POTSDAM — Village trustees have voted and, as of July 1, the there will be an increase in the cost of trash bags.

The board voted 3 to 1, with one member absent, to raise the price of the bags to $1.95, up from $1.60.

The June 17 vote followed a presentation last month to the village board by Casella Waste Services General Manager Chester W. “Skip” Bisnett, who sought the price hike, citing the increase in trash and recyclables disposal.

He said the village pays Casella a small amount to pick up curbside, around $12 a month, and the bags are used to pay for the disposal or the processing of recycling.

“And that’s what we’re asking for in the offset, which the village certainly understood,” Mr. Bisnett previously told the Watertown Daily Times. “We sell about 70,000 bags a year at 1,500 bags a month and we’re getting 35 cents more per bag, so when you look at the numbers, we’ll bill the village for about 1,400 residents a month. So when you divide that all out, it’s $1.46 per resident, per month.”

The bag fee pays for the trash disposal and any cost associated with recycling.While some people may be using three bags a month, others could be using six, making $1.46 the average.

The cost of recycling has gone up about $110 a ton in the last three years, he said.

The vote against the increase came from Trustee Cindy J. Goliber. Trustee Maggie M. McKenna was absent.

“I voted no because I thought the increase of 20 percent was too high an increase at one time and I thought that, if their costs were going up, they should have planned better to bring a smaller increase to the residents,” Mrs. Goliber said. “A 20 percent increase is big and I also said I think the village needs to look at their contract, which is up in 2021, and I think we should form a committee and start looking at other like communities and possibly look at getting out of the trash business and letting people make up their own minds.”

Mayor Reinhold J. Tischler was not immediately available for comment Thursday, but Village Administrator Gregory O. Thompson told the Times earner this month that exploring a change in the contract at the end of 2021 should be discussed now, so as to not “drop any last-minute bombs.”

“Do we need to be in the garbage business, is the bottom line,” Mr. Thompson said. “What it could look like, theoretically, it could look like open-market: you hire who you want to hire to do trash removal and we set certain days, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are trash days, therefore Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, your weekend, if you will, they’re open.”

That would be what he would push for, he said, but in the meantime, the village is bound to Casella by contract.

“They just did an extension in 2016 for five years,” Mr. Thompson said. “So we’ll see, at the end of it, if that’s something we can look at. Now is the time to start talking about it, so that you’re not dropping any bombs or making any last-second decisions.”“Do we need to be in the garbage business, is the bottom line,” Mr. Thompson said. “What it could look like, theoretically, it could look like open-market, you hire who you want to hire to do trash removal and we set certain days Tuesdays and Wednesdays are trash days, therefor Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, your weekend, if you will, they’re open.”

That would be what he would push for he said, but in the meantime, they are bound to Casella through contract.

“They just did an extension in 2016 for five years,” Mr. Thompson said. “So we’ll see, at the end of it, if that’s something we can look at. Now is the time to start talking about it, so that you’re not dropping any bombs or making any last second decisions.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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