The Southampton Town Board unanimously agreed Tuesday afternoon to reject all the bids it received for a proposed garbage district in Flanders, Riverside and Northampton.
Resistance to the proposal, originally floated by the Flanders/Riverside/Northampton Community Association (FRNCA), grew throughout this spring, when many members of the community who were opposed to the garbage district joined the community association in the hopes of swaying its board to stop pursuing the district.
Councilman Brad Bender, a former FRNCA president, had helped shepherd the garbage district proposal through the town’s bureaucracy, but he sent a press release to reporters Tuesday morning saying the “town board has opted to discontinue pursuit of the concept at this time.”
“The Flanders/Riverside/Northampton Community Association had previously asked the town to look into what it would take to establish a garbage district in that area. In order to get a sense of what such a service would cost taxpayers, the town issued a bid asking prices for weekly refuse pick-up, given certain specifications,” he wrote. “The lowest responsible bid came in at approximately $25 per month, which would have been charged to each residential property owner’s tax bill if a special assessment garbage district were formed.”
An overflow crowd filled the Phillips Avenue School auditorium for a meeting hosted by the town May 15, and the majority of the people there, by a show of hands, said they were against the formation of a garbage district.
“The two main reasons articulated were: loss of choice in selecting a carter, and fear that the monthly charge would dramatically increase after the first year, thereby increasing their tax bills,” said Mr. Bender.
“Unfortunately, the public sentiment is against the formation of a garbage district at this time,” he added. “I still believe that providing this service to the Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton areas is a great idea – one that would go a long way to improving both property values and pride of place. Perhaps it is an idea whose time has not yet come, but one which bears re-visiting in the future.”
The town board voted unanimously without any commentary Tuesday afternoon to pass the resolution rejecting the bids.