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Council debates trash fine reduction

Idea sent to Bylaw Review Committee

Landlord William Jones, standing, addresses a meeting of the Landlords’ Association back in May. Health Director James Morin, trash program enforcement consultant Eric Jacobson, and (not visible from this angle) Recycling Coordinator Kim Grant listened from the table at right. The Town Council has been mulling how to improve the trash fines bylaw. (click for larger version)
June 25, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — The by-now-notorious trash fines took up a significant part of the Town Council's business last week, as they debated slashing it directly before sending it to the ongoing Bylaw Review Committee for a recommendation.

The agenda item formally called for discussing whether to cut the fine from the town's top bracket ($250-$275-$300) to its lower one ($25-$50-$100). Technically, those brackets mean a violator gets fined more for each new violation (and is ultimately subject to removal from the curbside system after the third one), but Town Manager Chris Clark said that, in practice, even multiple violations have been getting the same $250 fine. He noted the town has also given out 333 warnings, 232 of them to multi-family properties.

When it came up, Councilor Laurent "Butch" McDonald observed that the issue has already been discussed extensively and proposed (but rescinded) amending the bylaw.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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