Date: February 22, 2008
Source: News Room
The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) this week approved a 25% increase in the tip fees it charges to the 70 municipalities that constitute its Mid-Connecticut Project. CRRA argues that the increase is needed to cover the cost to close its Hartford landfill and to ship waste to other sites and out of state. Attorneys for the municipalities argue that the increase "smacks of retaliation" for a recent lawsuit settlement in their favor related to the Enron debacle. The increase adds $28 million to the budget which is just about the amount awarded to the towns in the settlement. The CRRA counters that the board voted in 2004 to close the landfill and therefore, it should come as no surprise.
The towns were awarded $36 million last June in their lawsuit against CRRA. The agency's appeal is still pending with the state Supreme Court.
The towns were the ultimate losers in a $220 million failed agreement in 2001 between CRRA and Enron Corp. The authority loaned the money — collateral-free — to Enron, which stopped paying the money back a couple of months later, when it filed for bankruptcy.
New Hartford and Barkhamsted filed suit against CRRA in 2003, and in 2006 the action was certified as a class action on behalf of all 70 municipalities in the agency's Mid-Conn Project.