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City video features Jason Molino demonstrating advantages of totes

This video apparently produced by the City of Batavia features City Manager Jason Molino, with a cameo by his daughter, demonstrating how the new tote system for trash and recycling will work.

jason reese
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Well Done.

Robert Brown
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Great video. Walking backwards might not be such a great idea. Kudos for accommodating recycling. Technology aside, the tote system is not going to be fair for everyone. Yes, size matters but so does frequency - our city manager dropped the ball on this one by unjustly penalizing people who do not need to have trash picked up weekly. It's almost a well thought out maneuver...almost. Unfortunately, almost doesn't cut it. Thanks for the video entertainment, no thanks for increasing costs for low garbage producers.

Richard Richmond II
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Robert,
I'm curious; how are they penalized?

Lincoln DeCoursey
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I wonder how many takes it took to spit all of that out. In any case, it's very well done.

Deb Wagner
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Get together with one or to neighbors and purchase one tote and look at the money you will save.

John Roach
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Like the idea of totes or not, the attempt to help inform people was a good effort.

John Roach
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Deb, it does not work that way.

Laura Russell Ricci
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I like that this encourages recycling...

tj stone
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Their main selling point here is less trips to the curb - two trips instead of four. Well a little exercise isn't exactly bad for you. Plus having the kids haul the four trips, what do you care?
The people with money want to look like a ‘’real’’ city with new totes. So again regular folk have to abide by those with vs without. Maybe start gated communities instead.
Your trying to impress people with a new shiny item, when next year they will just see how screwed they truly got it in the can.
but then with less pick ups from the garbage truck, your still doing less trips. Batavia will just stink even more with rotting garbage instead of sewage.
Do a real test. Put the tote on the side of the road and have a snowplow bearing down on it with a full load hitting it.

* never a club member

.

Phil Ricci
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Good video. I understand the concept, but I want numbers. What are these costs, and if I can get the service for less on my own, am I allowed?

Also, Jay and I have the same sized family and garbage production, so it was a good example for me. That said, costs mean everything to me.

wendy spear
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I have no problem with the tote system, Mr. Mulino. I do however have an issue with the company you have chosen. We need to support the ARC and local business.

Lincoln DeCoursey
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The video here is essentially a re-post, Wendy. I'm not sure how you might get feedback to Mr. Molino but perhaps you could comment on YouTube, where the city posted the video. The suggestion from the video was to stop by city hall or dial in with questions.

I'm not sure that any provider has been selected yet, at least not exactly. I believe that the city is in the process of reviewing the bids. With the bidding process, the outcome is more of a collective decision made by the bidders than it is a decision made by the city or its manager.

Phil, as far as your concern, yeah I think it's looking to be significantly less expensive than what Batavia has now. Besides modernizing the pickup, reducing cost was a major driver for the change. There's also revenue sharing back to the city for the recyclables as well as an attempt to allocate the costs more equitably within the community (it's actually called "pay as you throw"). It's probably not perfect but it looks to be a significant improvement most all around.

There is some basic information in a FAQ at the city web site, also some more details in a larger presentation that can be found on the city's site too.

Paula Ferraro
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What will happen to my 2 durable garbage cans and my 4 blue recycle bins (and the rest of the city's bins & plastic garbage cans) currently in use?

Mark Potwora
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Lincoln ..The pricing is not totally fair..198 for a 96 gal tote...If you get five 96 gal totes the price is not even 400 dollars...It should be almost 1000 dollars..That to me is the most unfair part of this..Why the price break...There are alot of rental property in Batavia and they will be getting a big price break on this...So we are in reality subsidizing the multi -family rental property...

John Roach
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Phil,
Your property will be given a Tote, and you will be billed for it. If you hire somebody else, you pay twice.
You will get the tote no matter if the service is provided by ARC, the highest bidder or one of the other bidders.

Marks point is what bothers me. Why do rental units get a break?

Jim Rosenbeck
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A well done video by Jason illustrating the use of totes and how the system would work. I continue to have a number if issues with this plan however. The biggest of these issues being why the city has chosen to be the exclusive provider for the garbage totes . Howard, you said "nobody purchases totes, the city owns the totes" . I don't understand that logic. We, the taxpayers are the city. We will not only pay for the totes, we will OVERPAY for totes equipped with tracking devices to protect the considerable city investment. Deb Wagner suggests that we should get together with neighbors and share totes in order to save money. Great idea but if John Roach is correct in stating that no one can opt out of the city plan, then each and every property owner is getting billed . My guess is that this plan doesn't work without the revenue that the city hopes to generate by mandating compliance. I continue to believe that mandated use of the city plan is fundamentally wrong and likely to be inenforcable if challenged. I would be happier to continue to use my own trash tote purchased less expensively from the private sector and have ARC continue to provide the service.

Duane Preston
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Mark & John, Usually the first tote carries more cost to get the truck to your front door. This is called a user fee for the cost of gas, labor, truck maintenance and tonnage on the 1st tote. The second tote you are just paying for tonnage on the garbage (the truck is already at your house so it is not needed to charge you that expence again).

The people that are getting the big break are the seniors. With the $100 break they get amounts to 70% reduction for this service. Last time I knew, coffee shops and hotels gave 10% reduction for seniors. Maybe this is a point you want to argue instead? Or maybe not.

Phil Ricci
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I agree, Jim.

If what John is saying is correct, and without sharing real costs with us prior, it's hard for me to say that I like in the least.

How much are these totes if they need to be replaced?

If the sole purpose of this argument is to reduce the amount of trips to the curb, then I'm find with the extra walking. My current service costs me roughly $70 per year right now, so unless the city is going to cut that cost down, I'm not interested.

If they're going to raise that cost, for essentially the same service, then I want an option to opt out. For $30 per month, I can get WM to come in and take anything I have. No stickers, no totes, no nothing. So, again, give me real numbers.

tim raines
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Mr Molino wants to save the City of Batavia residents $1,250,000 over the next 5 years for garbage collection costs and people complain.

He should be congradulated instead of villified...........

Why is ANY change so difficult for Batavia residents to accept??

Ron C Welker
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Change is and always will be difficult,some people will always fight change, it's human nature. I think Jason did a great job of explaining the use of the totes vs the bag system, I for one look forward to the rolling totes.
I have a question that just might be a flaw in the system, lets say you live on a street that only allows parking on one side of the street,will the automated truck with robotic arm be able to work around large trucks and parked cars? If this turns out to be a problem what then? Haul your tote to the side of the street that has no parking? So in this case as it is for me not being able to park in front of my house, I now will have not only my totes in front of my house but the neighbors also?
I would like to commemd ARC for doing a great job over the years, thank you.

Mark Potwora
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Daune..You say this is about stops and tonage..Then if you share a driveway or put your tote out next to your neighbor you should get a discount such as the multi family rental property...Either we all share in the cost equally or we don't ..That goes for the price of the tote..If each one cost 198 a year then that is what it should cost..No multi-family discounts..Other wise we are right back where we started..One group subidizing another..I agree with the idea not just how they are favoring one group over another...Glad to see the city take these steps..They just need to fine tune the pricing structure...

John Roach
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We all say we want lower taxes. Then when the chance to make it happen comes up, we have people saying its either not enough, or not worth it. We will not make everyone happy no matter what the issue is.

Phil Ricci
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Ron,

I'm not fighting change, and I understand the concept of the program. What I'm lacking is all of the facts. Telling me something is and will be good for me is one thing, showing me is another.

If the city show me that this service will save my family money, while reducing my weekly workload (which is not important to me, but I understand may be to others) then I'm fine.

Show me the true costs for my household, and then I'll make my decision.

NOW, another question I have is this: If this is saving the city money, where will that money go? Will it be used to reduce taxes? Stored in reserves, or used to give more raises?

I applaud ANY effort to control costs. I know how difficult it is to do that, but I would like to know intent.

Phil Ricci
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John,

Have I missed something? Where has it been said that the savings will be used to reduce taxes? I applaud it if that's the case!

Phil Ricci
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OK folks, here is the fact sheet: http://www.batavianewyork.com/documents/FactSheetwithCostsofProgram.pdf

It is not a true "Apples to Apples" comparison because it is based on "average" cost, which is not the way the city bills it currently. Also, it used to show costs if the city were currently using this model of plan, which it is not, so these numbers are inaccurate.

So just be clear someone who has a house that is valued under $100,000 you will be paying more. Since that is a vast majority of the city, I wonder why this isn't explained.

Lincoln DeCoursey
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I wonder what trash pickup would cost if contracted by individual homeowners in a competitive market? It may cost more due to the loss of collective buying power, or it might cost less. Maybe all of the bids were high and the haulers would tailor better deals if forced to compete day-to-day.

Some municipalities do use that hands-off approach and I would be interested to see numbers from anybody nearby who's doing it. Regardless of cost, one upside would be less worrying about who's paying for who under a city-concocted system.

Actually I think that an opt-out would be a sufficient feature to address concerns. I suspect that most folks would roll with the city plan, so the city buying power would come into play. But anybody who's inclined to go into the market and try to do better, e.g. if their needs don't match up with the city plan, well they could have at it.

Phil Ricci
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Listen, if this plan will save money on the whole, then that's just fine.

As long as we see our tax bill go down. After all, all we are doing here is shifting costs. Instead of the levy it's a user fee. Fine, but the levy will need to drop, then we'll all see the benefits. If the city finds a "use" for the savings, and spends them, then this was all just for show.

Lori Silvernail
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I am going to be sending a letter to Jason Molino, Tim Buckley, and my 4th ward councilperson to express my concerns. While it is admirable for the city to be looking for ways to save themselves money, having a "one size fits all" regulation isn't the answer. I will be sending photos of my property which clearly show how difficult it will be for me to use the tote system in the winter.

I need clarification of what the rules will be regarding storage of the totes on non-garbage days. According to current city regulations, "Except when set out for collection, containers shall be located either indoors, in a completely enclosed structure or facility, or in the rear of premises and hidden from view from any adjacent street and/or sidewalk." My situation is that I would have to haul the filthy tote through my living room and kitchen in order to store it in my back room.

People are quick to judge those of us who are in a no-win position regarding where these totes will go. I can utilize one during the summer, but absolutely can not during the winter. Another problem I forsee is that, using my own street as an example, the parkway is so narrow and generally buried by the snowplows. If we were to leave the totes on the sidewalk, the sidewalk plow won't be able to get through.

So call me and others resistant to change... but just try and imagine that not all of us are in the same situation and this change is going to be nearly impossible.

Mark Potwora
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Phil if the city does this they are going to lower the tax rate to 9.15 from 10.77...Thats what they are doing with the savings..The question should still be if the city is adding in the price of the totes why are multi-family rentals getting a huge discounts on totes..

John Roach
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Phil,
The proposed total City budget is expected to be down about 2%, with a property tax reduction of around 14%. It might have been more except for things you and other School Board members will also be dealing with in your school budget, an increase in State mandated retirement payments and an increase in health insurance.

Phil Ricci
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I do understand indeed! This state makes it incredibly difficult.

Well, I will support it if it is in fact lowering total costs.

Ted Wenzka
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John I think we are all for lower taxes when there is a net gain. I believe it has been said that this program is a wash. So what is the net gain for us, $0.00.

Ted Wenzka
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John, I again state how is this cutting the amount of money I am paying overall. Yes my taxes are going down but the money going out of my pocket (tax + fee to use the tote system) will be a wash. So I ask what is my net gain. This is more of government putting money in one pocket and then reaching in the other and taking it back out again. It is just more smoke and mirrors. Usual government activity.

Jim Rosenbeck
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I have no problem with change for the city. Nor, do I have a problem with the city OFFERING a garbage collection alternative that city residents can buy into if they choose. I do have problems with the city entering the tote business and the cost of that initiative. Again, why not let private business supply totes to city residents at a cheaper price than the the city can purchase them for? City totes with tracking chips are going to be more expensive than those we can buy from a local retailer. . I also take issue with not being able to opt out of a service if I can find a better provider on the open market. This plan likely doesn't work and save the city money unless we all become mandated users of the service. I seriously doubt that in the long term any money is saved. Revenue will be generated by charging property owners for garbage disposal service. But I am skeptical that the revenue raised will be sufficient to cover the comtract cost of the service provider, the cost of the city owned totes with tracking devices and the administration of the new city business. Somebody has to procure, store and distribute these totes. They will need repair and replacement over time. Someone employed by the city will also have to handle accounting, billing, collections etc..... Who in city hall is sitting around with extra time on their hands just waiting to take over these duties? Can city council promise us that a year from now they won't be asking to hire someone to handle this new workload. Be wary of the unintended consequences of well meaning officials. I don't think this is a long term tax saver. I encourage the city council to rethink the entire idea. Minimally, don't attempt to force us to participate. I would like to see real numbers that include the projected cost of totes, repairs, replacement costs over 5 years and administration of the program included possible additional staffing. Even billing this service is a cost to the city. Once those numbers are included then and only then can we make an informed decision about the city's plan. Asking difficult questions is our obligation. If this is indeed a good plan, Jason and the council will have the answers to those questions. Just don't show me how nice the tote rolls down the driveway and ask me to jump on board though. That won't happen.

John Roach
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Ted,
While I'll break even or even pay a small bit more, I like the idea of separating this from my taxes. I will now have a truer idea of the cost of the service. For the most part, I'll pay the same as everyone else. May fee will be closely what I use, or don't use, and not on what my home is valued at. I will no longer subsidize properties that don't pay taxes but use the service. Businesses that don't use the service will no longer have to pay, helping them stay in business.

The plan is not perfect. I agree with Mark that multiple unit rental are getting a break they should not. And if they have to pay the same as the rest of us, maybe our cost will go down more.

This going out to bid every so many years will also help hold down future trash costs increase.

Lori Silvernail
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Rental units don't get the $30,000 STAR exemption, so all that glitters isn't gold. And now they'll have to find a place for all of these garbage and recyling totes. Remember, those totes can't be visible from the road...

Think about all of the homes along busier streets like Oak and Main Streets. Have you ever seen the size of the snow piles, filthy from the road, sand, etc.? Where are these people going to find a place for multiple totes? Seems that after that guy was hit by a car on Main Street, there was lots of discussion about those sidewalks not being shoveled. Now they'll be littered with totes.

Richard Richmond II
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I’m aware this is a hot top button issue and the ARC has its supporters with their heartfelt opinions and I respect that.

Civil honest discourse is always good.

ARC is a tax exempt organization that is not required to pay the prevailing minimum wage and I disagree with that exemption.

I believe in equal pay for equal work. A disabled person should be entitled to wages as anyone who performs the same.

Picking up garbage is hard labor in Western NY. These mentioned ARC workers are exposed to all kinds of weather; extreme heat and bitter bone chilling cold.

The wages of the disabled people who do the physical work; collecting the garbage, along with their working environment are diametric to the generous wages paid to ARC executives and/or local directors in their climate controlled building and offices.

Nevertheless if the City Council were to award the contract at a cost one-million over Allied, ARC is subcontracting to another business. Where will they put these hard working disabled people? Will they be transferred to the recycling end of the ARC operation? lf they do, will their wages be cut?

In the spirit of cooperation; in the spirit of fairness; in the spirit open government; I challenge the ARC to provide a full financial disclosure of wages for all ARC employees; from the top down.

We already exempt the ARC from taxes. We already give the ARC free government services such a fire and police.

We the taxpayer fit the bill; do we deserve any less?

John Roach
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It came as a surprise to me to learn that ARC was not required to pay some of their employees the minimum wage. While there are probably not that many who are not required to get minimum wage, does anyone know how many there are and what they do in fact get paid?

Ted Wenzka
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Richard,
ARC may not be required to pay prevailing minimum wage but do you know for a fact that they are not paying workers minimum wage. Before making such an assumption I would hope you have facts backing up your statement.

Linda Knox
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I'll back up Richard's statement. I'm the parent of a disabled adult who once worked in the ARC workshop. Very few of the positions even pay at an hourly rate. Most of the individuals at the workshop are paid what we offen hear as "piece work". The more completed pieces the higher your pay. Some of these persons might bring in $100 every two week pay period. I had APOV letter to the editor last year because of persons relieved of their work, my son included, if they weren't able to perform to the business model. There are hourly disabled workers but not minimum wage disabled workers unless they're in the private sector.

John Roach
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Linda,
Just read your letter from 2012. Very good.

Mark Potwora
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The question should be what has the ARC done with the money they have collected for trash pick up if it hasn't gone for wages...I though they all at least made minimum wage.

Richard Richmond II
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Ted,

What statement are you referring too?

I never stated that the ARC is not paying the minimum wage. You assumed that I did.

Linda stated as “Fact” that ARC does not pay the minimum wage; thank you Linda for bringing this “fact” to the light of day. I for one find this disgraceful.

FACT! Even convicted felons in our prisons receive an hourly wage.

Timothy Walton
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Where are 2 big totes supposed to go? I know in the winter my front lawn has a 3ft mound of dirty snow. It works to just throw garbage bags on top of the mound, but there is no way the totes could just roll up there... basically leaves it with the option of the driveway where cars wouldn't be able to get out or the side walk where people wouldnt be able to walk, or else now we would have to shovel part of the front lawn, just so we can put the garbage out?

John Woodworth JR
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For those of you who actually wonder about the effect that a snowplow will have on your totes, NONE. I live in Stafford and the speed limit is 55 MPH. I have a 96 gallon tote and if, my stands when a snowplow passes my home (Which my road is one of the worst in NYS for drifting snow)and shoves hundreds of pounds of snow and salt into my tote. I am pretty sure those of you who live in the city with 30-40 MPH speed limits will have no issue. I like the tote for several reasons, no lifting, holds down the smell if you keep lid closed, helps keep rodents and animals from tearing through my trash. Cutting down trips is not an issue, I can moved all four items in that video in one trip without issues. The tote is a great thing as far as I am concerned.

Sally Waldron
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I really hope that all of those in this discussion realize that there is more to the ARC than just trash and recycling. Money goes not only to paying the ARC workers collecting trash, the money also goes to ARC employees that work with them, assists with the Day Habilitation in Elba, Residential Services, Family Support Services and the payroll for those that work and serve these individuals. With the state cutting funding to Not for Profits, especially those with developmental disabilities, they are struggling to make themselves more self sufficient. When funding or funds coming in go down, the individuals as a whole get hurt in the long run. Positions get cut, there is less staff to service those that need it the most, and employees get not only benefits cut, there are no raises to those that so proudly serve these individuals.

I have worked for the Agency for going on two years and have done so close to minimum wage with an Associates Degree and no raise in site. I do so proudly and without complaint for I really care about those I serve, and just wish that the City would look and the humanitarian issues involved and not just dollars and cents on a piece of paper.

On a subnote, I do not know what the pay rate is for those that work at the trash and recycling, but no matter what it is, those that get a check from there are happy, number one because they can have some self sufficiency and feel that they are contributing to the community that the live and shop in.

John Woodworth JR
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Where do you keep your garbage cans? I had 3 cans before my tote but, I kept them both in the same spot. For the most part the tote is taller and just a little wider.

John Woodworth JR
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Sally what is ARC since, I do not deal with such and second do they offer totes or do they just pick up trash bags? Which BTW points out another benefit of tote over garbage cans with trash bags. The disposal agency hooks up the tote which is lifted and dumped into the vehicle. If, you just use trash bags and set them out by the curb (Like I have seen at some residents in Batavia) the bag may break causing trash to spill out and the collector picking up most but, not all of the trash. Have seen it before.

Sally Waldron
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My belief is that is why ARC collaborated with another entity to enable the usage of the totes, to be able to compete with the other bidders. The very first report on this that can be found here talks about it. Maybe Howard can dig it up? As for the ARC itself, there are the residential homes where individuals live, the workshop that does business with places like Yancys Fancy and companies that need piece work done. There is actually so much that they do that I cannot copy and paste it here from the site, Howard would have my head, but the link to their site is here: http://www.gencoarc.com/Home.aspx
Sally Waldron
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Here is information on the services that I worked at within the agency: Day Habilitation Services strive to foster personal growth for those with a disability and encourage integration within the community. The focus is on building self-esteem and independence; while introducing individuals to a variety of experiences, new friends, and possible future volunteer opportunities. Individuals at the Elba-based Day Habilitation Center are involved in a variety of activities designed to enhance personal growth and social interaction. While the program offers structured training opportunities based on individual needs in self-care, communication, socialization, independent living skills, and healthy living, it also links individuals with disabilities to the community through volunteer work and recreation and leisure activities. In addition, the program offers a complement of professional services including nursing, speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy and behavior management. Community Center – Batavia Day Habilitation Services provide opportunities for life skill enhancement, personal growth and vocation development. At the Batavia site, young adults attend a multi year program called PREP for Life. This innovative program offers young adults training in educational and vocational exploration. Students are involved in a variety of activities within a college atmosphere and in our local community. Opportunities to explore the world of work and community volunteerism are the highlights of this unique program. Students enrolled in PREP (People Realizing Education and Employment Potential) for Life spend their day at community-based sites including use of resources at Genesee Community College.
Mark Janofsky
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From what I’ve found so far from the City website, The Batavian and Home Depot:

-All who currently receives service must participate and you cannot opt-out.

-The breakeven point for a single family home, for non-senior citizens, with a 96 gallon garbage tote, is an assessment of $126,923.

-The median home value is $89,500.

-Over all, lower assessed homes will pay more and higher assessed homes will pay less.

-A significant majority will see a net increase in taxes/fees.

-The $1,217,253 of savings over 5 years does not include the cost of the totes.

-The totes will be financed over 3-5 years and a DEC grant MAY be available.

-There are 4,791 parcels to be serviced, each requiring at least 2 micro chipped and serialized totes.

-Home Depot sells a 96 gallon tote (no microchip, no serial number) for $90.

-If you figure a citywide average of 3 totes per parcel, it will cost $1,293,570 plus microchip, serial number and financing, and maybe minus a grant.

-No account for additional administrative cost.

-8-10 ARC employees will lose their jobs.

-Extra burden on home owners with small lots.

-Regardless of what multifamily are charged, rents will go up.

Outside of a possible cleaner garbage pickup and a possible reduction of vermin, I don’t see where the benefit is.

Mark Potwora
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I wonder if we keep Arc and let them pick up the trash the same way they are now but bill us all equally.How much that would cost each property owner.We would all be charged the same... Let ARC bill us and keep the city out of the whole thing..I dont understand also if no one can opt out.How come businesses that use a dumpster can opt out.If they can then so should i...Also charging multli family rental income should not get a break on the number of totes they use.. This could lower the price for more..The goal is a right one getting the cost out of our taxes..I would also like to see the same thing done with the library..

Mark Janofsky
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I would prefer the city require and sell special bags for 1 or 2 dollars each, keep the current garbage contract and reduce taxes by the amount collected by the bag fees.

John Roach
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Mark P.
It was estimated that if we keep everything the same, but bill at a fair rate like you mentioned, the cost would be $223.60 a year. But then they would have to refuse to pick up more than 5 bags per parcel, like the code calls for, also.

Mark J,
That idea of pay per bag was been brought up since the 1980's. I have gone to Council about once a year and suggested it. But you have many of the same people saying how it would not work in Batavia. People complained about having to buy special bags, where they would be sold, how people would just dump their trash, etc.

Mark Potwora
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Thanks John for that info..I though it would be less...Wonder why ARC charges so much....

John Roach
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Mark,
That cost would be if they kept the current rather inefficient system. ARC would charge less than that if they get the contract with the totes, but are still the most expensive bidder.

Beth Kinsley
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John Roach - With regard to the concerns that people would dump their trash with a pay per bag system, they said the same thing when LeRoy decided to switch but it didn't happen. I don't have a dog in this fight but I can say that I love having a tote. It is much easier for me to get out every week and I just put it at the end of the driveway when there is a lot of snow. I have a wide driveway though and I realize not everyone in Batavia would have enough room to get out of the driveway with the tote at the end. I do wish I had a recycling tote like the ones proposed in Batavia. Right now I have a bin similar to the ones currently used. I like the idea of just putting it all in together and not having to separate boxes, etc. Personally, with all of the money I spent on replacing garbage cans that had blown away, I would much rather spend a few more dollars a week for the convenience of a tote.

Robert Brown
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Richard, by making them pay a higher rate for lower use. Yes, the current system is unfair but so is the proposed tote system. Bottom line, it's not the size of the tote that matters, it's the overall rate of trash production (and need for removal) that matters.

Robert Brown
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In other words Deb, the proposed tote system does not permit opt-outs, except for businesses. Unfair. Nice logical solution on your part though - kudos!

John Roach
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Robert,
With ARC you can not opt out, even if you have another service like many businesses do, not very fair

Robert Brown
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Correct John - it's not fair today and neither is the proposed tote system.

John Roach
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Robert, you are right. The should go to a pay per bag system or let us pick who we want.

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