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ATTICA MAYOR PLAYS SANTA TO TAXPAYERS SAVINGS TO VILLAGE PEGGED AT $750,000

Mayor Robert R. Shadbolt donned the Santa suit again this year for the benefit of village youngsters -- and says his administration's performance is as beneficial for taxpayers.

Savvy financial moves came up with $750,000 -- "That's money that Attica residents won't have to pay for their water and sewer services and to the general fund," said Village Administrator Donald D. Kellner.

The mayor said the money either was "gained or saved" through water and sewage service sales, debt retirement, investments, refuse fees, refuse disposal and the shared payment of certain town and library costs.

Included is the $24,000 a month the state has been paying for sewage disposal services for the Attica and Wyoming correctional facilities.

"By applying existing law, we persuaded the state to increase its monthly payment from $7,200 to $24,000. People didn't think we could get the state to pay more, but we did," Shadbolt said.

The state, like other Attica customers, also is paying the new $1-per-1,000 gallon rate for water for the correctional facilities. The old rate was 55 cents.

Shadbolt said that since June 1989, the village has taken advantage of the state's recycling program at Wyoming Correctional Facility.

"We are sending our recyclable solid waste -- papers, cardboard, tin and plastics," the mayor said.

And by charging people who want the village to dispose of their bulk refuse like old stoves and refrigerators, the village not only increased its revenue, but reduced its monthly loads of solid waste that go to landfills from 26 to 5. "With landfill disposal fees rising every year, we see these steps as yielding large savings," he said.

Shadbolt says the Village of Attica has adopted a slogan: "If you use it, pay for it."

Residents must buy the waste disposal bags they deposit in the village dumpster.

Attica also has turned to other local taxing authorities to pay their fair share of local services and facilities. For example, the village, whose 2,600 population is less than half the town's population, had been paying 55 percent of town snow plowing charges. "We went to the Town of Attica and asked that their taxpayers pay their fair share of snow plowing costs even though the town does not plow village streets," Shadbolt said.

Trustee Cathy McDonald visited all the surrounding towns whose residents use Attica's Stevens Memorial Library and asked them to pay more of its costs. "Most of them agreed to pay more," Shadbolt said.

Kellner said Attica has saved and earned additional money by delaying the third phase of the village reservoir improvement project.

"We borrowed $790,000 from the Farms Home Administration for the project," Kellner said. "Instead of doing the entire job at once, we split it into three phases. We are working on the second phase now. Meanwhile, the village is collecting interest on the borrowed money."

Another long-range saving will result from the early repayment of $207,000 in village debt.

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