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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

St. Lawrence County may seek proposals on Solid Waste Department


CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators could decide July 9 whether to seek requests for proposals to sell the Solid Waste Department, not nec Lake — might be worth to a commercial business.

“We really don’t have what the other side would be,” Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, said.

Legislative Chairwoman Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk, said the department serves the best interest of the county as an enterprise fund.

“I’m not interested in putting our employees through the emotional trauma when perhaps there is no desire to pursue this,” she said.

However, Mr. Sutherland, a member of the Solid Waste Committee, said some of the employees want to know where they stand.

“We thought this might clear it up,” he said.

If legislators do not want to pursue an RFP, they can vote against taking the issue off the table at the full board’s July meeting, Mr. Lightfoot said.

Legislators decided to look at the department for possible sale last year because of escalating retirement costs and the need to update equipment.

Some financial news was bright Monday as Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire reported the county has received $1,039,195 in Medicaid overburden payments, bringing the total the county has recouped as a result of a lawsuit it brought against the state to $2,174,518.13.

“Not every county does this and we’re making sure our local taxpayers are not paying for what they should not pay,” Social Services Commissioner Christopher R. Rediehs said.

Mr. Rediehs said it was unclear if other outstanding claims remained.The billings were the result of the state’s decision in the 1970s to deinstitutionalize mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients and place them in less restrictive community residences. The state agreed it would reimburse counties 100 percent of their local share of the Medicaid expenses paid on behalf of qualifying individuals before Jan. 1, 2006. Afterward, Medicaid cap legislation included the provisions. The money will be used for general operations and could not have come at a better time, as the county had feared its fund balance could dip below $1 million by year’s end, Ms. St. Hilaire said.

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