By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Solid waste proved a recurring topic at Thursday’s slew of legislative committee meetings.
Two cleanups return
Legislators in the Executive Committee unanimously recommitted to the annual Municipal Cleanup, which allows the county’s 15 townships and six villages to dump a set amount of trash at county facilities for free.
The amount varies by municipality, but this year’s maximum permitted tonnage from all 21 municipalities is 700.
The event had been in question due to the county’s tight finances. County Manager David Fanslau confirmed that the cost of such an effort $50,000 was not in the 2011 budget, but legislators agreed to hold it anyway.
“I think it’s a worthwhile program,” said Legislator Ron Hiatt.
“It’s a necessary one,” added Legislator Leni Binder.
Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis said the funds would be appropriated from the solid waste budget.
Legislators also agreed during the Public Works Committee meeting to participate in Litter Pluck Day on April 30.
From April 30 through May 7, all litter plucked from roadsides will be accepted at county facilities for free.
Most appeals denied
Continuing the solid waste theme, Planning Committee legislators unanimously agreed to accept the recommendations of both the Solid Waste/Recycling Fee Grievance Committee and Real Property Tax Services Director Lynda Levine.
The grievance committee composed of Deputy County Manager Josh Potosek, County Treasurer Ira Cohen, Deputy County Treasurer Nancy Buck and Public Works Commissioner Bob Meyer recommended 31 waste fee grievances be denied and another 10 be approved.
Eighteen of the denied grievances were made by individuals, six of whom appeared personally in front of the grievance committee to make their case (and all six remained denied).
Only one individual wound up on the approval list, as she lives in a mobile home park whose owner paid the fee.
A number of non-profit houses of worship, camps and fire companies grieved their fees, as well, but most were either denied or had their fees reduced, not eliminated.
Additional grievances have until the end of this month to be filed, said Buck.
Levine dealt exclusively with tax roll errors: one neglecting to apply an aged exemption to a senior citizen’s waste fee, and two accidentally charging vacant land a waste fee.
Dairy facility sought
County officials are contemplating a dairy processing facility somewhere in the county, and legislators on Thursday approved seeking a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to design and create one.
“We’re looking at a variety of locations throughout the county with water and sewer services,” Planning Commissioner Luiz Aragon told the Democrat.
One loan fund board change
The prior week’s controversy over appointing members to a newly combined Revolving Loan Fund Advisory Board led to a slightly changed list presented to legislators in Thursday’s Executive Committee meeting.
While legislators supported combining the existing two advisory boards into one, they had balked at the original list of potential members, with Legislator David Sager complaining that it resembled a “good ol’ boys club.”
Yet they only dropped consultant Gerald Skoda, for whom the Liberty campus of Cornell Cooperative Extension is named, in favor of county Fiscal Administrative Officer Melissa DeMarmels.
To be formally approved by legislators this Thursday, the board will periodically review and recommend to the Legislature making business loans to particular corporations and merchants.