North Belle Vernon trashes garbage exceptions
By Jeremy Sellew
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 1:21 a.m.
North Belle Vernon borough council will no longer consider requests for payment exemptions for refuse bills.
“The fact of the matter is that Waste Management charges the borough on the amount of residences we have,” council President Dennis Simboli said at the Tuesday meeting.
“If you have a lot in this town and you don't have a house on it, you still pay taxes. Garbage collection is a service. Whether you want it or not, it's here.
“The truck goes up and down the street regardless if there's trash out, or not. That's the way Waste Management looks at it, and that's the way they charge us.”
Under its contract, the borough will pay the hauler $10,017 per year more in both 2014 and 2015. Residents pay the borough for the service and the borough pays the hauler.
“I understand the garbage bills are calculated on everybody in this borough, that's fine,” Councilman Brett Berish said.
“If we're going to do this, and it's just my opinion, if one person gets hammered then everybody gets hammered. If we're doing it by the book, then we're doing it by the book.
“I don't feel like life is black and white. There's things that happen in people's lives, and things come up. If we're going to be that way, that's fine.”
Simboli asked for a motion to do away with the exemptions and got it from Councilman John Ross. It passed, 6-0. Councilwoman Diann Donaldson was ill and did not attend the meeting.
“When we're giving exemptions, all we are doing is cutting the borough's throat,” Simboli said. “Everyone we've given an exemption to doesn't matter, because Waste Management isn't cutting us the slack.”
“We can't afford it anymore,” Mayor Ed Lyons said in his report. “That's money that we don't get. It's not just garbage, it's sewage, as well.
“Ultimately, it's the rest of us that are going to pay. It is a service. I've seen the refuse that is out on the sidewalks. If those people would have to pay to haul that stuff away, they'd be paying hundreds of dollars. It's couches, chests ... it's unbelievable what those refuse people pick up.
“And they do it at no extra cost to the borough.”
Lyons said the borough must continue to place liens on properties for which owners owe sewage payments.
The borough owes $6 million in loans through 2038 for what Lyons called the “ill-fated” sewer separation project. The monthly debt payment is $26,677.88.
“There are those in the borough that feel they have no obligation to the other taxpayers in shouldering their obligation to avoid others paying additional costs,” Lyons said. “Conducting the activities of the borough is a business, which leaves no room for an emotional outcome regarding decisions. The key word is service. It's here whether you need it or not. Every one of those apartments and houses are dollars and cents for the borough. My stand is this: There are no exemptions.”
In other business:
• Lyons said the Westmoreland County Redevelopment Authority will attend a Tuesday meeting to determine the amount of grant money available to the borough
• Lyons .said the new police department computer will be operational by Friday. It was obtained through a $5,000 grant.
• CouncilwomanBetty Shine-Hill said the Easter egg hunt will be 11 a.m. March 30 at Graham Street Park.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alleged Charleroi mugger jailed
- Belle Vernon firefighter faces harassment charges
- Shots fired, Monessen house hit on S. 14th St.
- Greater Washington Food Bank gets new boss
- Charleroi robbery suspect facing trial
- BVA senior takes Relay for Life personal
- Smithton native charged in Ohio with faking illness to raise money
- Mortgages demand serious thought
- Belle Vernon, Ringgold coaching carousel continues
- Grant helps Belle Vernon teacher build collection of Civil War artifacts
- Veteran North Belle Vernon police chief will retire