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SWAN SAYS VETO OF GARBAGE PACT REBID WILL STAND

Mayor Kenneth D. Swan said Wednesday his veto of a Common Council resolution to rebid the city's garbage disposal contract will not be overridden.

At its last regularly scheduled meeting of the year Dec. 17, the Council voted 5-3 to seek new bids. Six votes are needed to override the veto, but the lame-duck Council is not scheduled to meet again. Even if an alderman requested a special meeting, one of the three Swan allies who voted against a rebid would have to switch sides.

"They don't have the votes," said Swan, adding that before he cast his veto, he checked with Republican Aldermen Michael W. Tucker, Gregory M. Wik and Phyllis J. Green to make sure they were still against the rebid.

He also said he checked with some of the newly elected aldermen to see if they were interested in deciding the issue themselves.

The city's current contract with American Ref-Fuel of Niagara Falls runs out April 30. The city currently pays $40.74 a ton, a price that is adjusted for inflation annually.

The Council turned down an offer from American Ref-Fuel to cut the price to a fixed $38 a ton if the city would renew its contract for five years. However, Swan said his veto puts that offer back on the table. The city had until Jan. 31 to let American Ref-Fuel know if it will accept the $38 price.

The Council was urged by American Ref-Fuel to allow the newly elected Council to decide the garbage issue after New Year's. Four of the eight aldermen will be replaced as a result of the November election.

Modern Disposal of Lewiston, the other main garbage disposal firm in the county, is favored by Highway and Park Superintendent Samuel N. Burkhardt and some aldermen, who point out that Modern's landfill is closer to the city.

Complaints also have been made about long waits to empty trucks at American Ref-Fuel, although the company says it has solved the delays.

Swan insisted that he was not taking sides between the companies, but his regard for American Ref-Fuel's revised offer was clear.

"If we're saving $2.50 (actually $2.74) a ton, that's a nice saving. That's not to say we can't do better, but a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush," he said.

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