimous voice votes.

The resolution involving agreements with the regional trash authority included a new 15-year contract with CRRA for disposal of solid waste and recyclables, along with a new and updated agreement with CRRA for lease of a town parcel that houses the solid waste transfer station that serves a nine town region. The existing contract and lease agreement with the authority is set to expire later this month.

Under the agreements negotiated by First Selectman Norman Needleman and members of the sanitary waste commission, the town will receive up front payments totaling $229,721 for unpaid rent on the transfer station site, located on Dump Road off Route 154, along with several years of unpaid host town benefits that were promised when Essex agreed to be the host town for the authority’s regional transfer station.

The regional transfer station, which serves nine area towns in the former Connecticut River Estuary regional planning area, opened in the late 1980s. The facility compacts solid waste and collects recyclables from the area towns for compacting and trucking to the CRRA incinerator and collection site in Hartford.

Along with the back payments, the town will receive $15,000 per year in rent for the regional transfer station site, and a host town benefit of .54 cents per ton for each ton of material processed at the facility. The amount of the host town benefit would vary from year to year, but would have totalled about $37,000 from the 2012-2013 year. Essex would still be required to pay the authority a $59.50 per ton tipping fee for solid waste and recyclables from the town that are processed at the facility.

The $106,574 overrun in the 2012-2013 police budget resulted largely from overtime, including all of the overtime for a second resident state trooper that was retained in 2011 when the force of local police officers was understaffed because two officers were on leave for various reasons.