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Village rejects recycling increase

WATKINS GLEN—The village of Watkins Glen was in a tight-fisted mood Monday.
The village board rejected a request from its recycling contractor to re-open its contract and pay an extra $200 per month through the end of May.
The contractor, Arrowhead Disposal of Moreland, sought the increase to make up for a new $25 per ton fee imposed by Casella Waste Systems in Chemung County.
Arrowhead picks up about nine tons of materials for recycling in the village each month, said Trustee Nick Kelly, and takes it to Chemung County for disposal.
The board deadlocked 2-2 on the motion to reject the request, with Kelly and Trustee Gregory Coon in favor and Trustees William Smagner and Wayne Weber opposed.
Mayor Judy Phillips broke the tie by voting with Kelly and Coon.
Kelly said the price of fuel has dropped 50 percent since Arrowhead Disposal won the contract earlier this year, saving the company a substantial amount of money.
“That alone is hundreds of dollars per day,” Kelly said.
Casella Waste Systems held the contract before the village accepted Arrowhead’s bid, Kelly said.
The village pays Arrowhead Dispoal $2,600 a month under the existing contract.
The trustees also tabled a request from Hunt Engineers, Architects and Land Surveyors for a $15,100 increase in design costs for a planned shared services building that will house Schuyler County and village public works operations.
Clerk Donna Beardsley said the increase would bring the total design cost for the $2.7 million project to $85,000.
Mark Specchio, public works superintendent, recommended getting more information about the increase before acting on it.
“I’d like to talk to them about it before we roll over and play dead,” Specchio said.
The village also received notice Monday of a Jan. 14 meeting at which the Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency will propose an agreement with Schamel Brothers for a payment in lieu of taxes on a piece of Seneca lakefront property.
Taxes are currently imposed only on the buildings and other structures on the waterfront property, including the Village Marina Bar & Grill.
The land is owned by Schuyler County, which leases it to the Schamel Brothers, Beardsley said.
The proposed agreement would effectively remove the property from the tax rolls in return for an annual payment.
The public meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 14 at the office of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, 2 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen.
Trustees were skeptical of the proposal Monday.
“Why would they think that’s OK?” Weber said.
Beardsley said the proposed agreement covers a parcel assessed at $154,000, which would normally generate about $2,000 annually in village taxes.

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