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Lewis raises tipping fees to cover extra landfill costs

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County officials are raising tipping fees at the Lowville transfer site to help cover upcoming increases at the regional landfill.

County legislators in a 10-0 vote Tuesday approved a $3-per-ton increase on residential and commercial waste from $76 to $79, effective Jan. 1.

“It’s just going along with DANC,” said Board of Legislators Chairman Jack T. Bush, R-Brantingham.

At its regional landfill in Rodman, the Development Authority of the North Country now charges a tipping fee of $39 per ton to its member counties and commercial haulers who sign multi-year deals, and $41 per ton for walk-in customers. However, those per-ton rates will increase to $44 and $46, respectively, on Jan. 1.

While the landfill increase is $5 per ton, Lewis County is planning only a $3-per-ton hike because the county enacted a $2-per-ton increase in June, said Legislator Philip C. Hathway, R-Harrisville.

Tipping fees for construction and demolition waste will also increase by $3 per ton, from $95 to $98.

Per-bag rates and costs at the Croghan transfer site, which charges by the cubic foot because of the lack of a scale, will be unchanged.

Legislators also decided to decrease funding to the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce for the I Love NY program by 10 percent, the same amount lawmakers have asked department heads to trim their budgets by for 2013.

The original proposal would have kept county funding for the program, earmarked for tourism promotion, at the 2012 level of $28,000.

However, Mr. Hathway proposed that the amount be dropped to $25,200, and his amendment passed 7-3, with Legislators Richard C. Lucas, R-Barnes Corners; William J. Burke, R-West Lowville; and Patrick F. Wallace, R-Lowville, opposed.

Mr. Lucas said he thought the funding should not be cut, given that the state will match any county money allocated for the program.

“I think the more we promote the county, the better we are,” he said.

“To be fair with each department, I think we need to treat everyone equally,” Mr. Hathway countered.

County Manager David H. Pendergast reported that most departments “did not hit the 10 percent figure” in their submitted budgets, and Legislator Jerry H. King, R-West Leyden, suggested $2,800 could be cut from other funding of the chamber if legislators did not want to reduce the state match.

However, most lawmakers decided to make the I Love NY funding cut, a year after chopping it and other contractual funding by 20 percent.

On a lighter note, a few black balloons were tied to Mr. Burke’s chair throughout Tuesday’s meeting to commemorate his 65th birthday.

“Honest to God, I used to think that was old,” he said.

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