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Council transfers delinquent properties to RDA

The Warren City Council signed off property transfers to the city Redevelopment Authority, an extended recycling agreement and the purchase of a truck during a meeting earlier this week.

The properties are located at 111 Pioneer St. and 103 Sixth Ave.

City Manager City Nancy Freenock said there are properties in the city with large amounts of delinquent sewer costs and some instances where property owners have showed no intent to pay.

She said the city acted on sewer liens against these two properties and took possession. She recommended a transfer to the city’s RDA, which is “best positioned to negotiate sales” or handle rehabilitation.

Freenock said there has been interest expressed in the properties and council’s action would result in any future sales covering the RDAs cost and the cost of the sewer lien first with any extra profit going to the RDA.

Both of these properties, she said, are vacant.

Are there additional properties coming?

“We are looking at seven that are currently on the tax sale list for next Monday,” she said.

Recycling agreement extended

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said that the original agreement with Advanced Disposal ran from 2018 through 2020 with option years for 2021 and 2022.

He said residential curbside collection is $2.56 per pickup and increases $.05 in each of the option years.

“The recycling market has not improved since” the beginning of the contract, he explained, noting that some municipalities are seeing increases in recycling costs.

As a state-mandated service, Holtz recommended that the city’s invoke the option years on the contract.

Councilman Phil Gilbert asked if residents pay even if they don’t use the service and Freenock said it was a “user fee” attached to all sewer bills.

“We do this because we have to do this,” Holtz said, noting that recycling is optional for the county’s townships.

Truck purchase

Holtz said the Bradford sewer authority is looking to sell a sledge hauling truck with tanks. He said the city has paid $105,000 for that service over the last three years.

At a cost of $34,000, Holtz noted the truck could also be utilized for transporting compost from the Harmar Street collection site to the processing side off Hemlock Street.

The fees for both of those services, he said, would be eliminated and he said the truck would cover its cost in one year, speculating a 10 year life for the vehicle.

He noted that this option is also “more convenient” as the use would be “on our own time table.”

Holtz said he’s looked at used vehicles prior to this but didn’t bring them to council because thy “generally (have) not been this nice.”

“Sounds like a win-win,” Councilman Gregory Fraser said.

“Even if just (for) five yeas it’s a win-win,” Cashman added, noting the win is “bigger” the longer the truck lasts.

Council signed off on the purchase, which will be funded out of the sewer fund.

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