Sunday, June 21, 2015

Southbridge Resident Speaks Out On Casella Amendment

Zachary Tucker

Dear Members of the Southbridge Town Council,

My name is Zachary Tucker, and I am a proud resident of Southbridge. It has come to my attention that on June 22, 2015, The Council will be voting on the first amendment of the Casella Extension Agreement.  I firmly urge the Council to vote no. There are several facets to this contract which I feel deserve much more thorough examination, and once given I have no doubt the Council will find a NO vote is the only responsible option at this time. 

First of all, it is my understanding that the Southbridge landfill is running out of space and may soon close. I have it on good authority that the current system of leachate removal from the site is completely adequate and has worked just fine for many years. One must wonder then, what is the point of building a facility in order to sustain a system that is already sustained by the status quo, and why borrow $2.5 million dollars of taxpayer money to do so? The Contract Amendment also includes selling excess leachate plant capacity to companies and municipalities in surrounding areas, increasing the workload of our Sewage treatment facility by thousands of gallons a day.  Seeing as how this smelly, aging facility is already operating at 60% capacity of 3.87 million gallons a day, this added strain to the sewer system is another factor to consider.

Another issue with selling excess leachate plant capacity is the added traffic of additional toxic waste-filled tanker trucks in Southbridge. Why on Earth would we consider bringing even more toxic waste into Southbridge? The environmental implications of this deal have barely been discussed.

Finally, when all is said and done, there is the overall true profit to the Town to consider.  $2.5 million dollars has nothing but monetary value, and we are bargaining our future away where the environmental aspects of Southbridge are concerned. Casella is a business, and while they may have a stake in our community, they have an even bigger one in their own well-being. This amendment does much to aid the latter, while leaving the first to wallow in the misery of its wake.

Zachary Tucker

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