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Bethany looking for ways to trim costs at transfer station

BETHANY – Since taking office in January, Bethany Town Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr. says, he has spent many hours poring over the books, looking for ways to cut costs.

When he discovered that the transfer station located on Cacner Road, off Bethany Center Road, lost more than $40,000 over the past three years, he knew something had to be done.

“That’s one of the things that kind of stepped out and I said, ‘What’s this?’” he said.

So, instead of engaging in what he termed “Albany politics,” Hyde scheduled a town hall meeting to inform residents of the problem and obtain their ideas on how to solve it. The meeting took place on Monday night at Town Hall with about 100 people attending.

“We handed out surveys to everyone there and the overwhelming majority came back wanting us to keep the transfer station open and raise prices,” he said. “Many of them included suggestions for ways to have better control.”

The town’s current system requires residents to purchase 30-gallon trash bags for $2 apiece and take their trash to the station on Wednesday nights or during the day on Saturday.

Hyde said revenue from the sale of the bags is falling short of expenses by an average of $1,000 per month. He said the town spends about $4,000 per month – contracting with Waste Management plus labor and supplies – to operate the station.

Going forward, he said that the Town Board will abide by the residents’ wishes to keep the transfer station open.

“We will implement a new system where we can break even at the end of the year,” he said. “We’re not looking to make a profit.”

Hyde said the board will work on the matter over the next few months with the goal of having something in place by the end of the year.

He added that the board will seek at least four bids from trash collection businesses when its contract with Waste Management expires in the fall.