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February 5, 2013

City of Plattsburgh ups refuse pickup rates

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh residents will see an increase in their next garbage-collection bill.

The Common Council agreed Thursday night to add $1 per month to the bills of people who get their refuse collected every week and 50 cents per month to those who get it taken every other week.

The move will generate revenue to help offset the cost of monitoring the former city landfill on Akey Road in the Town of Plattsburgh.

The increase was included in the city’s 2013 budget, which was approved by the council last month.

The budget proposal that Mayor Donald Kasprzak submitted to the council last Oct. 1 did not include the rate increase. The council added it at the urging of Councilor Chris Jackson (D-Ward 6).

“It’s basically another unfunded mandate to monitor the landfill, and this will go toward paying for that,” Jackson said at the recent Common Council meeting.

STATE MANDATE

The landfill was closed in the 1970s, but three years ago, the state ordered the city to monitor it for environmental issues.

Jackson said it costs the city about $33,000 per year to to perform that mandate. The increase in refuse collection fees will cover about two-thirds of that cost, he said.

Refuse collection in the city earns between $50,000 and $60,000 per year, Jackson said.

“We haven’t had an increase in these rates since Dan Stewart was mayor, about seven years ago,” he said.

‘GOOD IDEA’

Rates for monthly pickup increased from $28.35 to $29.35; for those who get biweekly service, the per-month rate is now $14.75.

Councilors Timothy Carpenter (D-Ward 1), Mark Tiffer (D-Ward 2), Chris Case and Jackson voted in favor of the increase.

“I’m on board with this. I think it’s a good idea,” Carpenter said.

Councilors George Rabideau (R-Ward 3) and James Calnon (I-Ward 4) were absent. 

The new rates went into effect Feb. 1.

The city ranges between 2,300 and 2,500 trash-pickup customers.

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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