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Council backs continuing city-provided garbage collection to May 31, not beyond

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 27, 2013, 6:31pm

City residents can expect city-provided garbage collection to continue until May 31.

After that date, residents will be responsible for getting rid of their own trash, either through a private hauler or taking it themselves to a transfer station.

Property taxes sufficient to pay for an extra two months of municipal garbage pick-up will be collected in 2013.

A motion to amend the city budget and move the proposal forward passed unanimously.

Public hearings will be held in two weeks on the proposed budget as amended and proposed changes in the solid waste law.

The primary change to the law gets the city completely out of the trash business. Residents will have the option to contract with private companies -- which could potentially include Genesee ARC -- to pick up their trash.

The city will send notices to all residents with contact information for private haulers.

The new ordinance will allow residents to use cans, totes or bags. How garbage is left curbside will depend on the hauler.

Residents will also be able to take their trash to the transfer station in the Town of Batavia if they don't want to contract with a hauler.

UPDATE 6:47 p.m.: Introduction of the proposed wording of the solid waste law passed unanimously. The ordinance doesn't become law until after a public hearing followed by a vote to ratify the law.

UPDATE 6:49 p.m.: The public hearings will be at 7 p.m., March 11.

MORE T/K ... We'll have full details later tonight or in the morning. The meeting is still in progress.

tj stone

Now lets just take a moment to think this out. Set aside everything that was fought for here…..

Could it possibly be that this is exactly what the council truly wanted to happen?

The ''ole switcheroo'' game plan.

Act like and plan turmoil, fake listening to the constituents and then at the last moment ….bang…we are listening to all of you lovely voters and going to reverse our plan.

This way they look like geniuses. They are credited with doing a 180 and giving us what the public truly wanted.... or what we thought we wanted... well we want the ARC and the council really wanted out of the trash buiz.

That this way there is no blood on their hands.

Me thinks that was pretty crafty but of course they are highly paid politicians afterall.

Makes you wonder if they will pull the same script out to get rid of the Fire dept.

Hey it worked to get out of the Ambulance business.

Batavia will just eliminate or contract its workforce out till there is only politician positions left.

Brilliant !

* never a Club member

Feb 27, 2013, 8:00pm Permalink
Mark Brudz

If you believe in Black Helicopters, Monica Lewinski was a republican shill, and GW Bush actual blew up the WTC to start a war TJ, your theory might work

Of course TJ, you would also be assuming that all 9 members of the council were dishonest, I don't buy your theory at all

Feb 27, 2013, 8:16pm Permalink
John Roach

Conspiracy? Really?

You can still have ARC. All that has changed is, when ARC is ready, you have to take the initiative to hire them instead of the city doing it for you. You still get what you want, which is ARC.

Feb 27, 2013, 8:17pm Permalink
Rich Richmond

I commend and applaud the Batavia City Council for getting out of the garbage business. I commend them for putting politics aside and delivering the power back in the hands of the people; into the hands of individual citizen-taxpayer where it rightfully belongs.

I applaud the Council for not forcing totes on those City Residents who emphatically stated without reservation they did not want totes and preferred to remain with ARC.

The good people who support ARC may now contract them directly without government intervention and interference to follow their hearts and convictions.

It therefore follows that those who are in favor of the totes may contract with providers who will accommodate them.

Feb 27, 2013, 8:54pm Permalink
Phil Ricci

Conspiracy? HAHAHA.

I'm sorry, that was funny. Dude, here's what happened....

The City Manager said "Hey! I can get this service for less, move 16% of the taxes off the levy and and make it a fee if we go with this...and we get totes!"

Council said "OoooOOooo I like totes! Wait! We'll save 16%?!?! I think we deserve a raise!"

Then some of the community said. "Totes? What the hell do I care about totes? We want ARC!"

While others said "Totes? Why don't you leave us choose our own trash!"

THEN 300+ people of both factions showed up and came out against the plan, and council went "OH CRAP! Uhhhhhhh....Totes? Uhhhh what, wait? Uhhhh. We're against this!"

To which the city manager said "Well if you're against this now, we have no provider and can be sued if we stay with ARC."

So council said, "Let's get out of the trash business, then!"

To which those who wanted free choice said "Hooray!" and those who opposed the totes to stay the same said, "Hoor...whoa whoa WHOA!"

The end. No conspiracy.

Feb 27, 2013, 9:08pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

So what is the new tax rate going to be...We will not be spending 500,000 dollars on totes..And since this doesn't go in to effect until 3 months into the budget year.What new costs will they be adding to the budget..I would thing that the new rate should be less then what was proposed just by taking out the cost of the totes..Glad to see this is finally happening..This is one less thing the city will have to worry about..Freedom of Choice won out..Great job city council and all city staff who worked on this..What is amazing that this only took a couple of days to put together..The other plan took almost a year to put together...Kind of a waste of city time and money..In the end they did do the right thing....

Feb 27, 2013, 9:20pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

The $500K for totes was going to be paid for through a bond anticipation note, which would have repaid from a portion of the garbage collection fees, so it was never a budget/tax issue.

The tax rate this budget will be slightly higher than the original proposal, because the city will need to pay ARC for garbage collection in April and May. The tax rate will still be significantly lower than the option of keeping the system as it was.

Feb 27, 2013, 9:35pm Permalink
carol grasso

I can't believe that there wasn't a plan "B" ready in case plan "A" didn't go through!You would think after a year working on this there should have been a back up plan already to go! I really hope the council will work with the senior center to help all the elderly who don't even know this is happening. They should have a staff of people who can sit down with people to help them pick the right vendor for them. I would really feel bad for some people who don't under stand what is going on and be taken advanage of. And you know that will happen. For someone to sign up with one small bag of garbage a week and pay $600.00 a year would be terrible. And you know it will happen if someone doesn't help these people. You have 2 weeks to work this out with the center, don't wait till the last minute again. Thank you all who worked this out.

Feb 27, 2013, 10:34pm Permalink
Brian Graz

Now that every one is on their own to arrange for trash disposal... as Carol explained; "I really hope the council will work with the senior center to help all the elderly who don't even know this is happening. They should have a staff of people who can sit down with people to help them pick the right vendor for them. I would really feel bad for some people who don't under stand what is going on and be taken advantage of. And you know that will happen."

Maybe this should have been a primary item of concern before all the push came to shove BS that has transpired in this garbage feud.

There is much wisdom in the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Feb 28, 2013, 12:17am Permalink
John Roach

Maybe staff at the Senior Center will help seniors pick what is best. I don't think the government should be recommending any one vendor. But seniors can stay with ARC if they want to make it easy.

The city will send out a list of vendors you can contact. They might do that twice. Also, vendors will probably send information to people.

If the budget and code change is approved in mid March, everyone will have about 75 days to make their pick.

Feb 28, 2013, 6:23am Permalink
John Roach

It's nice to hear that ARC will now consider a pay per bag system. They work that in with recycling and something like the current bulk pickup, I bet they'll end up with about 90% of the business.

Feb 28, 2013, 7:00am Permalink
Kyle Couchman

Well John and Howard I think this was what I indicated I thought ACR was waiting for. To Howard... Totes systems havent been taken off the table it's just up to whomever you choose so, all those situations that were mentioned by citizens about totes being too inconvenient have been accomodated. So both our views for totes vs per bag have been accomodated nicely. The city's common sense ordinance about placing trash at curb 3pm the day before instead of 24hrs also will help with some of the issues complained about. But seeing how the Council handles enforcement of snow removal, I dont see them doing much enforcement for this particular ordinance for the same reasons. Now that this direction has become even clearer I think that all the speaking out, wether it was over the ARC part or the mandate part it was all for the better. We also got a look at what lengths the City Manager and some Council people will go to uninvolve the public in some of their decisions, something we should remember in future issues. Couple of interesting questions should be is it time to go back to a Mayor? Also should we speak out on this raise that Council wants to give themselves, I do appreciate that they finally responded to the public, but their actions up to that point speak to a certain amount of arrogance on the City Manager, and some Councilpersons part and that seems to be a concern.

Feb 28, 2013, 8:14am Permalink
Dave Olsen

Kyle; "Also should we speak out on this raise that Council wants to give themselves"
IMHO, you should speak out on whatever issue you feel strongly about.

Feb 28, 2013, 7:25pm Permalink

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