Town Council Votes 4-1 Against Trash Pickup For Private Condos
Residents of Fry Brook say they will continue to press to be included in town trash pickup services.
Town Council members voted 4-1 against adding private condominiums to the town’s trash collection at Monday night’s regular session at Town Hall. Council President Michael Isaacs cast the dissenting vote.
Back before anyone now in town government was in town government (i.e. before Town Manager Bill Sequino and all five members of the Town Council), the Pine Glen condominiums on Middle Road were granted town trash pickup.
It wasn’t until two years ago that residents of other condo complexes in town asked that their developments be included too. Residents of Fry Brook and Taylor Pointe condominiums sought inclusion in 2009 but the Council didn’t act on their request.
Condominium developments are built on private roads and complexes such as Fry Brook and Taylor Pointe were approved by the town with the understanding that they would not receive trash pickup services.
Fry Brook residents asked again this summer. This time, the Council asked Public Works director Joe Duarte to investigate both the logistics of adding upwards of 250 individual condominiums to the town collection and how much it would cost.
Duarte said he estimated the cost to pick up the trash would be about $22,000 a year. The current trash hauler agreed to add those units to the town’s trash pickup for the remaining two years of its contract at no additional cost, but council members questioned what would happen after that contract ended.
There are other costs as well, said Duarte, including the cost of supplying all the condos with recycle bins and whatever the additional trash tonnage would be.
On Monday, Duarte suggested taking requests by various condo associations one at a time. “My idea would be to handle the individual requests as they come in,” he said. “It would be a little bit more palatable approach.”
While Isaacs favored such an approach, fellow councilor Jeff Cianciolo was opposed.
“All these projects were approved on the theory that the town wouldn’t have to be responsible,” Cianciolo said. “Now we’re going to burden the town forever … with picking up the trash at condos. And we will have left a nice gift for the taxpayer…. Just another incremental cost that will never go away.”
“Part of me recognizes the fact that people did buy the homes knowing that they didn’t have trash collection,” said Isaacs. “If we were to proceed at all, I would do it on a case-by-case basis. The second thing - I would want the start up costs absorbed by the condominiums, rather than the town.”
Isaacs was unable to sway his colleagues, however. When Cianciolo made a motion to cease discussing condo trash pickup, Isaacs was the only one to vote against it.
That may not be the end of it, however. Cianciolo conceded after the meeting that there was nothing to keep the residents from broaching the subject again. And they seem willing to do that.
“We thank them for listening to us,” said Fry Brook resident Bob Batchelor. “We don’t think it is a done deal.”