More progress in Dover as the legislature moves towards their June 30th end. The Delaware Senate unanimously passed the bond bill, although questions were raised about new language that was added to the bill regarding the fate of the Polly Drummond Hill Road yard waste site.
According to Sen. Karen Peterson, under the new terms, DNREC would be able to close or change the operation of the facility without the general assembly’s consent. Peterson said she’s fought for years to keep the site open despite past attempts from DNREC to close it down.
“Now we find that they’ve taken that language out, plugged new language in that does not require that they keep the site open even after we appropriated $100,000 into this year’s operating budget to keep this site open,” she said. “Now we see that they want to go back and privatize it and we’ve taken the requirement out that only the general assembly can approve the closing of the yard waste site.”
Peterson called the move a ‘sneak attack’. “I am just shocked that they would go to the Bond Bill Committee, take the language out that we’ve had in there for 7-8 years, and put language in that would allow them to privatize it,” said Peterson.
Peterson proposed an amendment to the bill to remove language, but agreed to have it stricken from the record if DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara gave his word that no changes would be made without approval from the General Assembly. “You have my absolute commitment that that site will not close, will not change unless the general assembly allows us to do so,” said O’Mara.
The bond bill represents the FY 2014 capital budget, which funds construction, safety, transportation and environmental projects.