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Nisky rakes in lawn fees

Fewer than expected opt out of debris pick up fee

— “There was never logical reason why these forms needed to be notarized,” McKinney said. “It seemed like there was a lot of extra effort for doing something that you don’t want to do.”

Even with the low opt out rate, more than a third of the residents had not paid for the service as of Tuesday, with 2,303 delinquent bills out of 6,397 households. Martinelli said unpaid homeowners would have the $30 fee added to their January 2013 tax bill.

At least one resident who hasn’t paid his bill yet is planning to opt out next year.

Resident Tom Farney said he sent his opt out form late and tried to have the fee waived, but to no avail. He couldn’t recall when he sent the form, but said he missed the deadline by a “short margin” and hadn’t used the service.

“I would like to be taken on my word,” he said. “The service is driving up and down the street whether I am using it or not.”

The town budgeted for $150,000 in revenue to be received this year from the fee, but the actual revenue would total almost $192,000 if all bills were paid.

Landry placed $170,000 in revenue from the fee in his tentative 2013 budget, which he characterized as a “conservative” estimate.

“This is the number we feel is the right number to be putting into the budget,” Landry said.

The fee doesn’t include loose-leaf pick up, which all residents will continue to receive. The town tipping fees for loose-leaf and lawn debris is budgeted for $60,000 in next year’s proposed spending plan.

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