Town looking to hide the costs of Transfer Station

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Town looking to hide the costs of Transfer Station

Postby RBarnes » Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:23 pm

PUBLIC NOTICE

Residents of Merrimack are hereby advised that the Board of Selectmen will conduct a public hearing to consider the assessment, in accordance with RSA 261:153,V, of additional motor vehicle registration fees to offset Town Clerk costs and for the collection and disposal of motor vehicle waste (residential motor oil, residential vehicle batteries, and tires from residential motorized vehicles) and for the recycling and reclamation of other types of solid waste. The public hearing will be held at 7:00 PM on Thursday, February 5, 2004 in the Merrimack District Courtroom at 8 Baboosic Lake Road in Merrimack.


If the costs are being accrued by those dumping such waste at the transfer station why would the BOS be considering passing the cost off on vehicle registrations? Seems to me they are trying to hide the true costs.
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Thu Feb 05, 2004 8:23 am

Rick,

Maybe they're trying to come up with SOME way to collect SOME fees from self-haulers........just a thought.
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Postby RBarnes » Thu Feb 05, 2004 8:55 am

Mark Fitzgerald wrote:Maybe they're trying to come up with SOME way to collect SOME fees from self-haulers........just a thought.


We will already be paying fees in our property taxes to fund the transfer station. By putting some of those fees on car registrations makes it appear as if the town is trying to hide some of the costs.

Also by putting it on car registrations you are taxing those who don't necessarily use the TS at all to make up for the costs of those who do, just as they are already having us do to subsidize the cost of the local haulers by charging them less then the full per ton rate in their tipping fee.

I have 4 cars yet I NEVER dump my oil, batteries or tires at the town transfer station. I go to mechanics who dispose of the waste for me so now I have to pay 4 times as much as someone with one car who may do the work himself to make up the fact they take their waste to the town transfer station and the town isn't charging at all for oil or batteries and not enough for tires?

The town already changes a fee for tires. Apparently they aren't charging enough so now the rest of us have to absorb those costs.

And notice the word RECYCLING!... I thought the whole idea of recycling was to keep costs DOWN not create new costs that can be passed on in different formats to the people of this town.

Sorry but this doesn't float well in my book. Why hide the cost in the registrations, either charge people DIRECTLY for the costs they accrue or put it all in the same tax (property tax). This comes off as deceiving and makes me think the BOS have something to hide.
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Postby Stan Heinrich » Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:49 am

The explanation I heard at the BOS meeting about the extra fee was that if the new fee goes into effect they eliminate the $2.00 per tire fee that is currently collected from those honest residents who go to the scale house and pay.
Personally, I would prefer collecting for the items mentioned in a previous posting, at the dump station. This would allow for a true accounting of what is actually dropped off. The DPW also needs to "police" these areas better so we do not have lots of people leaving their items without paying for it. The resident should pay up front as they enter, get a slip showing they paid their fee and then go to the area set aside for that item, show their slip to an attendant before they unload.
I hope the warrant article to increase car reg fees gets voted down.
Thank you.
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Postby RBarnes » Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:14 am

Stan Heinrich wrote:I hope the warrant article to increase car reg fees gets voted down.


Stan, from my understanding of reading this public announcement this isn't for a warrant article, this is something the BOS is going to try to do tonight.

We should be looking into pay as you throw options not subsidization of trash costs across the entire town.
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Postby Wayne » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:38 pm

Yup, deja vu all over again. This seems to be just another way to prevent users of the TS/recycling center from being responsible for the trash they generate. This would be a subsidy, plain and simple.
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Postby Stan Heinrich » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:56 pm

My comments are based on what I received last night at the Budget Committee meeting. It appears that the residents must approve the new car reg fees. This item will be a warrant article.
Hope that helps.
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:59 pm

Wayne,

You hit the nail right on the head. You may want to bring this up at the PH. Every thin dime that is forcibly extracted from the "public at large" to offset the costs of the TS is ultimately subsidizing the local waste market. The reason is simple.....MMK is losing $20/ton for every ton of commercial waste delivered there because it COSTS $130 to get rid of it but they're only CHARGING $110.

By the way, the entire premise of needing extra fees to cover special wastes and recycling is bogus. NOTHING was changed in either program by the switch from a landfill to a TS. What HAS changed is the total cost per ton for REGULAR waste, and I'd bet $1000 the extra registration fees are in essence meant to make up the $20 shortfall per ton I referenced previously.
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Postby Wayne » Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:34 pm

Mark,

Since very little commercial waste is apparently being taken to the TS these days, it seems the whole financial design is going to be a failure, so I think your point is moot. There will be grossly insufficient revenue to cover the cost of disposing of the self-haulers trash, and some other method is going to have to be found.

This bid to raise registration fees may offset the cost of the hazardous recyclables, but it will not cover the tipping fees we pay at the final destination for the rest. It seems to me that we are quickly headed to two options: (1) PAYT or (2) 100% on the tax rate(except for commercial if we can do that). Guess which one I'd prefer? :lol:
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Postby RBarnes » Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:31 pm

Stan Heinrich wrote:My comments are based on what I received last night at the Budget Committee meeting. It appears that the residents must approve the new car reg fees. This item will be a warrant article.
Hope that helps.


I sure hope you are right.

I plan on attending the meeting tonight with a laundry list of questions, which I will be sure to share the responses I get here.
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Postby RBarnes » Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:08 am

Very interesting… so this 3 dollar flat tax on every single car would wave the cost of the $2 per tire fee we pay at the dump. The BOS continued to claim this would give the people what they want by helping cut down property tax as well but shifting tax from one place to another is not what I call a solution. This is nothing more then a pay me now or pay me later option, which comes off as the town trying to hide the true costs of what people are paying.

I’m glad the BOS voted no to recommend it (with Whitlock being the only vote for it). This is a bad suggestion and personally I don’t even think it should be going up for a vote at all. Further more as I pointed out last night by waving the $2 tire fee you will encourage MORE tires to be taken to the dump and that will INCREASE the cost they need to recoup. I for one have a number of old tires in my barn I would quickly take to the station if I didn’t have to pay $2 each. But since I do I leave them in the barn since they aren’t bother me and aren’t in the way. I will also think nothing of picking up some of the tires in the woods behind my house when I go walking and taking them down. And when I get new tires and Sears or where ever says there will be a small fee to take the old tires I’ll say I would rather keep them and save the money since I’m already paying the town I’ll just take them to the transfer station for “free”. This will do nothing more but INCREASE costs on the town and is a very bad idea.
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Postby Shannon Barnes » Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:24 pm

One of the screwed up arguments is that it will reduce illegal dumping of tires. Horse Hill is one such destination. Why would we institute a fee to law abiding citizens to cover our bases with those who aren't?

S.
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Postby Norman Phillips » Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:01 pm

The arguments against this article are convincing.

I predict that this article will go down to resounding defeat. I cannot imagine why the BOS voted to put it on the ballot. After all, they could have let it quietly die a peaceful death within Town Hall.
Sincerely, Norm Phillips
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