Councilman, county exec to have debate on HCN over trash transfer station plan

Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie and County Executive David Craig will be part of a televised debate Thursday evening about the controversial waste transfer station.

Guthrie announced the moderated debate, which will air live at 7 p.m. on the Harford Cable Network, during Wednesday night's Edgewood Community Council meeting.

He noted that a phone number will be visible on the screen during the debate and encouraged people who watch to call in with questions.

The councilman joked that the moderator would have to "try to moderate us [he and Craig]. That's going to be real interesting."

Guthrie and Craig have been at odds over the possible location of the transfer station off of Route 7 in Joppa and that the county purchased the property using the appraisal for another property on Route 40 in Aberdeen.

"It's one of the more interesting shows they [HCN] will probably ever have," Guthrie commented.

He also mentioned a bill the Harford County Council passed Tuesday that will require the county to have appraisals done for any property purchases of more than $100,000 as a response to the controversy.

Guthrie, who sponsored the bill, added: "The county executive hasn't signed it yet."

Craig said Thursday afternoon he is looking forward to the meeting with Guthrie. He likewise didn't say if he plans to sign the appraisal bill.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who also spoke during the Wednesday's Edgewood Community Council meeting, agreed that the waste transfer station has been "a very controversial issue" in Harford.

"You [have] a serious problem here as far as your landfill," Ruppersberger said. "Now the issue is what do you do? Where do you put a facility?"

The congressman said he dealt with a similar issue during his time as Baltimore County Executive and it's never an easy decision to find a location for something nobody really wants, but is necessary.

Ruppersberger commented on the recently passed bill, saying it makes the transactions open and transparent "and that's what you want in local government."

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