City Council Waives Cleanup Surcharges

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Three Watertown homeowners won't have to pay $150 surcharges after city crews had to clean up their properties.

City council members decided to waive the surcharge, although the homeowners will still have to pay the cost of the actual cleanups.

"We do our best to try to make the right decision," council member Joe Butler said.

Recently, the Department of Public Works had to clean up homes at 1203 State Street, 327 Coffeen Street and 422 Cross Street.

City council members say they decided to waive the surcharge because it was a first offense for each of the home owners and they had unique circumstances.

Each of the home owners sent emails to City Manager Sharon Addison asking to have the $150 surcharge waved.

The owner of the Cross Street home, for example, is active military and was serving out of the country at the time. He told Addison he had no idea the person who was taking care of the home had stopped.

"So these were very unique situations," council member Jeff Smith said.

"They were first-time offenses and staff recommended that we waive that and so I'm going to go with the staff recommendation on that," Smith said.

"But extenuating circumstances for people that, in some cases, were abroad fighting for our country," Butler said, "and when you face geographic challenges like that, sometimes the maintenance of the property becomes an issue."

Going forward, Addison will decide whether to waive surcharges.

If homeowners want other fees waived, that will be up to city council.

See our story from Tuesday.

Friday, August 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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