Yarmouth moves closer to recycling, sewer fees

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YARMOUTH — Details are sketchy, but it looks like a couple of new fees are on the horizon for Yarmouth residents.

The Town Council continued its discussions of potential sewer and recycling center fees at a workshop on Thursday.

The council is considering assessing user fees for the town’s transfer station. Councilors again floated the possibility of a $50 sticker fee, estimating they might sell 1,500 stickers and raise $75,000 annually.

The council set an informal goal of voting on the recycling question at its meeting on Nov. 21. That would give the public time to understand the initiative, councilors said.

Many of the particulars remained unclear, however, including the price of the sticker. No decision was made on whether fees would be assessed per household or per vehicle, or whether stickers could be swapped between cars. A question about security at the transfer station was also raised.

Town Manager Nat Tupper said the council needed to more clearly define the purpose of the fee, and whether it would simply offset the cost of waste deposition, or if there are additional goals, like encouraging recycling.

The council looked at its Dec. 19 meeting as a possible time for a vote on a sewer fee ordinance.

Councilors discussed a hybrid plan with three tiers and a variable rate for high-end users. It was suggested that residents using wells and septic tanks may not have to pay the fee; however, the town may no longer be obligated to empty septic systems, for which it currently budgets $25,000 annually.

The council asked Tupper to develop a potential schedule for voting and implementation.

Councilors considered that it might be unfair to residents to levy new fees in consecutive months, but determined it is more important to resolve these issues before the town budget begins to dominate council conversation in the new year.

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @brendantwist.