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Harrisburg incinerator, parking deals done

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The sale of the Harrisburg incinerator — which is now being called the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex — was completed today.
The sale of the Harrisburg incinerator — which is now being called the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex — was completed today. - (Photo / )

Two major pieces of the Harrisburg “Strong Plan” — selling the incinerator and leasing the parking system — were completed today.

The combined transactions remove the $360 million incinerator debt and enable Harrisburg to eliminate its structural deficit and balance its budget through 2016.

"Getting Harrisburg back on track would not have been possible without Governor Corbett," said William Lynch, the city's receiver. "While there is still much work to be done, these transactions provide the city officials the tools to craft a predictable and stable economic future."

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority purchased the city's waste-to-energy facility, which is now being called the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex, for $129.9 million.

As part of the incinerator deal, LCSWMA receives $16 million toward the purchase price: $8 million from the previous owner and $8 million from the commonwealth.

The purchase is supported by 20-year waste disposal contracts with Harrisburg and Dauphin County, in addition to a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state Department of General Services.

LCSWMA's newly expanded system will now manage about 900,000 tons of solid waste with annual revenues of about $85 million.

"After three years of intense exploration, planning, negotiating and preparations, I'm thrilled to say that we are the new owners of the oldest operating WTE facility in the United States," said James Warner, LCSWMA's CEO. "This innovative, strategic acquisition will provide the region with future waste processing capacity and offer additional flexibility to LCSWMA's already robust integrated system."

Built in 1972 and extensively renovated with three new boilers and a new turbine generator set in the mid-2000s, the SRMC can generate up to 23 megawatts of renewable energy. The facility will process about 275,000 tons of waste and generate 130,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy each year.

Two ash landfills are also located on the SRMC site — one that closed in 1980 and the other which stages ash from the WTE facility on-site. Once the staged ash is dry, it is transported to LCSWMA's Frey Farm Landfill and used as alternative daily cover.

LCSWMA is now fully managing the site. Covanta Energy will continue to operate the WTE facility portion.

The authority is planning a series of capital improvements to the site over the next four years totaling $18.25 million.

That work will include: installing new scales and implementing traffic flow patterns to improve on-site time for customers; constructing a new small vehicle drop-off building for residents and deliveries of construction/demolition waste; purchasing equipment for upgrades to the WTE facility; expanding the current tipping floor; constructing a new building for ash storage; revamping the current site entrances; and implementing extensive landscaping work.

The Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority is behind the $267 million parking transaction. PEDFA will lease the parking system to a consortium known as Harrisburg First.

The lease is for 40 years.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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