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Officials reject Gloversville request for payment

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County supervisors on Monday rejected the city of Gloversville’s request for the county to pay the city for recyclables collection.

County officials said the plan didn’t make sense fiscally for the county or the city, and there was no desire to alter the county’s Local Solid Waste Management Law.

Gloversville’s request was reviewed Monday by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee. County Department of Solid Waste Director David Rhodes said the county received a Dec. 10 letter from Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis that “presumes” savings for the county.

The letter to county Administrative Officer Jon Stead noted the city is “exploring the possibility of contracting for weekly trash collection with a private vendor.”

“We have received proposals from two separate companies,” DeSantis wrote. “Our cost-benefit analysis shows that we could increase the quality of services to our citizens without any significant increase in cost to the taxpayer.”

DeSantis goes on to remind the county that although the county collects all the county’s recyclables, the operation alone costs the county $700,000 per year. The mayor said that since Gloversville has about 30 percent of the county’s population, so the cost for city collection is about $210,000.

“Based on these figures, I propose that the county contract to pay the city $100,000 per year to collect and deliver its recyclables on a weekly basis,” DeSantis wrote. “I believe this would result in a considerable savings to the county, improve the quality of services within the city and help us with the cost of our contract with the vendor.”

Rhodes told the committee that the $100,000 figure incorporates presumed savings to the county for not having to use its workforce and equipment to collect Gloversville’s recyclables.

Presently, he said his department collects recyclables twice per month in two halves of the city for a total of four days curbside. Eliminating Gloversville from the county’s curbside program would not generate any savings to his department, Rhodes said, as the county would continue to collect from 10 municipalities and there is no anticipated reduction in staffing or equipment.

“There wouldn’t be any decrease in the manpower and trucking,” he said.

In 2020, Rhodes said Gloversville was charged only $14,576 for recyclables collected curbside, which doesn’t cover the total per ton cost of the service.

Rhodes noted the curbside recycling program s subsidized by garbage tipping fees, due to the overall cost for collecting, transporting and processing, therefore all municipalities are already benefiting from a discounted rate for recycling.

Stead stated, “The bottom line is the math or the assumptions that are in his letter … Those numbers don’t hold up and aren’t realistic.”

He said he can’t get rid of 30 percent or your operation by cutting fur days. He said the nearly $15,000 the city is charge now is “frankly a huge bargain.”

Rhodes offered two options to the county to address Gloversville’s request: No change to the chargeback to the city, and create a new tip fee of $10 per ton for municipal direct haul of recyclables. The committee to reject Gloversville’s request altogether.

Perth Supervisor Gregory Fagan, committee chairman, said he also wasn’t in favor of redoing county laws relating to solid waste.

“I think the numbers really speak for themselves,” said Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Gregory Young. “There really isn’t any savings for the city.”

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