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Willington opposes dump fee

By CLAIRE GALVIN

Chronicle Staff Writer

WILLINGTON — With a nearly unanimous vote, townspeople voted “no” on implementing a transfer station fee at this time.

The board of selectmen previously recommended implementing a $100 yearly or $15 daily permit to dispose of daily trash at the Willington transfer station to make up for town shortfalls because of state budget cuts.

Under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s executive order, Willington was looking at more than a $2 million shortfall.

Malloy recently signed into law a bipartisan budget that restores funding back to Willington.

Now, the town will break just about even, according to board of finance chairman Jim Bulick and First Selectman Christina Mailhos at recent town meeting.

Before the town voted, Mailhos said the immediate need to generate revenue is reduced because of the new state budget funding.

“We can take a sigh of relief because it actually worked out OK for us,” Mailhos said. “I can say today that I don’t think we need (to approve this fee). We’re OK for now.”

She said although the town dodged a bullet this year, next year will bring similar problems.

Most of the townspeople at the meeting agreed during discussion that creating a transfer station fee was not the right choice at this time.

Robert Bilver said when he lived in California, his town implemented a fee to use the transfer station.

“Guess where all the garbage ended up? In the desert,” Pilver said. “Then, it cost the state more money to pick it all up, then it did to get rid of the fee when they reversed it.”

Bilver also said the town should learn how to run without the state, which was met with applause from the townspeople.

Other options proposed during the discussion were generating revenue by charging other towns to use the transfer station and including the increase in fees with the yearly tax bill.

“I like the idea of a la carte tax bill,” resident Paul Weigold said. “I would be in favor of paying for the transfer station if we institute things like ‘we’ll charge every student $100 to use the bus,’ because that only benefits a very small portion of people who live here. I’d be in favor if we did this in other areas, too.”

Robert Jellen, a Willington resident and member of the Regional School District 19 Board of Education, said Mailhos’ stance on the matter should be enough to halt the discussion for now.

“I think with the information that we now have, that we should defer to another time,” Jellen said.

 

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