Tioga County to hold public hearing on changes to recycling program

first_imgLegislative Chair Martha Sauerbrey says the county’s current Recycling contract expires in January. When the county sought bids for a new one, the cost proved too expensive while providing less services. The county will hold a public hearing to introduce two new laws, one being the new recycling program while the other renews the county’s Hotel-Motel tax. She says she expects the price that residents pay to be around the same as their current recycling tax, if not slightly higher. She emphasized that it’s unlikely the cost to residents will be double the current cost, which she says would have been the case if a new contract was awarded. OWEGO (WBNG) — Changes are coming to Tioga County’s recycling program and residents will have the opportunity to give their input at a public hearing this Wednesday. “A typical room rate is $150 for a stay locally,” he says. “It’s a six dollar additional charge. That’s not going to alter your plans for that stay in any way shape or form in our opinion.” Despite the struggles that have come along with the pandemic, Lovelass says he supports keeping the tax in place. 12 News spoke with another hotel owner who didn’t want to be interviewed on camera. She said while she isn’t thrilled to have to pay the tax, she’s just happy to hear it isn’t going up. Sauerbrey says she wants to make it clear to residents that recycling in the county won’t be going away, they’re just changing the way that it’s handled. He says he does want to get the word out that by helping to cover those municipal expenses, he feels the tax is meant to help tourism, not hurt it. “The four percent is tacked onto a room charge whether you’re a hotel, a motel wherever you fall and it’s really helping to offset other municipal costs that are incurred by these guests,” he says. center_img “The recycling fee will be removed from (residents’) tax bill, so it will no longer be on their property tax bill,” she says. “They will be recycling and doing business with their garbage hauler, so it will continue but it will just be a different agreement.” The county is also introducing another law, which is a renewal of the county’s existing four-percent tax on rooms in all hotels, motels, as well as Bed & Breakfasts. Sauerbrey says the cost of recycling will be determined by the hauler, not the county, and that will replace the current recycling tax. The meeting will take place this Wednesday at the Tioga County Office Building on Main Street starting at 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance will be limited to the first fifty residents. If you are unable to make the meeting the county will stream it on ZOOM. Ike Lovelass co-owns the Belva Lockwood Inn with his wife Julie. He says while the pandemic caused them to shut down for part of the summer, business has been robust since their reopening. He says they’ve been attracting more local visitors who are coming to explore Owego and the Finger Lakes. As a result, the county is introducing a new law stating that garbage hauling companies operating in Tioga County be required to take residents’ recycling with their garbage for an additional fee. Residents will also have the option of bringing their recyclables to a transfer station themselves. For more information on Wednesday’s meeting click here. To read the proposed law regarding recycling in Tioga County, click here.last_img read more