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Council members say businesses should pay for dumpster enclosure, not taxpayers

At Monday's meeting, the City Council rejected on a 6-2 vote a plan to spend $35,000 to build a dumpster enclosure on School Street.

City administrators have been looking for a way to clean up the collection of dumpsters used by nearby businesses and sought approval to use VLT money (money from slot machines at the Batavia Downs Casino) for the project.

Council members said that money should be spent elsewhere or saved.

"That money should be used for other things," said Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian, "like reducing our budget or the fact that we need new sidewalks or resurfacing our city streets, just helping our taxpayers all the time instead of businesses all the time. And I have nothing against businesses, but nobody helped me pay for a dumpster."

Pier Cipollone also said taxpayers should benefit from the VLT money, not private businesses.

"The VLT money will end up in the budget," Cipollone said. "It will end up in a contingency fund that will offset sidewalk construction, infrastructure improvements which would, in the end, decrease the tax levy."

City Manager Jason Molino agreed to try and rework the enclosure to reduce its cost by $10,000 eliminating any direct contribution by either business owners or taxpayers.

The measure defeated Monday night also called for spending $30,000 to mill and resurface the parking lot around the proposed dumpster enclosure.

(Based on story by The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.)

Elizabeth Downie
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They can feel free to come resurface South Lyon and fix the bridge... that's the last place on my daily route that needs fixing!

Smile

Bob Harker
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What an outrageous concept. Steve Hyde must having a heart attack! A business paying for something instead of it being paid for by tax dollars?!?! That's ALMOST as outlandish as a company paying for its own expansion so they can make more money!!

Sheesh!

Kyle Slocum
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"a plan to spend $35,000 to build a dumpster enclosure"....

"a plan to spend $35,000 to build a dumpster enclosure"....

The obscenity here is what I have quoted above. Twice. That means two (2) times.

For chain-link fence and plastic strips weaved through them. Add a couple hinges and a locking mechanism, 'cause God knows garbage has to be secured like it is gold.

"a plan to spend $35,000 to build a dumpster enclosure"...

Ed Hartgrove
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Thanks, Kyle!
It's almost midnight, and I was ready to mourn a whole day without a good belly-laugh. 'Til your comment.

Wry humor CAN be medicinal.

Jim Rosenbeck
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City Council made the right decision. Taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill to beautify privately owned garbage dumpsters. That being said, it seems equally unfair to require three or four private businesses utilizing the School Street parking lot to pick up a 65K bill for repaving and dumpster enclosure construction. The city needs to develop and implement a long term plan to fund dumpster enclosures that is friendly to business and doesn't increase the tax burden on private citizens. The city currently charges local businesses a nominal permit fee in order to locate garbage dumpsters in city parking lots. That agreement needs to revisited. The fees collected by the city should be able to fund any desired beautification of parking lots. Spending 65K on dumpster beautification would have been irresponsible. The fact that some portion of the proposed funding would have come from grants or VLT revenues, fails to make this proposal more palatable. There are bigger priorities in the city.

John Roach
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Jim, the businesses do not pick up the tab for the parking lot repaving and that was never, ever, suggested.

The whole parking lot is scheduled for repaving in another year or so. The paving part of this project was to repave the area around the dumpsters when the enclosure was done. That paving part of the project was to be paid out of VLT money and never was going to billed back to the 4 businesses.

Of the $65,000 for the project, $40,000 was just for paving part of the parking lot, not the dumpsters. And using VLT money to pave City owned parking lots is not a bad idea when the alternative is to take the money from property taxes.

Robert Brown
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As much as I appreciate the publication of news such as this, I find it incomplete. If I could find City Council meeting minutes online, I'd be fine with the report as is, but I have yet to find any online meeting minutes from the elected representatives of our city (Batavia). Now maybe I just am not searching correctly, but all I see are posted agendas. I sure hope we elect representation who will make it a priority to publish details of City Council meeting minutes this November.

What is incomplete to me is the breakdown of the 6 people who thankfully and rightfully voted against the dumpster enclosure proposal, the 2 who mysteriously voted in favor of it, and who either wasn't there or could offer no opinion on the subject. That data point is important in assessing the performance of our representatives no matter what side of the issue any citizen favors. I understand The Batavian staff cannot be everywhere at once, but maybe they could ask their news partners for the details or follow up with City Council for them.

Here's the WBTA report:

"Plans to build a $35,000 dumpster enclosure on School Street have been set aside. The Batavia City Council last night voted 6 to 2 against using so-called VLT money to pay the 10-thosuand dollar local share of the project. VLT money is cash from Albany that the city can use anyway it wants. Ward Four Councilman Pier Cipollone says VLT money should be used on projects to benefit all taxpayers. Several councilmen noted that there is a provision in the city code requiring that the businesses that benefit from the dumpster enclosure pay for it. City Manager Jason Molino said he will rework the dumpster enclosure to try and eliminate the 10-grand local cost."

I appreciate the statements and votes made by both Councilpersons Christian and Cipollone. However, what is not explained clearly between the two reports is whether or not Mr. Molino was directed to rework the dumpster enclosure proposal to eliminate $10K or if he volunteered to take on that task. Why does it matter? Well, we have a number of more pressing needs in the city than enclosing the dumpsters on Center St. at ANY cost! If City Council isn't properly focusing the City Manager, that's important for all city residents to know. Likewise, if City Council has agreed en masse to have the City Manager waste his taxpayer paid time on revisiting this proposal, we should clearly understand what we are getting as representation.

I chose to write this response today as there is an agenda item on tonight's 7:00 PM published Batavia City Council Business Meeting agenda that looks suspiciously related to the dumpster enclosure proposal:

"#77-2013 Resolution Transferring $30,000 to the General Fund Parking Lots Budget"

The agenda is published online at http://www.batavianewyork.com/documents/130909Agendas.pdf

It's too coincidental that the $30K needed to repave the Center St. parking lot is the exact amount being considered for transfer tonight. If City Council is being asked to approve transfer of funds to repave that parking lot a year ahead of schedule, they are being asked to ignore $30,000 of higher priority paving issues in the city. Have City Council members and Mr. Molino taken a walk around the city lately? It doesn't take much to notice infrastructure more in need of repair than the Center St. parking lot, or pretty much any parking lot!

As I posted in a previous news report, there are more visibly unsightly trash dumpster problems than Center St. For example, there are 3 concrete enclosures behind the Super Cuts complex at the intersection of Lewiston and Park, yet not a single dumpster (and there are over a dozen) are EVER behind a barrier. Not a single dumpster or tote behind a barrier!!! Why aren't they the priority? Conversely, there are many effective dumpster enclosures in the city (e.g., MacArthur Park). I don't know who paid for them, but they don't look like they cost $25K or $35K each or required a $30K pavement expense. In fact, why does the surface under a dumpster need to be paved at all???

Although I previously stipulated that if the city were to enclose dumpsters, that cost should be transferred to the responsible businesses. After rethinking it, I do not think the city should be providing dumpster enclosures at all! If there is an ordinance to enclose dumpsters, then it should be equally enforced for EVERYONE who has a dumpster in the city. If a business wants a dumpster, they should provide the solution themselves. We do not need our City Council and City Manager wrapped up in trash issues - they have far bigger fish to fry. Get the codes in pace and execute appropriate and equal enforcement.

This does not have to be so complicated or expensive!

Robert Brown
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Word from tonight's City Council meeting is our elected Councilpersons approved $30K to be allocated to repave the Center St. parking lot 1 year ahead of schedule. Shameful.

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