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Parishville renews Casella contract, sees small cost increase

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PARISHVILLE - The Parishville Town Board renewed its annual contract with Casella Waste Services at its monthly board meeting this week, and there will be a small price hike.

“It looks like (the contract) is going to stay pretty much the same. The letter we received says that they are just going to be extending (the contract,)” Councilwoman Shirley Robinson said. “There will be of course an annual increase in trip fees that they are talking about. (The letter) says a surcharge of an increase of $1.50. ... But with Casella I guess it’s a wait and see to see what the increase is going to be. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be too bad.”

Ms. Robinson ran this week’s meeting due to the absence of Town Supervisor Jerry G. Moore.

She noted that the surcharge has been part of the town’s contract with the garbage hauling group for many years. “They’ve had the surcharge for years, I don’t know how many years. But it’s just a part of their contract,” Ms. Robinson said. “It started when gas prices went up so high and they added an extra surcharge to cover the high cost of gas. That was years and years ago, at least 10.”

The transfer station is primarily for Parishville residents, but Mr. Moore pointed out that outsiders will always end up using the facility.

“It is for Parishville residents only. We pay by the ton to remove the material,” he said. “It costs the town a lot of money. As outsiders use it and bring their garbage in, it costs taxpayers for it to be removed. You can’t possibly keep everyone out. Larry Page, our transfer station attendant, does a very good job.”

Trash haulers are charged either $1, $2, or $3, depending on the size of their garbage bag.

Private haulers buy separate stickers to put on their bags when dropping them off, and Mr. Moore said that given the fees the town gets reimbursed for some of the tonnage brought in.

Casella Waste Services General Manager Chester W. “Skip” Bisnett confirmed the $1.50 increase Monday afternoon.

“The county charges the surcharges and that raised by $1.50. It was raised to $6 a ton,” Mr. Bisnett said. “It only changes when the county changes as far as surcharges go.

“All of the money that we collect through the surcharge goes back to the county. Anybody (who does) direct hauling to the landfill sees that surcharge increase.”

Mr. Moore explained that the increase came as no surprise to town officials.

“We’ve been expecting that surcharge increase,” he said. “(St. Lawrence County Legislator) Scott Sutherland has been talking about working together with private haulers because we don’t want them to pass on extra costs to the town. That’s what we’re working towards. ... The way we’ve been doing things and improving things at the transfer station, actually we’ve done pretty well in the past year. We’ll never show a profit on the transfer station, but we’re closing the gap. I don’t think the surcharge increase will affect us that much. We are running the transfer station a lot more efficiently now,” he said.

“The cost of running the transfer station is less than it was because people are getting better at recycling. Everyone is a lot more conscientious and every time you use the recyclables it is better. The actual cost of running the transfer station is getting closer to the middle. We are becoming more efficient. You can’t make people recycle, but people are a lot more conscientious of that lately. Those people help make it a bigger success.”

He added that he did not have the exact figures on how much tonnage was collected during the past year for the town, but personally noticed an increase.

“We get a monthly report. It has probably increased recently because it seems like there is always so much garbage,” Mr. Moore said.

The town budgets approximately $79,000 for Casella’s service, according to Town Clerk Connie Maguire.

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