Although transfer stations have been restored in the county budget, residents continued to give members of the Washington County Board of Supervisors an earful about trash during a public hearing on Nov. 12.
Since the closure of the county transfer stations was proposed last month as a part of an effort to reduce a potential 18 percent tax levy increase to just over 7 percent, trash concerns have dominated public meetings on the budget.
During last Friday’s hearing in Fort Edward, many residents painted a bleak picture of the county without waste transfer stations and urged the board to continue to provide the service some described as “integral and essential” to keeping the county roadsides from becoming a dump. Others said they feared an uncontrollable surge in fees charged by private garbage haulers and an increase in home burning of household refuse.
Linda Anderson of Cambridge said she thought the “integral and essential service” was “the responsibility of the county” and received a round of applause for her comments.
Granville’s Edward Ward said he considered the proposed closing “a great injustice” and called for an investigation into what he said was inefficiency and mismanagement at the transfer stations.
Earlier in the week, following the public outcry at the meetings held prior to Nov. 12, the transfer stations were added back into the budget.
Budget Officer Brian Campbell said previously the inclusion of the transfer stations for the remainder of the year would mean and increase in the tax levy of about .25 percent. Under the original proposal the stations would have remained open until July.
Many who spoke cited inefficiency of the transfer stations as something that they felt had to be fixed to make the stations profitable.
Among those who spoke on this subject was Whitehall resident and transfer station employee Richard McCullen.
McCullen said he was tired “of being scared every year” when budget discussion started and the transfer stations were on the chopping block.
“It’s sickening,” he said.
McCullen said he worked at the Kingsbury station for years and reminded supervisors he had extended an invitation to them to come down so he could show them around and point out waste and inefficiency last year.
“And how many of you came down?” he asked.
“There’s so much going on that’s wasting money that you guys don’t know about,” McCullen said.
“Why don’t you come to the little guy and ask him what’s going on?” McCullen said,
Granville’s Peter Beyer said he disliked the odor resulting from people burning household garbage and it was one of the reasons he moved from his previous house to one in the village. Beyer told the supervisors he didn’t want to experience the smell of burning household trash again if the transfer stations were closed and urged them to keep the stations in the budget.