“We don’t want to give up our garbage pick-up!” was the solid response of the Spencer Village Board members at their Oct. 5 meeting over the impending end of county-wide curbside recycling. State law mandates that if a municipality contracts for garbage pick-up for its residents, then the hauler must also pick up recyclables at the same time. Tioga County has announced that bids for recycling pick-up more than doubled for the next five-year contract. If the county were to accept the lowest bid, even then the tax bill for residents would exceed the 2 percent property tax cap—something the county does not want to do. Following a public hearing on Sept. 23 and having received written comments until Oct 1, it is very likely the county will no longer pick up recyclables after Dec. 31.?
As the board discussed this problem, all agreed that they did not want to discontinue garbage pick up and run the risk of garbage being stockpiled and attracting rodents. However, if they continue garbage pick-up, that hauler must be willing to take recyclables, too. The village hauler is Taylor Garbage so Mayor Ken Sutfin told the board that he would call them to see what they would charge to also take village recyclables. The board is hopeful that they will be willing to do it and that the cost will be affordable.?
The other big topic of discussion was what to do about Halloween. In an ordinary year the village allows trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, the actual Halloween night, from 6-8 p.m. After sharing ideas on how to safely hand out candy, the board agreed that they would authorize trick-or-treating as usual—on Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. They cautioned residents to think about several things. First, all adults should wear masks and candy should not be handed out with bare hands. If someone wants to give out candy individually, then they should wear vinyl gloves. Even better, to preserve social distance, Trustee Nicole O’Connell suggested tossing it the same way they do during the Spencer Picnic parade. Police Chief Michael Monteiro suggested folks could also buy a large PVC tube or pipe as a chute to send candy down to the kids.?
In any case, the mayor said everyone should pay attention to directives from the county and the governor. Either might shut Halloween down altogether, if the number of Covid-19 cases continues to go up in our area. If that unhappy event does happen, the board will advertise it in the papers, if deadlines allow, on Haefele Channel 4 and on the village web site. All trick-or-treating families should keep an eye on these sources of information.?
During reports –?
? Trustee Tim Goodrich told the board that work on the grandstand in Nichols Park is almost complete. One more drop-down vendor window needs to be added, to make it historically accurate, as well as chain link at the top and finishing the cage.?
?Trustee Gil Knapp said that all of Nichols St. was paved, 50 yards at the north end of Harrison St., the ADA ramps on Center St., and numerous potholes.?
?The Planning Board still needs volunteers to step up and serve on this important committee?
?Tim Goodrich and Clerk Brandi Goodrich were recognized with applause for having successfully completed a fire training course and are now certified interior firefighters?
?Upcoming dates include Oct. 8 – Police Commissioners meeting, Oct. 13 – Spencer Town Board meeting at 6 p.m.
The next meeting of the Spencer Village Board will be on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.