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February 25, 2013 - 7:12pm

BREAKING: trash proposal fails on 7-2 vote

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City council votes down proposed trash ordinance 7-2. The rest of the agenda is tabled, including the budget proposal.

Direction from council to City Manager Jason Molino is to get the city out of the trash business completely.

Robert Brown
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Hooray! Now what are the next steps and when are they taken?

Gary Spencer
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They listened!

Teresa Spink
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Sorry I'm half way out of the loop, the votes is to keep ARC or not to keep ARC

Phil Ricci
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Teresa,

Keeping the ARC was never an option on the table. The contract with the ARC was always set to expire in a few months, this was about going to the new plan or not. By the city electing to get out of the trash business all together, you will have the choice to choose who you will like to do your trash service. So if ARC would like to stay in the business and you want them, you will contract with them directly.

John Roach
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Teresa,
Neither.
They voted not to change the city code that would have been needed to allow the change to totes.
The Council then told the manager to draft a proposal to change the code that takes the city out of garbage and telling us who we have to hire.

That means you can hire or not hire ARC if you want, and that also presumes that ARC will want to stay in the trash pickup business. council will have to have a work session to talk over the code change and there will be a few changes to the budget. Then they have to have another public hearing and then a vote.

Howard B. Owens
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Sorry for not a lot of information ... I was posting from my iPad and trying to pay attention to the ongoing meeting.

The vote killed the proposed ordinance that would have required totes/automated system with a single vendor.

Once it died, Council President Tim Buckley instructed city staff, with concurrence from the council, to prepare a trash proposal the gets the city out of the trash business.

That means, it's no longer part of taxes and each homeowner/resident will contract for his or her own service with the vendor of his or her choice, paying whatever fee the vendor charges.

It could be ARC, if ARC chooses to stay in the trash business, or it could be any number of several other vendors in the region. Your choice.

Full story coming either later, much later, tonight or tomorrow (most likely tomorrow).

Jack Dorf
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Who were the 2 pro votes?

Robert Brown
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Thanks for all the coverage on this issue Howard - I'm sure it's been a lot of work! Nice job!

Howard B. Owens
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Christian and Cipollone.

Mark Potwora
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I'm glad to hear that the city won't be borrowing a half a million dollars to buy trash cans..Here's to Mr.Buckley for getting us out of the trash business..Freedom of choice..Three words that ring true to my ears..

John Roach
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Mark,
It's closer. But there are a bunch of tax us types that still want this to be paid for out of property taxes. One has even said on a Facebook page that the no vote tonight is some sort of trick.

Peter O'Brien
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HOLY CRAP! LET FREEDOM RING!

And of course my ward is on the wrong side of the vote again. Thanks Rose Mary for choosing government control over freedom.

Tom Clark
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Interesting responses.

Robert Brown
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Per my earlier question, we still need to see a budget proposal then go about the business of arranging for trash removal. As someone once said, "be careful what you wish for". Not because this move is a bad thing, but because the ensuing course is unknown. If it goes as it should, we should see a reduction in property taxes. If that is the case, business owners and anyone else who were already paying for trash removal will immediately be ahead. Everyone else should be able to shop for a trash removal plan that meets their own specific needs, theoretically at a cost proportional to their actual trash volume. However, if property taxes increase, then we'll have another battle to fight. Let's see how our representation proceeds...

Mark Potwora
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So your saying its too early to celebrate John..The way it sounds ,every one got some of what they wanted..I got it off my tax bill and got the freedom to choose..I won't be subsidizing nor will anyone have to subsidize my trash cost. The pro ARC crowd got to keep ARC in business ..Now they can put their money where their mouth is by supporting ARC ..I will probably be in that camp if they are competitive....The businesses in Batavia will save money .The city won't have to worry about billing and buying and maintaining trash cans....Such an easy solution that they should of done in the first place..Would of saved the city time and money coming up with all these bids..Seems like a good deal..How do you see this playing out John..

Kyle Couchman
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Personally and this is just an opinion, This is a great opportunity for ARC to step up to the plate and cement their place as a service company for trash like they have for the last 28 yrs. There is no mandated tote system now so they could establish a more cost effective trash tag or bag pay as you throw that will be cost effective. I imagine we will all be contacted for such serive and might find it quite reasonable because there would be little change from the way things are done now. Time will tell and this is just what I think may happen I have a pretty positive feeling about it.

carol grasso
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Thank you to all the councill who listened to the people! I hope you all sleep well tonight! And the other two I hope you're up all night!!! Shame on you!!! Everyone needs to be at the meeting Wed. night for phase two.6:00pm. See you all there! Thanks for everyone who stuck together! God Bless you all. So you see how government can work if you get the people to get out and pay attention. Please keep the voice going! Thanks again everyone. I'm going to sleep good tonight!! Thanks Howard,Tom, Brian, Trish,Dave, Chris,Dan, Michelle and oh everyone for all there help! YEHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Mark Brudz
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I have relatives using the Tote system in different regions, (And yes all three by consumer choice) personally when the time comes I am probably going tote because it is much more efficient for recycling and much more efficient over all.

What I am ecstatic about, is soon the choice will be mine!

carol grasso
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Thanks Howard

Phil Ricci
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I can't say this enough...tonight was a huge win for so many! For all of those who stood up against something they didn't believe in, congrats! You have done great!

I hope the pro ARCers see this as a win, and encourage council to continue its process of getting out of the business altogether! Then they will have the complete freedom to continue to support a fantastic organization while making the billing fair and equitable for all.

As for everyone else, this opens a solid opportunity to allow open competition to come in and offer variety. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a majority of Batavians chose to stay right where they were! That is the true power of freedom! It is the culmination of education and choice!

Congrats again!

Peter O'Brien
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The best part for me is the reduction in taxes. It means my mortgage will be paid off that much sooner since I use an escrow account. I'll still through the same money at the combined bill each month. This move will save me thousands.

Kyle Couchman
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LOL Peter believe me I gave Rosemary an earful over the last couple weeks but she seems to realize now that we the people (including her ward) werent too happy at being marginalized. We discussed when she gave me a ride home and even though I was disappointed in her vote I think she understands our points. I feel that this is gonna be a very positive thing for the community. Some on council described this whole affair as a dark cloud that was gathering on Batavia, but it seems to be dissapating and sunshine is peeking through.

Brian Graz
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It's a pretty well shown fact that when the government runs anything it usually cost the taxpayers more.

One good example is the recent change from having a city run ambulance and emergency medical response system to a privatized operation.

So, let's also get the city out of the Fire company business. {Batavia has a population of approx 15,500 and a full time professional [highly paid] fire department. The town of Amherst has a population of 122,000 and has 10 ALL volunteer fire departments. Hmmmmmmm?}

Then let's get the city out of the landscaping business. I'd bet money that hiring companies like Scalia's and Bubba's to groom the parks, and make the shrubs and hanging plants look "beautiful" would cost the city considerably less than having the current city workers do it. Then there would be more money to use to have the city workers attend to the real issues like the terrible condition of the streets in Batavia. Also, maybe they could get around to fixing the sidewalks that are scheduled to be done each year before school starts.

Don't misunderstand, I don't fault the workers, they are just doing what they are hired and directed to do. It's the gurus who make the decisions on what, where, when, and how to spend the taxpayers money that need some serious revamping.

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