County considers privatizing landfill

A lot of questions remain about the the future operations of the Northern Landfill in Westminster as the Carroll County Board of Commissioners looks at getting out of the landfill business.

In May 2013, saying they were interested in privatizing the facility, the commissioners issued a broad request for proposals to see what companies were interested in doing with the landfill. The idea of privatizing the landfill came from Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier, R-District 1.

The idea got put on the back burner as the board sought to get out of the waste-to-energy incinerator project with Frederick County. In April, it chose to pay a $1 million penalty fee instead of becoming involved in the project.

Now that Carroll County is no longer attached to the incinerator project, county staff have picked the issue of privatizing the facility up again, according to Scott Moser, deputy director of the Department of Public Works. Several companies have sent proposals to the county.

But before the board gets to see the proposals, Moser said the county has hired a firm to look at the best future uses for the landfill. After the work is completed, Moser said county staff will bring forward recommendations related to the landfill proposals.

Frazier said she disagrees with the process. She wants to see the concepts first before the firm or county staff provides any recommendations, she said, because that way, she would receive all the information first before staff or the hired firm narrows down recommendations for the board.

"I want to know what the concepts are," Frazier said. "I don't want to have everything narrowed down."

Moser said he didn't think he was allowed to release the information contained in the request for proposals. He said he would check to see if he was allowed to give the commissioners the information.

County staff did not publicly set a timeline for when they expect to bring back more information to the commissioners.

Reach staff writer Christian Alexandersen at 410-857-7873 or christian.

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