Cicero brush pickup to begin this month

— In previous years, brush pickup in the Town of Cicero has not begun until the month of May. Due to the early arrival of spring weather, the town offices have received inquiries from several residents regarding the possibility of earlier brush pickup. I am happy to report that arrangements have been made to begin brush collection earlier than usual this year. All areas of town will have one brush pick up in the second half of April. A complete schedule appears at the end of this column and is also available on the town’s newly designed website, ciceronewyork.net.

Since Jan. 1, the town board and I have been committed to working together and looking at various areas where the town can save taxpayer dollars and still maintain a quality level of service. The original brush collection contract with Altman Enterprises has an option to extend it for a year, so the board decided this would be the opportune time to explore possible savings in this area. We approached the question simultaneously from two angles. Rick Mutter from the highway department did some research on the costs associated with purchasing new equipment that would be necessary for the town to pick up brush and I spoke with Altman Enterprises.

The main costs involved in the town taking over the service would be equipment purchases, with possible overtime costs, tipping fees, and of course fuel for the trucks and other equipment also factoring into the equation. Although the equipment could be used for several years, the upfront cost to purchase all the proper and necessary equipment would be over $300,000. While the purchase costs could be amortized, maintenance and repair costs also need to be considered in the total cost of ownership over the long-term. It became clear pretty quickly that if the town were to take over brush collection at this time Cicero taxpayers would have to outlay more money this year than last year and we would not be guaranteed future savings. I thank Rick for his diligent research in helping the board reach this conclusion.

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