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Trash Packer Gets Green Light in Fulton

FULTON, NY – A new garbage packer and increased rental fees for parks and facilities punctuated business during Tuesday’s Fulton City Common Council meeting.

Introducing the resolution to purchase the new garbage truck, Mayor Ron Woodward said, “We’re one packer down.”

The Fulton Municipal Building.

The Fulton Municipal Building.

Council President Dan Knopp advised the council the $120,000 equipment purchase would not affect the general budget.

“It comes out of the garbage budget,” Knopp said. “It’s the right thing to do. We’ve got to have it. We can’t have a dump truck, a pay loader and five guys out picking up garbage. We’ve got to have a truck.”

According to this year’s budget, taxpayers will pay total of $832,000 in 2014 for their municipal curbside garbage pick-up service.

Councilors noted the old truck was likely 20 years old and needed to be replaced because the bottom fell out of  it. The replacement truck is expected to last 15 years according to the resolution.

Councilor Tom Kenyon, C-1st Ward, noted that the city owns several trash collection trucks and that the Department of Public Works commissioner could really use at least one more new trucks. He added the city cannot afford to implement a better equipment replacement schedule at this time.

“If the city was in great shape we could turn these over,” Kenyon said. “We’ve probably got three that are junk. Two go out every day. Garbage removal is a municipal service, we’ve got to pick it up.”

“People have been complaining because they see the pay loader and the trucks but that’s why we’ve got five guys out there picking their garbage up, because the packer is down. The DPW really needs this garbage packer desperately,” Kenyon added.

In a polled vote, councilors unanimously approved the bond anticipation note for the $120,000 purchase of the new equipment under New York state contract.

The new piece of equipment, a 20 cubic yard capacity rear loading trash collection truck costs $108,024, and can be specified with one or two hydraulic can tippers for an additional $4,000 and $4,900 according to state pricing documents.

Councilors expected it would take a few months before the new truck arrives.

The mayor then turned the council’s attention to the matter of fees for residents using city facilities, calling the proposed increases modest.

The 2014 fee increases approved and effective March 1.

The 2014 fee increases approved and effective March 1.

Barry Ostrander, superintendent of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department explained that the new rates would not affect anyone who has already scheduled programs or facility rental with the city.

“Any existing contracts we have with groups, we will honor those contracts at the current rate,” the recreation superintendent said. “Any contract after March 1 would be at the new rates.”

The largest hike was $50 added to the daily rental of the City of Fulton War Memorial. Groups will now pay $275 per day and non-profits $225 per day to use the facility. The former rates were $225 and $175 respectively.

With the new rental fee schedule, councilors voted to add a 3-hour kitchen rental for $30, allowing those who need the War Memorial kitchen for a few hours but not a whole day to pay a lesser rate, and to allow the kitchen to be used by more than one group per day.

Prior to Tuesday’s resolution, users were only able to rent the kitchen for a full day at a cost of $50.

Other fee increases include use of Bullhead Point Pavilion from $25 to $30 weekdays and $50  to $60 weekend days; North Bay Campgrounds fishing access from $5 per vehicle to $3 per person; and  the Municipal Center’s community room which will now cost $50 instead of $25.

Frequent users – those who book the room more than 10 times a year – will get a discounted rate of $20 per event.

Moving on to other city business, councilors confirmed a $4,500 fee for Barton & Logudice as the company to provide engineering services for advice on the repair and possible reconstruction of the City of Fulton War Memorial floor.

In a Feb. 14 letter to Ostrander, B&L vice president Dean Mason outlined the scope of the assessment.

“With the assistance of city staff, (B&L will) cut back the rubber flooring surfacing at bump locations to observe the concrete floor conditions below the rubber covering,” Mason’s letter states.

If necessary, Dean said for an added expense the engineers will also make arrangements to collect concrete samples to try and determine why the floor bubbling occurred.

Dean assures Ostrander that this sampling will be “away from the normal playing surfaces to the extent possible” and “the cost for the core-drilling would be less than $1,000, if required.”

The engineering company will provide the recreation superintendent, mayor and council its opinion of possible costs to repair, improve and replace the flooring.

In another matter, the mayor pulled from the agenda an item that would consider

Summer swimmers at the Rowlee Beach Park pool.

Summer swimmers at the Rowlee Beach Park pool.

B&L to assess the Rowlee Beach Park Pool.

Ostrander requested a quote from engineers to follow up on a 2005 evaluation of the outdoor public swimming facility. In a Jan. 16 letter to the superintendent the company agreed to supply a comprehensive report at a cost of $4,600.

The mayor pulled the item from the agenda as city leaders consider their options with regard to the pool, including whether to keep it open.

At the conclusion of the meeting, after re-appointing three members to the Fulton Planning Commission, the mayor and councilors took a moment to recognize Algidio “Archie” Fiorini who died on Sunday. Mr. Fiorini was a lifetime resident of Fulton and served his city as a member of the commission.

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4 thoughts on “Trash Packer Gets Green Light in Fulton

  1. The illustrious round table of Fulton continues to squeeze the stones (the residents) looking for another drop of blood (their $). Do the fee increases offset the business lost by being fee happy? The city already does a lackluster job of providing basic municipal services, aside from having enough firemen and police officers for a city 3x it’s size.

  2. Dear Mr. Wagner,

    Aside from your observations about the fee increases and your displeasure at the quality of municipal services, I have to question the police staffing level suggested in your post.

    The FBI Uniform Crime Statistics Report shows an average of 2.6 sworn officers per 1,000 inhabitants for the northeast region; or 1.8 sworn officers per 1,000 inhabitants for cities with 10,000 – 24,999 inhabitants. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-71

    US Census data shows the city of Fulton population was 11,896 for the 2010 Census. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/3627815.html

    So by multiplying the average number of sworn officers for a city the size of Fulton in the northeast region by the number of inhabitants in Fulton, the average number of sworn officers would be between 21.4 and 30.9.

    According to its web site, the city of Fulton has 34 sworn officers. That’s 27 patrol officers, three administrators, and four investigators who handle special cases like drugs and sex offenses. http://www.fultonpd.com/
    (Note: Data sources indicate the ratio of residents in Fulton to sex offenders is 177 to 1, the second highest in the area. http://www.city-data.com/so/so-Fulton-New-York.html#ixzz2tp8qpinp)
    The staffing level you suggest – one third the current force, or 11 sworn officers, working five shifts per week, for 24 hour coverage seven days a week, allows for one officer on duty at any given time.
    http://www.state.nj.us/dca/affiliates/luarcc/pdf/PositionPaperonMinimumPoliceDept%20RFC.pdf

    Your post suggests that the city of Fulton only needs one sworn officer on duty at any given time.

    Janet Rebeor

  3. Yes, you are correct. Fulton is overmanned according to your figures for police officers. The Fire Dept, similarly, is also overmanned. Also, nowhere did I suggest a cut to one third manning. I get the feeling you must be a mouthpiece for the city, officially or otherwise. You can cite facts and figures all day but the bottom line is:

    - public safety is overmanned or more aptly, the staff/job configuration of personnel is suspect
    - fire dept is overmanned
    - more can be done through municipal aid agreements and increased cooperation with the OC sheriffs office

    As for the city’s sex offender problem, that has nothing to do with how big a police dept is or should be.

    Bottom line is the city of Fulton is too small for what it desires in terms of city employees. I lived there for 12 years before moving on to greener pastures in Virginia Beach. Our city is undermanned in public safety yet we are in the top 5 safest cities in the country. Go figure. Sounds to me it’s more about managing personnel than simply having more of them.

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