Although the county has been seriously looking at the former Plecker's World of Golf property on Route 7 in Joppa, Boniface said, there are other alternatives for a site.
"We might be putting the cart before the horse on this one," Boniface said.
C. David Copenhaver, a member of the Abingdon Community Council, asked Boniface what he meant by alternative sites for the transfer station.
The county council president went into the transfer station's background - how there's a waste-to-energy facility run by Aberdeen Proving Ground in the southern portion of the county, but the Army will close the incinerator in 2016.
"The Army has been silent," Boniface explained as to why they are shutting down the facility. He explained that Harford County Executive David Craig has stated previously that the Army does not want to continue its relationship with the county, but neither Boniface nor other members of the county council have heard it directly from Army representatives.
Copenhaver, who was with Abingdon Community Council Chairperson Cynthia Hergenhahn at the Darlington session, mentioned that APG used the steam created from incinerating trash, much from the county, to create energy for the installation.
"They're saying they don't need it," Boniface said. APG's contract with the county, he continued, has been extended before.
If the Army doesn't have another option as to what to do with their trash and they still have the facility, Boniface said, "Why can't we put the transfer station there?"
He added that several of his colleagues would be meeting with Army representatives on Thursday, hopefully to receive an answer as to why "they've been silent on the issue."
Since a good majority of the Joppa and Edgewood communities, and to a lesser extent Abingdon, disapprove of the proposed facility in their area, the issue has been "very contentious," Boniface said.
With the possibility of an extended contract with the Army that could result in a transfer station at the current site, Boniface feels the county "may be premature in asking for it [a new site]."
One resident asked Boniface what the county plans to do with handling its trash in the future.
"We have to come up with an alternative because we don't want to expand the landfill," he said, adding that the county either needs a transfer station or waste-to-energy facility.
Budget hearing debate
Guthrie used the opportunity of the public works budget work session Tuesday to again express his doubts about the expiration of the waste-to-energy facility.
Environmental Services Director Tom Hilton said the plant was always set to expire in 2016, while Guthrie said he believes it will not expire until 2018 and perhaps the Army will extend the contract after that.
Public Works Director Bob Cooper said: "At this point, maybe there is that possibility that the Army would come back, but that agreement is made between the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority and the Army on behalf of Harford County. We've said this all along, regardless of what happens with that facility, we still need a transfer station."
On a separate waste-related topic, Woods also brought up the expansion of the landfill in Street during the budget work session, which is ultimately expected to cost about $28 million.
The proposed 2013 budget allocates $181,000 toward that project. Another $20.1 million was already approved in previous years.
"Something always smells bad to me there, and it's not the trash," Woods said, calling the project "$30 million for dead animals and waste."