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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”