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Council chairman: 65 layoffs would be alternative to Falls garbage fee

If the Niagara Falls City Council doesn't agree with Mayor Paul A. Dyster's proposal to impose a garbage user fee to balance its 2020 budget, as many as 65 employees may have to be laid off, Council Chairman Andrew P. Touma said Thursday.

The Council voted 3-2 Wednesday – Democrats in favor, Republicans opposed – to call a public hearing at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 on a law authorizing the fee.

"We're likely going to reject it next week anyway," GOP Councilman Christopher P. Voccio predicted Thursday. "Why put people through angst? We're going to have to make difficult decisions and we're not going to foist it on them with this garbage fee."

"I can't tell you today if we'll have the support," Touma said. "The alternative is a large number of layoffs, a large tax increase or both."

Dyster, whose proposal for a $168 garbage fee was defeated last year, proposed a fee of about $234 last week as a means of closing most of a $5.5 million budget gap.

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