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Published: Tuesday, 8/24/2004

Swanton looks again at ending waste subsidy, assessing fees

SWANTON - Village Council has brought back to the table a plan to eliminate a municipal subsidy for refuse service.

At the same time, council is moving toward collecting special assessments for street lighting and leaf removal services. The measures are being considered in an effort to increase revenue for the village, which is projecting a general-fund shortfall for 2006.

Council voted 4-1 last night to approve the first of three readings of an ordinance to increase the direct-billed refuse rate. Council wants to eliminate the $3.72 monthly subsidy the village pays per customer for standard residential service with BFI. The total monthly fee is $11.54.

Cutting the subsidy would save the village about $39,000 per year. The same measure was introduced earlier but failed on a second reading when not all council members were present, Mayor Tandy Grubbs said.

Councilmen David Pilliod and Richard Ueberroth voted against the measure when it was first presented. Last night Mr. Pilliod voted no and Mr. Ueberroth was absent.

Council gave a second reading to ordinances last night that would assess property owners for leaf removal at a cost of about $15 each per year, and for street lighting at an estimated cost of $20 each per year. Annual cost for leaf removal is $25,500, and street lighting costs $35,000 per year. Mr. Pilliod voted no on both measures.

In other action, council voted to make the enforcement of regulations for inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicles a responsibility of the police rather than the village administrator. Police are better suited to handling traffic code enforcement issues, officials said. The amendment was approved as an emergency so police can begin enforcing the regulations before the start of bad weather.

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