NIAGARA FALLS – The new garbage and recycling program proposed by the Dyster administration will not go into effect Aug. 4 as planned after the City Council put the accompanying law on hold Monday night.
Some lawmakers said there are still too many loose ends with facets of the program, including program criteria such as what makes someone eligible to receive a second garbage tote.
That, combined with initial information about the program that turned out to be wrong and a lack of knowledge about the program changes by some in the community, pushed Council Chairman Charles A. Walker to vote against the law.
“Hopefully tabling it will get the administration to really sit down and work this thing out,” Walker said after lawmakers unanimously tabled the proposed law. In an uncommon move, Walker removed his name as a sponsor of the legislation during Monday’s meeting.
The proposed changes to the city’s curbside garbage and recycling pickup program include switching the city to 64-gallon garbage totes and 96-gallon recycling totes. Garbage pickup would remain weekly, while recyclables would be picked up every other week.
There has been a significant amount of vocal public opposition to elements of the program, including how quickly the Dyster administration wanted it instituted.
Before the Council’s vote, Mayor Paul A. Dyster said he would prefer the Council enact the law, which could be amended to deal with problems as they come up.
In other Council matters:
• A procedural vote blocked lawmakers from considering a revised settlement for back taxes with the owners of One Niagara, at 360 Rainbow Blvd.
The proposed deal, which would see the company pay about $1.6 million in back taxes, interest and penalties, was not completed by the deadline to be placed on the agenda. A motion to add it to the agenda only received three votes in favor, but needed four.
The proposal, which has been in the works since last week, called for the payment to be made by noon Wednesday. The Council goes on recess for August, so it now won’t be considered by lawmakers until September.
• By a 3-2 vote, the Council declined the city’s interest in a parcel of land just north of DeFranco Park so it could be transferred to the State Parks Office for use as a new State Parks Police barracks. The city was to receive the land from the New York Power Authority under a 2005 settlement related to the federal relicensing of the authority’s Niagara Power Project.
The land has been selected as an alternative site for the barracks, originally proposed for a nearby parcel along the Niagara Gorge. Public opposition to that location led to a new site being pursued.