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LOCKPORT – The city soon will install two surveillance cameras on Glenwood Avenue to try to catch people dumping trash, Mayor Michael W. Tucker disclosed at Wednesday’s Common Council meeting.
Tucker, being questioned about illegal dumping during the public comment period by Russell Bruning of Trowbridge Street, announced that the cameras are coming.
Glenwood Avenue is a secluded street in the northwest part of the city. It has few living inhabitants, but there are two large cemeteries there.
The street has long been strewn with trash, old tires, discarded furniture and practically anything else that can be hauled.
Tucker said after the meeting that the city posted a sign threatening a $1,000 fine for dumping on Glenwood, but he also said no one ever has been assessed that fine.
“We can’t catch anyone,” Tucker admitted. But the cameras, ordered by Police Detective Capt. Richard L. Podgers, may change that.
“It’s getting out of control. It’s been a problem for years,” Tucker said.
In action Wednesday, the Council also voted to assess $279,614 in unpaid refuse bills on the 2013 property tax bills.
Tucker said that total is about 15 percent of the user fees assessed since the city switched to privatized garbage and recycling service in October 2011. He admitted that’s a large number but added that it’s not unusual for the amount of unpaid water and sewer bills rolled onto the tax levy to approach $400,000.
Water and sewer bills tend to be larger than the refuse user fees, which vary based on the size of each resident’s garbage tote. The city also charged a one-time fee of $147 last year to cover the cost of 9½ months of city-run garbage service in 2011.
The cost of that service was left out of the 2011 city budget because the Common Council assumed the privatized service would start much sooner than it actually did.
Also Wednesday, several speakers from Park Lane Circle, one bearing a petition, urged the Council not to give Kibler Park to the Lockport City School District. The district wants the park for construction of a driveway from Roy B. Kelley Elementary School to Elmwood Avenue in hopes of relieving traffic congestion when the school expands next year.
The school district has been unclear about why it wants the entire 19-acre park, the largest in the eastern half of the city. State approval would be needed for a transfer of ownership.
Audience members also urged the city not to buy Washington Hunt Elementary School, which is due to close in June.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com