Chestertown’s curbside recycling program will continue.
After some 70 residents – described by Mayor Chris Cerino as an “unprecedented” crowd – filled the second floor of Town Hall for a public hearing on the town’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, the council voted to pass a budget with a $0.01 increase in the property tax. Recycling, which was on the chopping block in the draft budget, will be retained after an offer by Ford Schumann of Infinity Recycling to hold down costs.
“I met with our management and we tried to figure out some way we could save some money,” Schumann said. “It’s not a great year for recycling – it hasn’t been for probably five years, but it’s gotten really bad this last couple of years. So it’s hard for us to take any hit.” He said that Chestertown represents about a quarter of the company’s revenue. He offered the town a plan by which instead of charging for each household taking part in the program, Infinity would charge a flat rate for the town as a whole, as it does for a few smaller towns. He said it would save the town about $6,000. He also offered not to charge set-up fees for one year.
Town Manager Bill Ingersoll, in response, found a way to move about $15,000 from the town’s insurance pool to pay for the rest of the recycling program. He said the fund rarely gets used.
A full report on Monday’s council meeting will be published later this week.