Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Waste fee in sight?

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — November 9, 2010 — An e-mailed poll last week may be the final effort of a committee that’s been meeting for most of the year to craft recommendations to the County Legislature about the controversial solid waste user fee.
Seven of the approximately dozen committee members responded to County Manager David Fanslau’s questions about what to recommend to legislators.
The results are as follows:
• Five of the seven agreed that there should be seven property categories: residential, commercial, commercial-residential (i.e., apartment houses), definitions (i.e., houses of worship), mixed use (i.e., businesses with residential apartments), 800 Class Code series (i.e., municipal facilities) and agriculture homesteads.
• All seven agreed that a 10 percent senior citizen discount should be given only to those qualifying for the “Aged Exemption,” which has an upper income limit of $23,000, as opposed to the Enhanced STAR Exemption, whose upper income limit is $73,000.
• Four felt vacant (unimproved) parcels should be charged a fee, while three felt they should not.
• Currently the fee is assessed on property parcels, not particular residential units (i.e., an apartment house is assessed one fee rather than separate fees for each apartment in the building).
That will continue for 2011, but perhaps not in 2012.
“Most respondents support moving toward a unit fee, once a database could be developed,” wrote Fanslau.
“However, a cost-benefit analysis of developing and maintaining that database would need to be performed.
“The largest issue remains the equitable charge to residential units, such as mobile homes, apartments, and bungalows, as compared to single-family residential units.”
* * *
A public hearing on the revised “Solid Waste/Recycling Fee” law will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9:05 a.m. in the Government Center in Monticello.
The draft law deals with the mechanics of the fee system, including the fee’s purpose, rationale and appeals process. Copies of the law can be requested from the county manager’s office (807-0450).
However, the recommendations listed above will not be part of that hearing, as they have yet to be formally presented to the Legislature.
Legislators will then take those recommendations and determine as a group whether to follow them or not.
Actual rates have yet to be set, as well.
Final choices have to be made in December in order to have a new fee system in place for 2011.

top of page  |  home  |  archives