Commission, Plasco still talking years later

The commission pursuing a waste-to-energy plant has agreed to continue negotiating a new agreement with Ottawa-based Plasco Energy Group.

The commission pursuing a waste-to-energy plant has agreed to continue negotiating a new agreement with Ottawa-based Plasco Energy Group.

Representatives for eight of the nine communities in the Central Waste Management Commission met on Thursday to discuss the company’s latest agreement, which outlines how much garbage each community is expected to contribute to the plant and the per-tonne fee. A revenue-sharing provision is also part of the deal.

A new deal is necessary because the previous agreement signed in 2008 expired last year.

Progress on the gasification plant to be built next to Red Deer County’s Horn Hill Waste Transfer Site east of Penhold has been slow. Among the hold-ups is that there is still no word whether the project will receive $17 million in federal Green Infrastructure Fund cash, considered a crucial piece of the financial puzzle necessary to get the $90-million plant off the ground.

Commission chairman and Red Deer County Councillor Dave Hoar could say little about the specifics of the discussions conducted in a two-hour closed door meeting.

County staff have been asked to come up with a counter offer to Plasco.

“We would like to see it in a couple of weeks,” he said. The commission is scheduled to meet again on Nov. 25.

Hoar said he doesn’t have any idea if Plasco will have a problem with the commission’s counter proposal.

“I think (the differences in the agreement) are minor,” he said. “From their aspect if they were at the bottom line before, lower than the bottom line doesn’t work.”

One change in the deal that has been made public is a $1 increase in the per-tonne fee charged to municipalities, bringing it to $66.

Despite the project’s delays, commission members reaffirmed their commitment to pursuing ways to deal with the region’s waste outside of burying it in landfills, he said.

“We’re still wanting to find an alternative. At the present time, we’re looking at this one.”

Other commission members include: City of Red Deer, Blackfalds, Bowden, Innisfail, Penhold, Sylvan Lake, Elnora, and Delburne. An Elnora representative was not at Thursday’s meeting.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

— copyright Red Deer Advocate