"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DANC - Needs Accountability

Bob Juravich, Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country put two proposals on the table at their board meeting today that was webcast at danc.org. The proposals are simply not in the best interest of the people of the 3 county region.

DANC is looking into a gas to energy project that will produce a major revenue stream in carbon credits, possibly $1 million or more and as well from selling products from a greenhouse operation. Their intent is to establish an account segregated from the landfill accounts and prevent users from benefiting with lower tipping fees. The fact is - there is not a gas to energy project without a landfill and separating revenues from the landfill is not in the best interest from the users - the people of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.

The people of the 3 county area should benefit from possibly reducing tipping fees as a result of any increase revenue from the landfill operations. John B. Johnson, editor of the Watertown Daily Times and board member of DANC made the suggestion that all revenue should be attributed to the landfill and for administration to prepare a rate stabilization plan that includes ALL revenue. He is precisely correct, diverting monies from landfill or gas to energy operations for some other reason than to benefit the public is flawed thinking.

The other suggestion from Bob Juravich of DANC is to pay for an expansion of the landfill out of current cash flow. Paying for expansion out of cash flow is nothing short of charging current users too much in tipping fees. This idea coupled with flow control provides no incentive for DANC to remain competitive and every opportunity for them to continue to ignore the market place. A landfill expansion is projected to be utilized for the next 50 years, yet Juravich expects today's customers to pay for tomorrow's users.

One of the stated reasons for not bonding for the landfill expansion is the process involves "politics." The Development Authority of the North Country would need the support of the 3 counties and the City of Watertown for bonding, thus they would be exposed to the public and have to answer questions from the representatives of the government bodies, something DANC does not want to do.

If the Development Authority pools the resources they collect from all operations as a result of the landfill then they would be able to make their tipping fees competitive enough that given the current cost of gasoline or diesel it would be prohibitive for waste haulers to transport trash outside the area and thus eliminate any need for a monopoly style of business such as flow control.

DANC needs accountability and needs to be more responsive to the public.


Anonymous said...

They failed an audit a couple of years ago. So what is new? The dump still stinks if you get the opportunity to drive by it.

Juarvich needs to Go. Mr. IV you got this one right.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 1. DANC is operating as a quasi-government agency with no accountability to the public. I also think their fiber network is regulation-bending at its political finest.

anon 2.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1. Does it stink if I don't get an opportunity to drive by it?

Anonymous said...

The whole facility in Rodman should be operated as a single economic unit or fund. If they build a methane to electricity facility, the net operating costs/income of it should be credited or debited to that fund. The same would be true for the greenhouse.

The bigger problem with DANC is that they need to be held acocuntable. Their audit was poor at best. If Juravich was working in a private industry, he would have been fired on the spot.

You watch, If Mr. Johnson gets his way (and I hope he does) and the money is credited to the landfill, DANC will find a way not to give the users a break.

Danc's shell game came tumbling down with the last audit. I wonder how long it will be before the people who helped fix the last mess are pushed aside so a new mess can materialize? My bet is not long.

Anonymous said...

The word authority tells it all, There not acountable to anyone.

Anonymous said...

why is everyone pickin on juravich? He has his BS degree.

Anonymous said...

Thats right BS. It's not Juravich as much as the whole attitude by DANC's employees and Board that they know what we need better than anyone else.

I say fire them all, and replace the board with people who will be active and not be led around like cattle by the executive director.

Anonymous said...

have you seen the nature trail it looks horrible. they had a landscape company mowing it and it looked great. then what happened after that?

Live Blogging