“I got garbage can totes, where the city spent over 2.5 million dollars on totes, I haven’t used them since I got them because I don’t generate any garbage there," Niagara Falls resident, David Bieksza, said. “Now they want to hit us with this garbage fee, this is crazy, this is a very poor city, it’s an elderly city. The people can’t afford tax increases or fees or anything else."
The Niagara Falls City Council proposed 'user fee' for Niagara Falls residents for garbage pickup, a fee that would cost a single household around $200 per year. The fee stemming from a difficult budget year after contract disputes associated with the local casino.
“We can raise taxes, we can put new fees in place, or we can have massive layoffs in public safety," Niagara Falls City Adminstrator, Nick Melson, said. “Nobody ever stops me on the street and says layoff 50 police officers, cut fire halls, so I think this is the best option.”
“I’ll tell you what, once Dyster took over, since he became mayor, it has gone on a spending spree," Bieksza said.
Niagara Falls City Councilman, Kenny Tompkins, will support the proposal once he knows residents will receive additional benefits from the fee.
“How much can we keep asking the people to pay... Where is the benefit you’re giving us that can say I can justify this fee," Tompkins said. “I can get behind the program that can offer the citizens more stuff if we’re going to give them more money.”
The proposal's approval will wait on both the Niagara Falls mayor and city council's impending decision.