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A capacity crowd packed the Batavia City Council board room to sound off about the proposed "Pay-as-you-Throw" garbage system.
Fire officials were concerned that the crowd would exceed the maximum capacity of the room which is posted at 246.
A total of 28 people addressed the council.
Only three spoke in favor of the plan that shifts the cost of trash pick-up from the property tax to a user fee.
Blake Elliott: "When all is said and done, the proposal puts forth to the city a $1.2-million savings over five years."
Michael Kahn: "This is an incentive for me to save money, because the less trash I generate the less I have to pay."
William Cox: "If things stay the way there are now, all property owners will pay more taxes and renters will most likely pay more also. This tax increase is avoidable with the new garbage collection system."
But the overwhelming number of those attending the hearing wanted no part of the system that involves plastic totes, an annual user fee and a plan that ends the city’s 28 year relationship with the ARC:
 Tom Houseknecht: "All council members must understand if you vote in favor of the resolution (new trash plan) and accept the Allied/Republic bid, you are doing so at the greatest cost to the most vulnerable of our population, both ARC employees and taxpayers."
 Jim Rosenbeck: "The reality is that a great many city residents will pay more under the proposed plan. Suggesting anything else, City Council, is disingenuous."
Paul Mobley: "It is a sad day when our city councilmen and women put handicapped people out of a job and into the cold."
Charles Green: "One thing I thought I would never see is that I would be mandated by law to buy a service from a company that I have no idea who they are."
Lynn Heinz: "I don't like this new deal. I liked the old plan, it was fine. If it wasn't broke, why are you fixing it."
Dave O'Geen: "What are you going to tell your family, your children, your grandchildren when they ask if you voted to layoff a bunch of disabled individuals to save 11-cents per day?"
A vote on the trash collection issue is slated for February 25th.
At the suggestion of council members, city hall is planning some kind of public question and answer session on a date to be announced later.

Drivers are finding prices at the pump continue to rise.  Triple-A reports prices jumped six cents in the Buffalo area from a week ago and more than 15 cents last month.  Motorists are now paying $3.89 based on credit card purchases at self-serve stations.

There will be no playoffs for the Honeoye High School boy's basketball team.  Honeoye officials announced the team will not play in the Section Five tournament or any of the postseason following allegations of hazing involving team members.

Pistol-permit owners around New York State will soon be able to sign up to opt out of having their information made public.  
State Police officials say opt-out forms will be available beginning February 15th.  
Gun permit holders can now elect to keep their information private as part of the new SAFE Act legislation adopted last month.  
If they don't fill out the form, their information can be made public via the Freedom of Information Law.


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