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UPDATE: McFee Withdraws Support on Trash Pickup

Long an ardent supporter, Town Councilor Dana McFee says he is no longer "driving force behind the issue."

 

UPDATE March 5, 8:30 a.m.:

Town Councilor Dana McFee, fervent supporter of curbside pickup, has chagned his mind. In an emailed statement to Montville Patch, McFee said the program proposal was perhaps a longshot and without public support he can no longer stand behind the plan.

"I am withdrawing my support for town wide trash pick up. I knew from the start this was going to be an uphill battle and the only way to implement this service would have been from overwhelming public support in order to force the Democratic majority on the council to go along. Unfortunately, I have not seen that level of support from those who would benefit most, so I no longer feel it's worth the effort. If Town Councilor Chuck Longton wants to continue with the cause, I will support his efforts, but I will no longer be the driving force behind this issue."  ~ Dana McFee

 

 

Original Story:

For more than a year, a plan for town-wide garbage pick-up has bee on the table. Now, the hard numbers are in and on Wednesday, the Public Works/Solid Waste Standing Committee will make some decisions on the RFP for town wide trash pickup. 

Currently, it costs $447,857 a year to run the transfer station. With town-wide trash pickup the cost will increase to $1 million and change with two less staffers, no full time employee at all and the dump would only be open two days a week. Layoffs would be required; two employees would get pink slips.

Now, according to the town website, a transfer station sticker for the disposal of household waste is $55, with seniors paying $45. The station is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

With proposed town-wide trash pickup, 7,300 households would see an annual approximate $80 per household tax increase. Households that currently use curbside pickup would pay less than they currently do; $264 a year is average.

The transfer station would be used for bulky waste, recycling, and the like.

Town Councilor Dana McFee, who has been banging the drum loudly on the proposal for some time says curbside pickup is a win-win for residents.

“I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me, ‘what do we get for our tax dollars? Nothing.’ As elected officials it is our duty to act in the best interest of the whole community and this service benefits all. How often do you see a town offer a valuable service like this and save people money at the same time,” he asked rhetorically. “It would be almost criminal for this council to deny the people of Montville this service which benefits so many.”

Town Councilor Chuck Longton, committee chair, said councilors need to hear from the community.

“As Montville grows we will outgrow the transfer station as it is now used. That is inevitable. Is this the time to make the switch or not,” he asked. “Our intent is to let the town's residents decide.”

Longton said there will be “at least one public hearing to give you opportunity to weigh in, ask questions and get as complete answers as we possibly can.”

“Switching to residential pickup would be a major change for the town's people and we are anxious to hear from as many of you as possible,” he said.

Longton encouraged residents to reach out him with questions and concerns via email at chuck2200@gmail.com. 

In October, Stirling Superior trash hauler made the lowest bid for town-wide pickup, but as Donald W. Bourdeau, Jr., Public Works Director, said at the time, the bid process is “just one side of the equation.” 

Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 02:37 AM
@ Jane you said it right, "IF" Sterling gets the contract. If you afforded the $265 or more a year I am happy for you, I don't see this as a "WIN -WIN" If you are driving past the transfer station even once a week swing in and drop the trash off that way your not wasting the gas and vehicle cost. I mean really, how much does it really cost you in gas/vehicle costs. I know I drive past the Transfer Station 14 times a week not costing me any extra in gas. This is not a Tax deduction as part of property taxes if you own a business in Montville, Our company will absorb the other costs in our Business Taxes, so can you please explain to me, how this is a Win-Win? I also live in the Town of Montville, so if other business owners live and own a business in Montville, we will be taxed twice, once for a service that a business CANNOT USE but will be taxed on, and then for my home...it doesn't make sense. .I hope you don't take offense, on my comments, but, I sit at the monthly Town Council Meetings and listen to the half truths about what goes on in this town, like how Mr. McFee didn't say anything about the business having to pass along our tax on this proposal to our customers I really don't see that as a win-win for anyone. Especially when our business has to pay for a service in our business taxes that we can't use...
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Mr. McFee, I hear you and all I hear is how you are for the residents in Montville, That you have been listening to the the residents of Montville and they want this, YOU never talked to me about it, so how do you know that I want this at my home or my business? As a resident the math doesn't prove your point. How about the Businesses in Montville, It is my understanding that conversation you had at a previous meeting a question was presented to you about the business in Montville, I believe your comment was something like "they will have to pass it along to their customers", Did you stop in and talk to any of the businesses here in Montville and tell them about this, cause if you did, you missed mine. I am sure that once other businesses hear that they will be taxed on a service that they will not be able to use they won't be happy about it either....Now can you tell me how this proposal is to the entire town of Montville is a "NO BRAINER"?
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 02:52 AM
According to the Mayor Mr. McFee, There is nothing in place to plug the Transfer Employees into the positions that the public works dept is down on.....So I ask again, How come you haven't mentioned anything about the Businesses in Montville....
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 03:14 AM
@ Diane, You have some valid concerns as well as some things that could be taken into consideration. I spoke to Mr. Bourdeau today, asked him if there was any extra costs when obtaining a permit for the transfer station like paying for the Bulk stamp card and his answer was NO, unless you go over on the punch card then there is an extra cost.To the part when you speak of stipulation for 2 defined weeks of bulky waste pickup, I see that as a free for all for all bulk and dangerous, as the roads in some areas of Montville are very very narrow and there isn't alot of room for it. I live on an abandon road that the town doesn't even plow, let alone pick up trash. That would mean that I would have to load it into the back of a truck bring it down to the end of our road and then unload it again...I might as well just drive to the transfer station at that point, this situation that I speak of effects 8 others. Could you imagine the line and the road blocks there would be at the intersection if it was only open 20 hours on the weekend, That would cause people to use more gas to avoid that area for those concerned about the cost of gas/vehicle expenses.Mr. McFee says that he is for the residents of Montville and the people want this,he certainly didn't ask me,Did he say to you personally before February 28th, "IF THERE IS A TOWN WIDE CURB SIDE TRASH PICK UP" would you be for it? I am banking NOT!. If you shop local you will spend the savings doing business in Montville.
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Diane, he also didn't speak of how the businesses in Montville would be affected either...Mixed apples with oranges try Grapefruit and Coconuts...
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Mr. McPhee there is a website called "Historical Gas Price Charts for CT on how gas prices will play into your so called Logic of savings with Curb Trash Pick up. Take a look at how the prices in CT are vs the average price throughout the US.. unless you have a crystal ball on gas prices.how can you say " I am not sure of a fuel cost provision in the 3 yr contract, but it is based on today’s pricing and unless world war three breaks out in the Middle East I don't see any significant fuel increase over the length of the contract.", In case the crystal ball doesn't tell you, the cost of fuel is called "Fuel Surcharge" and it is always passed on to people doing any type of business that involves any type of vehicle making deliveries or picking up trash on the Curb...eventually all those saving you speak of will cost the people that you are saying want this alot more money in the end...Especially Businesses in Montville.
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Mr. McFee I hope you have the names of the thousands of Montville Families that would appreciate the money they would save, because I would like to inform them all about how you never mention that the Businesses they do business with in the Town of Montville will be paying for a service that they cannot use but will be taxed on..and that the cost of this would be passed on to the customers, how is that saving them money and .how is that caring?
Flo Turner March 05, 2013 at 04:06 AM
I work at the transfer station and I bought a sticker as did my coworkers, however, I know of other people who live in town and do not buy a sticker, but just bring their garbage to work and put it in the dumpster. Do you want my sticker number? By the way, I buy one every year!
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Mr. McFee as an elected official to the Town Council your comment "Why don’t you stick to comments on the dog pound?" was uncalled for. Be careful you are starting to sound like a bully! Not a person that cares and protects the people of this town as you say you do.
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Meredith, Mr. McFee will not answer that question because then he would be held to it and it just might become another lawsuit or at best a war of words of "HE SAID, SHE SAID" instead Mr. McFee will continue to throw Mr. Bordeau under the bus by saying, for the third time, "BORDEAU SAID NO LAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Really Mr. McFee I cannot believe you would even say this, "Are you telling me you would rather drive to the transfer station and dump rancid maggot filled garbage yourself than having it picked up at the end of your driveway for the same money? So are you saying if this proposal is passed that it is okay for an employee of whatever contractor is selected to do this? wait before you answer that, your most likely going to say, that is the requirement of the job right?, it sounds like your feel that you are above doing this on your own? What is next someone to stand by the garbage pail in your house and take it out to the end of your driveway for you, just so you can save a few dollars on your next pair of shoes?
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Mr. McFee you asked this: " I urge that all who look at this proposal negatively to reconsider because it does benefit us all and the “I like going to the transfer station” is not a reasonable argument to oppose it." You say nothing about the Businesses in this town that will not benefit from this but will be taxed on it through their Business Tax....Here is my answer....I OPPOSE!
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Gov. Malloy has proposed eliminating the car tax with restrictions, the money that people would save will be absorbed through your property taxes that is how it works you can't catch a break, they take away one bill and increase another....how is that for an answer Meredith. As far as the overall of the Transfer Station, If anyone can provide information on the letter that was written for a grant to the State of CT for the overall of the Transfer Station I would appreciate it. I do believe I read somewhere that the Town of Montville was approved for a grant on the Transfer Station but the Mayor stated that the Town of Montville didn't need it...Mr. McFee can you find out that information?
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:35 AM
On the Tax increase since the town would no longer be receiving revenue from the car tax the answer is YES!!!
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Well said JCK7997
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:40 AM
But Mr. McFee it will not save any Business Owner in the Town of Montville anything!! now who is being unreasonable and who is being selfish?
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:49 AM
Mr. McFee, you are saying that thousands of people in Montville want this...and you know each and every one of them? Because if that is the case, I will continue to speak on this "Foolish" idea as you say it. And just so you know, if a customer should ask me, why so much, I will say, Thank Mr. McFee that savings you got on Curb pickup, Well I need it cause I pay for that service too, but can't use it!!!
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Glenn, This programs does not apply to businesses in Montville, The bid has already been put out to bid, but, not awarded according to one of the Trash Haulers I spoke with today. They have no clue as to what is going to happen with the Transfer Station and when it will be open or closed or how many people will still have their jobs there OR will there be a place for them at the public works department as Mr. McFee says because Mr. McFee says 'BORDEAU SAYS NO LAY OFFS!!!! As far as the Tonnage Maybe you can call Mr. Bordeau an ask him. I asked him alot of questions today and got the answers I needed to be informed on this and I have made my decision, I AM OPPOSED!
Ellyn Santiago (Editor) March 05, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Awesome thread of comments. And let's keep it that way; on point and free of personal attacks. Thanks!
Diana Reiss March 05, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Lynda J. Jean, thank you for understanding. I am pretty much now on the fence about this one. Again, I would suggest the same thing that I proposed for the apartment complexes...that business be given a tax abatement with proof that they are paying for their own refuse removal, upon paying their tax bills. I do not think that this should be spread over the backs of the small business owner in town, and the town is well aware of the "businesses" that are being taxed in town. My only question then comes with how does the town look at in-home run businesses? If this service is only given to home owners with single households, then the associated tax burden should be on those households. But then again look at it this way: taxes are collected from everyone, say for infrastructure improvements. So in a given year, a particular road in town needs to be repaved and improved for the safe passage of say the seven homeowners on that street. Just say the road has washed out in a major storm. We are all paying for that expense, not just the few that will benefit from that roads improvement. While I think the idea of curbside makes sense, I am not at all sure that this is the time for Montville to implement such a service, there is too much uncertainty as to what will be coming from Hartford in the future, and we may need to seek new local taxes to bear that burden.
Diana Reiss March 05, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Lynda J. Jean, your concerns are very valid. I think that the Town should perhaps work to get the Transfer Station in order first, then look at further options. As I have said before, we don't know what Hartford will be sending Montville's way in the future, and I think we have to start to deal with the things that NEED to be fixed first. My family does not live on the side of town that is close to the Rt. 32 corridor of businesses. Unfortunately, it is not cost effective to drive past the transfer station that often, so going to the Transfer Station allows me a reason to visit the other side of town once every 2-3 weeks and possibly purchase from businesses that are open on Saturdays and Sundays. For my family, the price of gasoline and proximity to my home don't make it cost effective for me to just pass by the transfer station.
Danielle L March 05, 2013 at 02:55 PM
I would support town wide trash pickup. It seems uncommon actually that a town doesn't have it. I would rather pay for it to be picked up than driving it to the dump. For someone who said it was because people were too lazy, I completely disagree. I personally have better things to do with my family and my time then to drive to a dump and get my vehicle dirty and smelly....for which I would then have to spend MORE time cleaning my car. I am far from lazy. While I am sorry to hear that folks might have to find work elsewhere, it is a reality that when something makes sense as a business decision, the business (in this case the town) must look at the whole town's benefits. Has anyone thought that with town wide trash pickup, whoever gets the contract would need more help???....and therefore, would offset the jobs lost. If they are good, hardworking individuals, they will look to find alternative work, including applying for jobs with the newly contracted.
RMS March 05, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I support it as well. In fact, we ARE one of the few towns that does not have it and I think that if we are paying taxes, trash pickup would be nice. I do not have time to go to the dump, nor the vehicle to do so. I am not lazy, just have better things to do with my time. Dana, please support this for us. You cannot please everyone, especially those that don't look at the big picture...in the form of deductible taxes, time and gas saved, etc.
jane March 05, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Lynda Jean I do NOT have curb side pick up because it is too costly. I do NOT 'drive by' the transfer station every day. As a matter of fact I drive by it NEVER. It is out of the way of every place I tend to go during a weeks time. In fact, there are thousands of Montville and Uncasville residents that never have a reason to drive that far down 163, except to go to the dump. To spend an extra $15 dollars a year to save energy and auto pollution makes it a worth while $15 increase in cost to me.
jane March 05, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I don't want or need a lot of things in town but as a homeowner and taxpayer I end up paying for it. Isn't that what government is all about - what's best for the many over the few. Okay JCK and Linda Jean - we get it. You don't want trash pick up. Fine. But that doesn't mean it's not possible that the majority of Montville residents wouldn't mind not having to take that trip 'out of their way' every week or 2 and many people would rather have their annual costs cut, especially when it will be rolled into their tax payment which IS tax deductible.
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Jane I do understand your statement and applaud you for stating your reason as to why your for it. Thank you.
Lynda J. Jean March 05, 2013 at 04:06 PM
@ Jane, I appreciate your calling me out on how I am opposed to it, however, It would not be a Tax Deductible for our business. Our business would be taxed under the Business Tax and my property taxes would rise also. The tax may not be alot but it is still a tax service that doesn't benefit our small business and some of the other small businesses in Montville if they are also a resident. Thanks for your conversation on this matter Jane.
Mark Rafferty March 05, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I for one DO NOT want the Curbside pick-up !!!!!! I am fine with paying my fee for the transfer Station and seeing everyone down there. These people at the transfer Station would lose their jobs, and we the tax paying citizens would be limited to one day a week for Household garbage. What happens in bad weather when you day is missed ??? Snow or ice storms would surely wreck the schedule. Right now we can go to the Transfer Station 1,2,3,4,5 days a week. And ad for the FEE for the Curbside pick-up, how long will it be before it skyrockets like our taxes ??? AND, whats next ??? We will have to purchase BAGS from that company just like other towns have ??? Only trash in their bags will be collected. Curbside Pick-up presents a whole bunch of issues, knocked over trashcans with Garbage all over the Neighborhood. Trashmen DESTROYING the trashcans, kicking them, throwing then down the driveways. OH, say it isn't so !!! IF the town is looking for ways to SAVE US, THE TAX PAYING CITIZENS, SOME MONEY, THEN DO AWAY WITH THE CURBSIDE RECYCLES PICK-UP. Come on now,if you can bring one garbage can to the transfer station, why not two ??? As for Dana McFee ??? This foul speaking , immature person has NO place in PUBLIC office treating the tax paying Citizens like he does. After his comments he should be REMOVED from the Council.
Dana McFee March 05, 2013 at 08:40 PM
HEY Flo , you want to get personal? remember the BOAT?
Thomas March 05, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Where did she get personal? Again, you are acting like a child. You know that people actually read this right? Just some advice....Put out some accurate numbers and stick with them. Write up your proposal with facts and stick with them. Treat others with respect and see how nice a debate can be. You can't keep touting it will save people more than $200 a year when those are a minority compared to those who have to pay more. I know numbers and I am looking at more than an increase of $80.00 a year. I would think that since we have to cut School Funding every year by a million or so that increasing taxes for trash is foolhardy. I will always support Education and deal with taking my trash to the station. Your priorities are a little out of whack. Grow up and take your personal attacks somewhere else. You are not being very professional at all.

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