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Massena Village Board cuts garbage collection fees

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MASSENA - The Massena Village Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to reduce garbage collection fees for village residents.

The monthly fee, which is collected as part of bi-monthly water and sewer bills will drop from $22.75 to $21.50, an annual savings of $15.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Hassan Fayad said the village was able to cut these fees as a result of the county legislature’s decision last year to cut tipping fees for the municipality from $122 per ton to $90 per ton.

That decrease, Mr. Fayad said, resulted in savings of approximately $123,000 to the village.

Those savings were partially eaten into by a subsequent increase in recycling fees from $20 to $40 per ton, but at the end of the day Mr. Fayad said the village is still going to see well over $100,000 per year in savings.

Massena resident R. Shawn Gray asked how much of the savings are being returned to the citizens of Massena during a public hearing held before the vote.

“The amount you’re returning to the consumer, what does that total over a year?” he asked. “I’m just wondering if it’s $100,000, $50,000 or $20,000?”

Mayor James F. Hidy said the answer to that question wasn’t available Tuesday night.

“If you call my office tomorrow, I’ll have that number for you,” he said to Mr. Gray.

Mr. Gray also questioned whether this was a temporary decrease that would only last until the village needed to purchase an expensive piece of equipment.

“Are we getting a modest decrease now, when you’re going to have to raise it again in a few years to purchase some capital equipment?” he asked.

Village Treasurer Julie Sharlow said that shouldn’t be the case, noting Mr. Fayad originally suggested lowering the garbage collection fee much lower than what was presented on Tuesday.

“Hass (Mr. Fayad) has originally proposed dropping it to $20,” Ms. Sharlow said. “Through discussion with the mayor and I, we decided not to cut it that much, so we could build up the savings.”

Ms. Sharlow said the last time the village had to purchase a garbage truck they had to finance the purchase. It is her hope that through building up savings in the village refuse account the next time such a purchase has to be made the village could pay cash for it and save money on interest and bonding fees.

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