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Wheatfield to consider garbage totes

by jmaloni
Thu, Jun 14th 2012 07:15 pm

Fourth fireworks to return to Oppenheim

by Susan Mikula Campbell

Now that Wheatfield's large tote recycling program is proving successful, the town may be looking at providing garbage totes to residents as well.

Supervisor Robert Cliffe said Monday at the Town Board meeting that he would probably start discussing the possibility of using garbage totes provided by Modern Corp. with the board next month.

"In the negotiations for the (recycling) contract, Modern offered to purchase 96-gallon totes for each household if we went to once-per-week, one tote per residency (garbage collection). I have asked for the cost from Modern if we were to agree to purchase and own the totes just as we did with the recycling totes," Cliffe said. "I believe that the long-term savings will be significant, but I don't have that number yet. If it is not significant, there is not much reason to change."

Lockport is using three sizes of garbage totes in the city, Cliffe said. Also, for those who have extra trash, special additional garbage bags could be made available for purchase.

On the new recycling program, Cliffe said that Dawn Timm, Niagara County environmental coordinator, has told him that previously, Wheatfield's garbage collection was 80 percent trash and 20 percent recycling. Since the new large tote recycling began this spring, it's now close to 60 percent garbage and 40 percent recycling, which saves the town money.

The primary saving from recycling comes from bi-weekly pick-up, and automated pick-up (one driver on a truck without assistance). However, Modern is to reimburse the town for 50 percent of the value of everything which is recycled. Modern has guaranteed a minimum of $30,000 per year rebate on the recycling program, Cliffe said.

In other matters:

•Cliffe also reported that fireworks will return for the Fourth of July at Oppenheim Park in Wheatfield. A DJ and a live ban performance also are planned. County Legislator Kathryn L. Lance is working to obtain Seneca Niagara casino funds to help fund the project, he said.

The holiday fireworks display at Oppenheim was eliminated for two years while the town worked on eliminating the deficit that was already in place when Cliffe came into office.

"When in a deficit position, you have to cut back on non-needed expenses," Cliffe said. "Now that we have a fair fund balance, we can afford such expenses."

•A Wheatfield Lakes resident asked if there was any progress on allowing residents to put up fencing on a common area in the rear of their property. He said the nearby park is a hot spot for noisy teenagers at all hours and even people having sex. "A little privacy and shielding from that area is what we're looking for," he said.

Cliffe said the matter is before the Planning Board and it is not a simple issue, because neither a homeowner nor the builder has the right to put a fence in a common area or conservation easement area.

•Councilman Art Gerbec reported that residents in the Niagara Road area have been complaining about drivers not obeying speed limits, especially trucks heading for construction at the airport.

•Building Inspector Joe Caturia reported single family building permits are up by more than 30 percent.

•Councilman Kenneth Retzlaff reminded residents that the Wheatfield Farmers Market was opening this week and there will be a special Grand Opening/Family Day on June 20. The market is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Town Hall parking lot. "We always have good products here," Retzlaff said.

•The next Town Board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. June 25.

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