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For now, Town of Tonawanda officials have put a lid on requiring garbage containers to combat rodents that triggered a recent surge of complaints.

"There are so many negative consequences associated with the containers that it will be a last resort," said Councilman John J. Flynn during a Wednesday Highway Department Committee meeting.

Highway Superintendent Bradley A. Sowles noted the town's recent educational effort has dramatically reduced the number of calls about rodent sightings.

The town, he said, will continue in this direction but also keep an eye on the progress of Kenmore's new policy, which requires covered containers for garbage pickup instead of just bags.

Sowles said that last summer, his office received four to five complaint calls a day about rodents -- as opposed to virtually no complaints during the past few years.

A couple of weeks ago, the town hired Rentokill exterminators with a $4,000 grant from Erie County to address the problem. And it also sent residents literature on preventing rodent infestation.

Sowles said that the effort has resulted in a decrease in the calls to one or two a day and that the exterminator has only had requests to bait four homes.

"We've gotten a lot of positive feedback from residents," he said.

But some residents want another safeguard -- containers.

Pam Almeter, a town resident who had her back yard baited and spent two hours delivering informational fliers to neighbors, said a revised law would be "a step in the right direction."

In September, the Kenmore Village Board decided to change its laws to address its concerns about infestations.

Sowles said even without the revision, more and more residents are going out on their own and purchasing containers since receiving the fliers.

But Flynn said residents on fixed incomes would suffer financially if they were required to purchase containers.

"I have a problem with making a senior citizen buy a container," he said.

Councilman David H. Rider said the town would be unlikely to adopt the containers requirement.

"I don't want to enact a law that will be a detriment to any family," he said.

Rider said the town will continue its educational approach, enforcing current law and monitoring problem areas.


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