Thomaston trustees weigh trash collection changes

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The Thomaston village board voted to raise all parking fines by $10 on Monday. (Photo by Samuel Glasser)

By Samuel Glasser

The Thomaston garbage collection contract is up for renewal at the end of October and the village will ask prospective vendors for price quotes on different levels of service in an effort to hold down costs.

“We will try to bid [the contract] at different options to mitigate the potentially large cost increases that we have seen at villages of comparable size,” said Mayor Steven Weinberg.

Garbage is collected three times a week, picked up from the homeowner’s rear yard. The village Board of Trustees voted at last Monday’s meeting to offer carting companies three new service options, in addition to the present schedule, for the bid solicitation that is expected to go out in early or mid-September. The board estimates that the modified services could result in savings of 5 percent to 15 percent.

The options are to continue with rear yard pickup but reduce collection to twice a week, switch to curbside collection twice a week or do curbside collection three times a week, returning the empty cans to the rear yard.

“We like our suburban community and rear yard pickup,” Weinberg said. “We would love to continue this, but it is costly.”

He noted that “many residents already bring the cans to the curb. Let’s see if the savings will be worth it.”

Weinberg said the bids would most likely be opened in early October and the board would vote on the contract at the October monthly meeting. The new three-year contract would take effect on Nov. 1.

In other business, the village board voted to raise the parking violation fines by $10 across the board, “a modest increase,” Weinberg said, for the first hike in 10 years. Since tickets are paid to the Nassau County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency, the new schedule of fines must be approved by the agency’s administrative board of judges. Weinberg explained that the village receives 75 percent of the fines, not including any county and state fees and surcharges.

Most parking violation fines in Thomaston are now $35. Standing, stopping or parking too close to a hydrant and parking in a fire lane incur a $50 penalty and parking in a handicapped space without a permit is a $150 fine.

In unrelated business, a resolution to repave Summer Street, Cherry Lane, and the village hall parking lot was approved by the board.

The board also granted Randy Balterman, the proprietor of North Shore Auto Service at 265 East Shore Road, a permit for a new sign at his business. The 12-foot long, 4-foot-high sign illuminated with light-emitting diodes replaces an old 30-foot-long, 3-foot-high sign whose electrical system was essentially beyond repair. Since the new sign is not exactly the same size, a permit is required, Weinberg said.

The board voted to move the date of the October meeting to Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

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