Official doubts incinerator estimates

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Source: Carroll County Times
Author: Carrie Ann Knauer
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Date Published: 11/19/2008

While Carroll and Frederick county leaders are waiting on best and final proposals for an incinerator to be shared by the two counties, one Frederick commissioner is urging his board to reconsider the assumptions the proposal is built on. Frederick County Commissioner Kai Hagen gave a presentation to the Frederick board Tuesday on his reservations with the proposed bicounty waste-to-energy incinerator and the need to investigate other solid waste management alternatives. “The goal is to provide enough information to suggest that there is more that we need to know and more that we need to take a look at,” Hagen told three of the four other board members and an audience of more than 50 people. Hagen said the assumptions used to develop the building cost estimates and operational cost estimates have used outdated data that is very favorable to building an incinerator. “In general, Frederick County has, to date, been overly assured of the relative economic certainties of the waste-to-energy option, which have been far from that certain,” Hagen said. The 2005 report by consultant firm R.W. Beck used an estimated construction cost of $323 million for a 1,500 ton-per-day incinerator to be shared by Carroll and Frederick counties, Hagen said. The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority has used $350 million as its projected cost in presentations to Carroll County, and a specific price is being drafted by the two companies that are bidding on the project.