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LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Refuse Disposal District’s construction and demolition landfill will no longer be open on Saturdays outside of the prime building season.

The district board, comprised of county legislators, voted Monday to close the landfill on Saturdays except from May through September. The landfill on the Lockport Bypass will remain open year-round Monday through Friday.

The landfill averaged nine loads of building debris each Saturday during the months of October through April and 17 loads per Saturday from May through September.

All county overtime budget requests for 2013 were cut by 5 percent when the Legislature adopted this year’s budget.

However, the county has to pay overtime to the staffers at the landfill who work there on Saturdays.

“Our contracts say you cannot change schedules to avoid overtime,” Public Works Commissioner Kevin P. O’Brien said. But the county has the prerogative of deciding whether to offer a nonmandated service.

“We’d be losing money by staying open,” said Legislator Paul B. Wojtaszek, R-North Tonawanda.

To cover salaries, equipment and fuel, the landfill needs to generate $608 per Saturday. The off-season average revenue was $538, while in the warm months, the Saturday average income was $1,164.

The district board also voted to keep a clerical position, at least for the rest of this year, that was going to be eliminated as of June 30. The full-time job will cost the district $14,572 for the second half of the year.

Acting Director Dawn M. Timm had proposed the move last month as a means of saving enough money on employee overtime to stay within the district’s budget. The savings would be $3,000.

Timm said in a memo that her analysis of the district’s staffing needs led her to make the request to maintain that job.

“The position is warranted through the end of the year, as we are going through an administrative transition without a full-time director, and we are pursuing closure [of the landfill], which will generate additional clerical work,” Timm wrote.

County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz has suggested closing the construction landfill, the district’s only active landfill, which is supposed to run out of space in the next few years.

The district board also set the first of four Saturday drop-off dates for household hazardous waste this year. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the North Tonawanda Public Works garage on Erie Avenue.

Appointments must be made for hazardous waste drop-offs through www.rethinkyourwaste.com or by calling the Refuse District at 434-6568.

The North Tonawanda event will be held at the same time and place as electronics recycling and pharmaceutical drop-offs, which are being organized by the city and do not require appointments.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com