City Manager Joe Slocum updated councilors on a proposal from Municipal Review Committee to send Belfast's trash to a new waste processing and recycling facility in Hampden.

Earlier this year, MRC Executive Director Greg Lounder visited Belfast to present a plan for the new facility, which would be built and operated by Maryland-based Fiberight. MRC represents 187 municipalities in the state that send their trash to Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.

The organization has been planning to develop a new solid waste processing and recycling facility because Orrington-based PERC's power purchase agreement expires in 2018. Slocum explained to councilors March 1 that PERC's power purchase agreement allowed it to sell the electricity its facility generates at three times market value.

However, when the agreement expires, PERC will have to increase its tipping fees to offset the loss of revenue from selling the electricity. Slocum said Belfast is paying $76 per ton now but that would increase to more than $100 per ton if the city continues to send its waste to PERC after the power purchase agreement expires.

He said Bangor and Brewer have signed on to the Fiberight plan.

Councilor Eric Sanders said he believes the technology used by Fiberight is environmentally sound and the issue is whether the company can secure enough mixed waste that its facility will be viable. Fiberight uses technology that can convert trash into biofuel and the facility would recover about 80 percent of the mixed waste, which would result in less material ending up in a landfill, according to previously published reports.

Before MRC purchases the 90-acre site in Hampden on which Fiberight will build its facility, the organization will secure agreements with towns to deliver at least 150,000 tons of waste per year to the plant.

Slocum suggested scheduling a work session at a future date to further review the agreement with MRC.

In other business:

Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge was approved to submit a letter of intent on behalf of Cornerspring Montessori School for a $120,000 Community Development Block Grant. If awarded, the grant will be used to help for construction and design costs for Cornerspring Montessori's new school.

Councilors approved putting four properties out to bid that the city foreclosed on because the owners had not paid their 2013 taxes. The properties are mobile homes in private mobile home parks, Slocum said. The city also acquired two pieces of land but they are not ready to go out to bid because staff are still reviewing whether the city should keep the land or sell it.

Frank E. Gormley and Jonathan Guba were appointed as two reserve officers with Belfast Police Department.