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Sanitation fees expected to rise

March 05, 1998|By DON AINES

Sanitation fees expected to rise

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Residents of Chambersburg won't see a rate hike in sanitation costs this year, but an increase appears inevitable in 1999, according to borough officials.

The borough will also have to find out what to do with the 50 tons of recyclable materials it generates each month, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said Wednesday night.

Councilman William McLaughlin said the finance committee recommends leaving the monthly rate at $8.50 per household for garbage collection through the year. Increasing disposal costs and the end of recycling at Letterkenny Army Depot will mean higher bills next year, he said.

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The depot will close its recycling center in May and that's where Chambersburg has been taking its bottles and cans and getting rid of them for free.

"They sort it and have someone take it away, so it doesn't cost us a thing," McLaughlin said.

"If we were to take that 50 tons a month to a landfill that would cost us about $30 a ton," Oyer said. That works out to about $18,000 a year, along with the more than $100,000 a year the borough spends on crews and vehicles to pick up and haul away the recyclable materials.

Oyer said the borough has been talking with Franklin County officials and private companies about the recycling situation, but no solution has been found yet. Because of its population density, state law requires Chambersburg to have a curbside recycling program.

The borough has its own sanitation department, but McLaughlin said the borough will ask later this year for bids on the collection of residential and commercial trash to see which is more economical. He said he also expects the cost of dumping trash at the two county landfills to increase.

Oyer said there's no doubt about an increase, "the question is, how much?"

One area in which the borough experienced big savings this winter was in snow and ice removal. Because of balmy conditions, Oyer said the borough spent just $48,000 of the $128,000 it budgeted for all of 1997.

Since the beginning of this year, the borough has spent about $30,000 for snow removal.

"El Nino is helping your budget again this year," Oyer told the council. He reminded the council, however, that the borough went well over its budget during the hard winter of 1996.

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