A coalition of environmental groups has paid for a recount of a Nov. 5 referendum that passed by 252 votes, allowing Oakland County to issue up to $500 million unlimited tax general obligation bonds for an incinerator and recycling program.
Diane Pederson, president of Help Oakland Protect the Environment, one of the groups involved in raising $4,250 for the recount, said the groups were not ready to give up their opposition to the incinerator. The vote was "too close," he said.
"We know that incinerators have had problems throughout the entire nation with pollution and also with financing," she explained. "It will be the individual taxpayer who ends up supporting the bonds in the long run."
But Doug Williams, the county's chief deputy treasurer, said the GO pledge on the bonds was only "icing on the cake" and that debt service would be paid by tipping fees.
He pointed out that no recound has resulted in changing an election over the last 20 years.
However, he added that if the current recount does result in a negative vote on the referendum, "the project is dead."
"The guys on the financial side would cream us if we wanted them to sell an issue that was voted down," he said, referring to the probable reaction of underwriters.
County officials have contended the bonds could be issued with a limited tax pledge that does not require voter approval.
A spokeswoman for the county election office said the recount, which started last week, would probably take 30 days to complete.