FULTON, NY – Tipping fees at the Oswego County transfer stations and landfill have seen another increase after the County Legislature addressed the fees at last month’s meeting (July 14.)
Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said the city of Fulton will consider leaving the garbage business due to the $10 increase approved to begin January 1, 2017.
“Last year, toward the end of the year, the county raised the tipping fee $5 a ton, which that’s significant. Right now, our garbage program pays about $220,000 a year in tipping fees and that doesn’t include the $60,000 we pay at the waste treatment plant for tipping fees. Last year, we asked if they were done because we had to raise the rates here and we thought the answer we got was ‘we’re done’ . Now the county passed another increase of $10.”
The tipping fee for the city’s garbage and construction debris rate will increase from $65 a ton to $75 a ton, a change the mayor is unsure whether the city will accept.
“We will have a public hearing in December to decide if the city wants to stay in the garbage business,” Woodward said. “I have mixed feelings about it, I think we could still do it cheaper than private haulers but our people are stressed enough, they don’t need any more.”
Woodward said it will be up to the homeowners of the city to consider the change in cost and decide whether they want to pay a little more to stay in business or consider private haulers.
While considering leaving the business rather than accept the increase, Woodward is worrisome of how outside investors will handle the switch to private haulers.
“The only thing making me hesitate is the number of outside investors who rent units in the city. I hate to think what the city might look like if they didn’t decide to get a private hauler because out of sight, out of mind… unless you live next to it,” he said.
County legislator for the 22nd district, James Karasek approached the council at the regular meeting to ensure city officials that their representative legislators voted against the increase.
“I just wanted to make sure the council was all aware that the three legislators that represent the vast majority of the city voted against transfer station increases and waste increases. That was done because we all understand the hardship that face the city,” he said.
“I appreciate the support and letting us know about it, but it still happened,” Woodward said. “We’re all working for the same thing, the public. We represent our constituents in Fulton, but so does the county. We send in $3.4 million once a year to the county for the taxes they collect in Fulton, so we need to get something for that.”
“I understand they want to keep their budget intact too, but maybe its time to let go of it and let somebody run it that doesn’t cost that much,” he suggested.
Woodward had one final question for legislators, “is it done this year, or is there going to be another one next year?”