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Garbage totes supported by Village Board

It's official: Kenmore officials are taking the first steps toward mandated garbage totes for residents.

The option of saving money through joint bidding for totes with the Town of Tonawanda or a consortium of municipalities persuaded Village Board members to embrace the idea.

"I'm for it, especially if we can consolidate with other municipalities and be able to save some money," Trustee Katherine Bestine said.

The Village Board on Tuesday endorsed the move for a villagewide tote program as an attempt to halt rodent infestation. The board's informal support of the idea will be followed by changes in the current garbage law and a public hearing before an official vote on the issue. The cost for 6,000 totes is projected at $400,000.

In 2004, the village changed its garbage regulations to require totes for commercial and multiple-unit dwellings only. Residents were required to buy covered trash containers. Since 2004, elected officials have been weighing a tote program for residents.

Recently, Mayor John W. Beaumont said a decision on totes would be made by spring, at the end of the fiscal year.

The mayor said the village has two options to obtain totes at a cheaper price:

* Obtaining them in a joint bid with the Northwest Solid Waste Management Board, which covers several municipalities.

* Bidding jointly with the Town of Tonawanda.

"I cannot afford to wait too long," he said. "I want to take advantage of the best prices for our citizens."

The decision Tuesday will result in more revisions to the village's recently amended garbage laws and could pose problems, because residents have purchased the originally mandated covered trash containers.

"Why do we have to buy these [totes]?" asked resident Peter Sciandra, a 26-year resident of the village who said he has yet to see a rat. Sciandra also said that last year he bought four of the required covered trash containers.

"What are we going to do with them?" he asked.

He also noted that a lot of residents are complaining about the change to totes, adding, "But nobody comes to the meetings."

Beaumont said the cost to residents would be minimal and most likely be applied to the quarterly water bills over five years.


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