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The stink on garbage in Mayfield

MAYFIELD — Something seems to be raising up a stink in the town, as residents may have noticed the lack of some garbage services from the highway department.

Recently, Highway Superintendent Mel Dopp has set up a voice message on the highway department’s voicemail. Anyone who calls the highway department at (518) 661-5613 will hear the message referring them to call Supervisor Rick Argotsinger or Councilman Bobby Ricciardi.

“They are the ones responsible for the predicament we are in,” the message states. “Let them know of your displeasure with the garbage situation. Mel Dopp”

Argotsinger said he is unsure why Dopp would refer residents to call him and Ricciardi because the highway department is responsible for garbage removal.

Argotsinger said some residents’ loose garbage has not been getting picked up by the highway department.

However, neither the town board nor the supervisor have any control over the highway department, since the highway superintendent is an elected position.

“It’s an elected position. We can’t make him do anything,” Argotsinger said.

He said Dopp will not return any phone calls, and has not been to a town board meeting in two years.

Argotsinger said he and the town board have no control over the highway department except for the budget.

Argotsinger said the town’s one garbage truck has been broken down for two months now. The vehicle has been to three different mechanical shops, with the last one finally figuring out what is wrong with the vehicle.

In the mean time, the town has been using a small pickup and small dump truck to collect the garbage. Argotsinger said the town hopes to get the garbage truck repaired or replaced, but replacing it could take a year based on the research the town has done on the kind of dump truck and parts they’d like the truck to include.

“This is a very unfortunate situation,” Argotsinger said. “We don’t know what the plan is.”

One alternative way for residents to dispose of their garbage is by getting a $20 permit for the county’s transfer station at 876 E. Fulton St. Ext. [Route 29A] in the town of Johnstown.

“I’m at a loss of words as to why he would recommend people to call us,” Argotsinger said. “There’s nothing we can do other than provide the permit stickers for the Transfer Station.”

Dopp, who was seeking re-election for highway superintendent, was defeated by Jeffery Martin Jr., 491-271 in June’s Republican primary. Republican nominee Martin will face Democrat Robert A. Carter Jr. in the general election on Nov. 5.

In March, Dopp was found guilty of theft of services and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge, and 150 hours of community service with a $700 restitution. His conditional discharge will end on May 2, 2020.

Dopp was arrested in April 2018 for an incident that took place in the summer of 2017 when he used town employees and equipment to load and haul about 10 tons of stone from town property and had it delivered to his personal driveway. The stone was hauled and delivered while employees were working during business hours.

Dopp could not be reached for comment.

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