Baltimore County Council Chairman Signals Eagle Transfer Station Will Be Approved

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A resolution that would upend more than 50 years of public waste management in Baltimore County is set to go to county council next Tuesday.

And after hearing politically connected support for the proposal, Chairman Julian E. Jones signaled Tuesday that lawmakers were ready to approve the first privately-run waste transfer station.

Jackson “Jack” Haden, who operates J&J Trash, is seeking an amendment to the county’s current solid waste management plan to permit his Eagle transfer station.

Will Baltimore County finally say enough is enough? (08/27/22)

The amendment (resolution 26-22) would allow him to build the station on two acres of land in Eastern County and ship the garbage to out-of-state landfills in railcars.

The drink reported that the project — rejected by the Office of Solid Waste Management — was revived after Haden hosted a private fundraiser for County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

Olszewski, who is running for re-election, denies that fundraising influenced his administration’s decision to push for the transfer station.

“There is no connection between any political activity and the government,” he told Fox45 News.

Flyer for the June 2021 fundraiser sponsored by Jack Haden, who raised about $30,000 for Olszewski, who is running for re-election in next month’s Democratic primary.

“I can’t thank you enough”

Currently, residential trash is handled by three county-owned transfer stations, which charge an $8-a-ton “dump fee” to private haulers who pick up garbage from residents.

Jones started the discussion by saying, “I’ve heard a lot. I have read many things. I have three questions: why do we want to approve a [private] transfer station? Why do we want to endorse Eagle while others are denied? And why do we have to do it now? »

His seemingly critical tone changed after the Council received a phone call from Haden.

The Carroll County resident described himself as a “hometown boy” who is clashing with “national Wall Street corporations” who want him out of business.

“I work today as a civil servant,” Haden began. “I have a good reputation. I don’t consider myself a trash mogul, as I’ve recently been portrayed. I have done a good job hauling trash around my community and hometown.

“I now work as a civil servant. I don’t consider myself a thrash mogul, as I’ve recently been portrayed” – Jack Haden.

He told Councilman Todd Crandell, who represents Dundalk, that the Eagle Transfer Station, which will be located along Rolling Mill Road and Canton Railroad, would be ‘unobtrusive’ and not disrupt nearby communities with lorry traffic excessive.

Seizing his assurances – Haden has not yet produced any drawings or technical reports of the proposed station – Jones indicated that the Board was ready to approve the amendment during its July 5 voting session.

“I think you bring a very unique perspective and were extremely helpful tonight,” Jones said. “I can’t thank you enough for calling and shedding some light on this issue.”

Seconded by Middle River Councilor Cathy Bevins, the Council Chair concluded the discussion by saying, “I think we all support the local team every day!

Baltimore County Council Speaker Julian Jones and County Executive Johnny Olszewski at a tree planting event in Randallstown.  (Facebook)

Baltimore County Council Chairman Julian Jones with Johnny Olszewski at an April tree planting event in Randallstown. (Facebook)

“Talk to Johnny One-on-One”

The Office of Solid Waste Management “deprecated” Haden’s proposal in early 2021, saying it was both unnecessary (because the county has excess capacity to transfer waste) and expensive (denying the county approximately $1.4 million annual “dumping fee”).

But the proposal was revived after Haden orchestrated the June 12, 2021 fundraiser, which The beverage reported to have raised at least $27,000 for Olszewski.

In an email to fellow waste haulers, Haden called the occasional fundraiser “talking to Johnny one-on-one” and said he’d be happy to “pick up a check.” for the county executive if the donor did not wish to make an online payment.

A day after the fundraiser, D’Andrea Walker, acting director of Public Works and Transportation, began pressuring the Office of Solid Waste Management to reconsider Haden’s plan. Several emails from Walker and other administration figures noted that the review was of great interest to the “CA” (county executive).

“There’s nothing that says you have to approve it now. If you don’t want to approve it, no harm, no fault” – D’Andrea Walker, Director of Public Works.

During Tuesday’s business session, Councilman Tom Quirk questioned why it was so ‘urgent’ to pass resolution 26-22 ‘given we have so much more capacity available than Eagle Transfer Station. could not bring online”.

Walker acknowledged there was no real urgency.

“There’s nothing that says you have to approve it now. A request has arrived. We have examined it. We could use an alternative method to move the garbage. But if you don’t want to approve it, no harm, no fault,” she told the Council.

After Haden’s presentation, Crandell was silent and Quirk thought “questions lead to more questions”, confusing him further.

The resolution is put to the vote at the July 5 Council meeting.

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