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At a special year-end meeting, the Marilla Town Board Monday decided that it would be in the best interest of residents to terminate a waste-disposal contract with American Ref-Fuel Co. of Niagara Falls as soon as possible.

But under terms of the 25-year contract, the town will be dealing with the Niagara Falls company for five more years as a result of a required five-year notice of cancellation.

The Town Board is concerned with the escalation of disposal costs resulting from environmental charges allowed in the contract.

The board's attorney, Nate Neil, said that in 1990 the costs to the town were $21 a ton but by 1997 they had increased to $53 a ton.

Neil said larger towns such as Cheektowaga and West Seneca have hired auditing firms to look into the costs that are being passed on to them.

He noted that there are some legitimate questions regarding "cost pass-throughs" and perhaps towns are paying more than they should be.

He said Marilla may challenge what has been already paid to American Ref-Fuel. Originally Marilla had entered into an agreement with Occidental Chemical Corp. to dispose of its mixed municipal solid waste. That contract was assumed by American Ref-Fuel when it acquired the energy-from-waste plant in Niagara Falls.

The board also:

Approved donating a Lexmark Printer to the Marilla Fire Company after declaring it surplus.

Approved a fireman of the year award that will be presented Saturday at an installation dinner and dance in the Marilla Recreation Hall on Two Rod Road.

The award will go to the firefighter who has done the most to represent what the fire company stands for. Also to be presented are a chief's award, rookie of the year award and the president's award. The fire company has 50 members, including three women.

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