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April 16. 2014 9:28PM

Manchester pay-as-you-throw trash proposal gets tossed out by committee

MANCHESTER — A key aldermanic committee has voted to reject imposing a fee for trash disposal, along with several other revenue ideas proposed in response to the city’s budget woes.

The Administration Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously and with almost no discussion to receive and file (reject for consideration) the proposal for a pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) system, where residents would be required to purchase special bags to dispose of their garbage.

The plan, as well as the other revenue ideas, will still be considered by the full board of aldermen at its next meeting.

Other ideas received and filed by the committee on Tuesday included a resident tax and creating a storm water utility that could impose fees similar to those for waste water and sewer.

At the same time, the committee approved a slate of new building permit fees that would represent a 70 to 100 percent increase over the current rates.

Mayor Ted Gatsas had requested that department heads bring forward new revenue ideas as part of the budget process. The PAYT system was seen as the most potentially lucrative, with the city’s public works director estimating it could yield up to $3.5 million a year in revenue and savings.

Many residents, however, made their opposition known loud and clear.

In the end, Ward 1 Alderman Joyce Craig, the chairman of the Administration Committee, said she had to defer to the sentiments of residents.

“Personally I’m fine with pay-as-you-throw, and I received comments from constituents who supported it,” she said Wednesday. “But there was an overwhelming majority of constituents who didn’t, which is why I voted the way I did.”tsiefer@unionleader.com


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