Councilors formally cancel spring curbside collections next month

AUBURN — Budget savings won out over waste collections Monday night as councilors voted 4-3 to cancel this year's spring cleanup collections.

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"We have a problem now with irresponsible government at the national and state level and now it's up to us," Councilor Dan Herrick said. "This is a tough decision, because spring cleanup is an important service. That the $50,000 we pay for it is 2.5 cents on the tax rate."

City Manager Glenn Aho announced last week that the collections would be postponed to save money. The city is facing a budget shortfall thanks to a $1.5 million cut in revenue from the state for this year and a $2.5 million cut in the next fiscal year. Councilors challenged Aho to cut $1 million from the fiscal year 2010-11 budget, and this year's spring cleanup was his first cut.

Mayor Dick Gleason argued that it was not the kind of decision that should be made lightly, and argued for a public vote. The annual collection had its supporters.

"I think this is a program that helps make the community more presentable and cuts down on fire hazard," Councilor Belinda Gerry said. "I have heard of instances of firefighters responding to a fire and having to battle old furniture and crap as much as fire and fumes."

Councilor Robert Hayes said he understood that cleanup collections would not be included in the 2011 budget, but said he supported having the collections this year.

Councilors Gerry, Hayes and Eric Samson voted to reinstate the collections, scheduled for May 3. Councilors Herrick, Mike Farrell, David Young and Ray Berube voted to end them.

Councilors are scheduled to continue budget discussions Tuesday night. They plan a 5:30 p.m. workshop to discuss the  Great Falls Performing Arts Center, followed by general budget work.

They've scheduled a special budget meeting to discuss curbside recycling from July 2010 through June 2011, which councilors agreed to end last week. That will be followed by an open session to take public comments on the budget.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Larry Mann's picture

Spring Clean Up

Idiotic, penny wise pound foolish, nonsense.

yep callahan888

I Agree..maybe people that move to this area should .....ummm have a job lined up before they move here....keep that job for 6 months before extending city aid...

 's picture

Tron, spoken like a true xeno

Tron, spoken like a true xeno to the human race. Taken from the Greek xenos, a word meaning strange or alien, which you certainly are.

 's picture

penny wise & pound foolish

Another short-sighted decision by the Council.    I'm guessing that the amount I might technically save on property taxes due to this decision will be less than the amount I will be charged to dispose of my junk at the transfer station. 

Why couldn't the Council at least offer a week of free drop-offs at the transfer station?

Peter Blake's picture

Thank You

I, Reason that those councilors who voted for the continuation should be commended and those who opposed with such short sighted action should be voted out of office, I hope you agree and will remember this at the poles too.

morons... you could sub it

morons... you could sub it out to a recycling firm

 's picture

Suggestion. Put the bulky

Suggestion. Put the bulky trash out at curbside anyway, if anyone asks play dumb like a politician would with a "duh I don't know how that got there someone must have dumped it  overnight."  The city will have no choice but to remove the trash anyway.

Kevin Hanscombe's picture

Irresponsible????

Very Clever! lets remove the one servicve that benifits everyone but costs very little instead of cutting the real fat???

Most of Auburns tax payers, myself included, pay their taxes and use almost NO services.. All the money we spend on saleries and this is the best solution you could come up with to save 50k??

 

 

Kevin Murphy's picture

Is there going to be a few

Is there going to be a few weeks when residents can bring items to the plant without paying tipping fees?

Kristina Myers's picture

language????

While I appreciate Ms. Gerry's support of Spring Clean Up... I do not appreciate her use of the word CRAP in what is supposed to be a professional setting. If she was misquoted... shame on the SunJournal! I work very hard to teach today's students that CRAP is not appropriate language to use. I am sure that Ms. Gerry understands that the city would not be picking up feces during Spring Clean Up...

MICHAEL LEMAY's picture

Short sighted

Very short sighted. This city is messy enough as it is - now watch. And we say are trying to attract business and people to the area. Good luck!

Come on

I don't understand this - you plan on it a year ahead of time, fund it in the current budget, put out a schedule for it with less than a month away, then during NEXT year's budget discussion you cut cleanup out of THIS year. Something is not right with this.

Thank you Eric, Bob, and Belinda for trying.

 

Belinda Gerry's picture

More people should have contacted their councilors to keep it.

It should not have been canceled.  People were planning on it. Auburn's city manager knew that this year's budget had problems with its funding but chose now to tell the council about how serious it was.  He should have told us this back in January.  We could have then worked as a group to come up with ways to save money.  Auburn Residents should have been told of the short fall then as well and that Spring clean up would be canceled. 

As for councilors stuffing their face, back in Jan we took a vote to not have the city provide meals on council and workshop meeting nights. It ended up 4-3 to keep them.  To date out of principle Councilor Herrick and I have not ordered or ate a meal provided to the rest of the city councilors and mayor on these nights.

 

 

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