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New year, new fees

Niskayuna outlines lawn debris fees, alarm systems fees approved

— Questions in the Town of Niskayuna about proposed fee increases and the implementation of new fees are now answered, and a public hearing has been set on the new lawn debris fee.

The Niskayuna Town Board outlined the details of several fees on Tuesday, Dec. 20, during its regular meeting. A public hearing on the new fees tied to the town picking up brush, grass, branches and other yard waste was scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12.

Since the lawn pick up fees are introducing a new section to the town code a public hearing on the local law is required. The board passed a resolution by a 4-1 vote amending several current fees without a public hearing, with Councilman Jonathan McKinney casting the dissenting vote.

“We had revenue that we are expecting from these fees and we made slight adjustments in all the fees to reach the revenue that we put in the budget,” Supervisor Joe Landry said. “I think these increases are reflective of the services we provide … they had not been increased in a while.”

Changes to the alarm fees include a $5 increase per year for three types of alarms. Commercial users with alarms going directly to the town police department will see a $10 increase per year. Every false alarm over the fifth time in a month will now hold an increased fee of $40 per alarm.

Transfer station permits and fee charges will also see similar increases, such as annual permits increasing by $5 and three-day permits increasing by $10. Bags of refuse from zero to 15 lbs. would increase by 25 cents and 15 to 30 lbs. would also increase by 25 cents, which come to $2.25 and $4.25 respectively.

“We want to be able to cover the costs of the services that we are providing, so these adjustments were made based upon that analysis,” Landry said. “We are at a point where we have to do this … to make sure our programs and our fees are commensurate with what we are providing.”

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