Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CRRA, Covanta both want trash facility

Like the biofuel plant, the saga of the trash disposal plant only gets stranger.

Without getting into too much detail, based on the following analysis:

it appears to me that CRRA and Covanta are both nearing a deal as the proposals are starting to make sense.

Of course, I think any of you reading this will immediately agree with me that the Covanta proposal is the obvious proposal to accept. But there's a hitch.

As was reported by Luther Turmelle this weekend, last Friday CRRA announced their intention to buy the plant... whether or not the five town consortium supports the idea:

It's unclear to me what "assets" belong to CRRA. I certainly hope it's not the $45,000,000 kitty that I understood to belong to the five towns, including Cheshire.

As for my openness with the post tonight... unlike past meetings, we didn't enter executive session tonight. So all of our discussions on Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, Covanta, Wheelabrator, etc. were open to the public.

Lastly, I commend Solid Waste Committee Chairman Matt Altieri for a well-run meeting tonight. For a topic that has been both voluminous and fairly complex, he came prepared, kept the meeting on track and allowed everyone to get the questions answered (to the best of staff's ability). I also commend the TA and TM for having been prepared. Frankly, I didn't care for the initial track the Council took... but at this point, we appear headed in the direction of Covanta. And based strictly on the above numbers, I think my homework investigating alternatives (for instance, see here and here) paid dividends. I was convinced a while ago that a free market approach made the most sense.

But then... who woulda thunk CRRA was going to propose buying the plant without municipal support? Not me.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that it was CRRA who brought the state an ENRON deal which bilked state tax payers out of more than $250,000,000 just a few years ago. Are current CRRA business practices and state oversight really improved from the CRRA/ENRON days which resulted in that scandal? Our state attorney general in part described some past CRRA activities as follows:

“…Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today released an interim report on his whistleblower investigation into the $220 million transaction between the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) and Enron, the failed energy-trading giant. The report states that it was not an energy transaction, as CRRA depicted it, but rather an unsecured loan to Enron exceeding CRRA's legal authority.

"The facts found so far indicate that CRRA's actions exceeded the explicit bounds of its statutory authority. Using 'energy' as a password, and Enron as a pass through entity, CRRA sought to do indirectly what it could not do directly. It employed 'energy' as a euphemism to circumvent the statute's ban on loans of this kind to private companies. ..” (see Attorney General Issues Interim Report On The CRRA, Enron Deal at http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=1777&Q=283786)

Why does the Covanta plan only require 39% of the trash tonnage that CRRA requires? Does the tip fee go down if the tonnage requirement is exceeded?

Anonymous said...

Covanta wants the plant for two reasons.

!. They would be crazy not to want it for $1.

2. With them owning the plant they can raise the tipping fee in the future and if the towns don't like it they can go find another provider at an even high price. Any offer from Covanta is like a cable television offer, great rate for a temporary period.

The town council has to look to the future, buy the plant and control our destiny. Just be sure that the price paid is based on a fair appraisal.

Anonymous said...

So, now the 30 Bowman family members are fighting to prevent Carlton Helming from turn over the BioFuel plant to Citizens Bank. What the hell legal right do they have to try to stop this. Citizens Bank loaned F&S 10 million and to have anyone try to deny them the ability to recover funds is unbelievable.

They have done everything to prevent the lien holders and customers from getting some of their money returned by the sale of this plant. How can anyone trust people like this?

Let's hope Citizens Bank wins and removes everything of value from this site. The Bowmans should not be rewarded for their lack of cooperation.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that CRRA didn't move to take over the plant until after the election. I think the main purpose of this organization now is to provide good incomes to a few connected people.

Tom Gaffey, our senator, has done O'K there.

If the CRRA buys the plant, it will help protect the incomes of these people and maybe that is why the CRRA rate is higher.