Views on recycling sought in Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN – City council on Tuesday asked residents to voice their opinion on the city providing recycling.

“I have had many people ask me about recycling and I would like input from the community,” said Councilwoman Barbara Lewis.

Lewis would like all residents to slip a note in their city water payment or stop into the city building and fill out a form.

“I want to know if the residents would be willing to pay $2.50 per month for recycling,” she said. “I honestly want to know what everyone thinks.”

Lewis said she has been doing research and if the community agrees to the fee, each residence will receive a recycling bin with pickup each month.

“If people feel the funds will be a burden to them, I want them to tell me that,” she said. “I have done a lot of investigation on this but I don’t want to say anything until we know what the public thinks.”

Councilman Marty Seufer said he does not like the idea of giving people another fee to pay.

“I think recycling is a fantastic thing, but if there is a way to make it voluntary and people who don’t want to or cannot pay should be able to opt out,” he said.

Lewis said no decisions will be made until the public has its say.

“I want the decision to be made based on what the public wants,” she said.

Council also approved to adopt the 2014 fiscal year budget, which totals a little more than $1.2 million and includes funds for a new police cruiser and other items.

One of those items is a new roof for the city building, which Mayor Jean Ford said is in bad shape.

“It is leaking and birds are getting in,” she said.

City clerk Susan Knopp said there are no significant changes between last year’s budget and the upcoming year’s.

* Council approved to reduce the city’s vehicles and get rid of at least three the city departments have worn out or no longer need.

Public works director Alan Gates asked council to get rid of several vehicles and purchase one to replace them.

“My number one priority for my crew is safety and some of the vehicles I want to get rid of aren’t really safe,” he said.

Ford proposed the city hold a public auction to sell the vehicles and other items the city no longer needs.

“It’s spring and we need to do some cleaning,” she said.

It is unknown when or where the auction will be held.