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Lockport mayor says user fees would be frozen for 5 years if Council extends garbage and recycling contract

LOCKPORT – Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said Wednesday that if the Common Council approves the garbage and recycling contract extension that she worked out with Modern Disposal, there will be no increase in user fees paid by city residents for the next five years.

That’s the length of the proposed contract extension with Modern, on which the Council will be asked to vote at next Wednesday’s meeting.

McCaffrey said Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano advised her not to release the prices until the contract is approved, but The Buffalo News learned last week that the deal calls for an annual increase of 50 cents per ton in the “tipping fee,” the amount charged by Modern to landfill the city’s trash.

That price is currently $32.23 per ton. By the fifth year of the new contract, that price would rise to $34.73 per ton.

McCaffrey said at a Council work session that Modern had accepted “a modest price increase, well below the market rate. … Because it’s below market rate, we will not raise rates for our residents.” The company will not raise its processing fee for recyclables, but it will no longer pay the city for them.

Finance Director Scott A. Schrader said the city has enough of a surplus in its refuse fund – about $200,000 – to absorb any cost increases with the new contract.

McCaffrey said the new contract will include a second bulk item to be picked up each month between May and September, starting in 2017. Residents currently are limited to one large item per month.

The aldermen discussed the contract in closed session. Last week, the Council voted to seek new bids if it couldn’t agree on an extension of Modern’s contract by June 1. The deal runs out Sept. 30, but 90 days’ notice is needed if either side wants out.

Modern said the extension deal it worked out with McCaffrey is good only until May 19.

In other matters, the Council received a low bid of $59,782 from Granzow Construction, of Gasport, for new roofs on buildings at five city parks. McCaffrey said the contract, to be approved next week, will be paid for with money left over from a prior roofing bond issue..

Alderman Joseph K. Oates, R-1st Ward, said the work will include installing peaked roofs where they don’t already exist. The buildings include the north shelter and the softball field restroom in Outwater Park; the restroom building and the gazebo in Dolan Park; and the restrooms in Grossi Park, Dudley Square and William Street Park.