Transfer Station Permit Sticker
The Select Board voted on the $50.00 Permit Sticker Fee during the Select Board meeting on July 9th 2019. This hasn’t changed. Additionally, on January 13, 2020 the Select Board voted to “make sure that the Weathersfield per parcel sticker is $50.00,” which affirmed the July 9th, 2019 decision.
On July 9, 2019, the motion was made and seconded to “Set FY2020 Transfer Station fees at the following rates: $50.00 sticker fee for Weathersfield Residents, $60.00 sticker fee for West Windsor and Reading, and $3.50 per punch.”
This motion was unanimous in favor.
The Transfer Station is shared between Weathersfield, West Windsor, and Reading. Last year the Select Board sent a letter to Reading and West Windsor indicating that the fee structure is unequal. When I became Town Manager I moved forward with those negotiations.
For example, in FY20 the Town of Weathersfield paid $81,000 (50.00 per parcel) to the Transfer Station annually, whereas Reading paid $18,635, and West Windsor paid $3,600.
Why is there such a significant difference? The payment structure is different. Weathersfield pays a per parcel fee, reading pays an assessment, and West Windsor pays as they use it (no assessment). In other words, not all West Windsor residents are charged the $50.00 permit sticker fee, but any resident can go into the Town Office and purchase 1 for the cost of a permit sticker. This makes budgeting for it unpredictable and unreliable.
In an effort to spread the cost of running the Transfer Station across all of the three (3) towns that use it equally, I have entered into negotiations with both Towns. The Select Board representative to these negotiations is Paul Tillman.
My stance: If all three Towns pay the same Permit Sticker fee based on the same assessment structure, the cost of the Permit Sticker will reduce in FY22 (July 1, 2021). Why? Because the cost of operating the Transfer Station will not change significantly. Therefore, the more people that we can divide that cost between, the less the Permit Sticker will be.
In the past, the Transfer Station was relaxed and the Permit Sticker was not enforced. This is a problem because people from outside of the three towns (Weathersfield, West Windsor, and Reading) were using the Transfer Station without paying for it, which is similar to piggybacking on the residents that do pay for it. To prevent this, we needed to enforce the Permit Sticker for entry into the Transfer Station.
All Weathersfield Residents received a new Permit Sticker with their Tax Bill this year.
This issue was released publicly, at both Post Offices, on SAPA TV, and in 2 public Select Board meetings leading up to Permit Sticker enforcement. A sign indicating that on October 1, 2020 the Permit Sticker will be enforced was setup at the Transfer Station a month in advance to this. Additionally, the new Permit Sticker was sent along in the Tax Bill, indicating a new Permit Sticker will be required.
The Second Permit Sticker: Since we have entered into negotiations with Reading and West Windsor, our argument is an “unequal payment structure.” We’re coming into an agreement with the other two towns (almost there). Both Reading and West Windsor see the value in having the Transfer Station. We see the value in sharing the Transfer Station with them. However, in West Windsor, permit stickers are currently $50.00. A second sticker is $50.00. A third sticker is $50.00 etc. This cannot change until the voters approve the assessment of $50.00 per parcel in West Windsor.
Additionally, we’re seeing Permit Stickers sold for $5.00 and then distributed to residents outside of Weathersfield, which is a problem.
What happens if you need to replace your car? The permit sticker should be removed from the car prior to replacing the vehicle and prior to replacing the windshield. If the permit sticker will not stick on the new vehicle or windshield, the sticker can be brought to the Town Office to obtain a replacement.
In brief, nothing has changed. The only thing that has changed is enforcement of the Permit Sticker.
Why do we need to enforce it? Because the cost of operating the Transfer Station has increased. Recycling costs have increased. The Transfer Station is not operated based on Tax Revenue. It is an Enterprise Fund. Enterprise Funds operate on user fees. The user fee in this case is the revenue generated from Permit Sticker purchases.
Additional changes – Once an equal payment structure is established (I anticipate this being the case in the next fiscal year) the permit sticker fee will reduce.
Proposed Window Decal Policy: Next year, our Towns will no longer send a Permit Sticker in the mail with tax bills.
Residents will be required to visit the Town Office and fill out a Window Decal Registration Card including the following information:
- Name of Resident
- License Plate Number
- Permit Sticker Number
The residents License Plate Number will be printed on the Permit Sticker and given to the resident to affix on the lower passenger side corner of their windshield.
There will be no additional charge for providing this service.
Benefits of the proposed Window Decal Policy
- Stabilizes revenue and expenses at the Transfer Station
- Prevents permit sticker abuse from non-residents, driving down expenses.
- Allows the Town to safely void old Permit Stickers when a Resident purchases a new vehicle.
- We will no longer need to send permit stickers every year & change the color, providing for future cost savings.
If you have any additional comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.