BY JOE OLENICK firstname.lastname@example.org
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — City residents will be able to pay their refuse bills with a credit card either online or at City Hall starting at the end of the month.
Fifth Ward Alderman Ken Genewick shared the news with the Common Council Wednesday. People can pay either through the city’s website, www.elockport.com or at the treasurer’s office.
Refuse bills are sent in May and October, the next one coming Oct. 29. The billing cycles are mid-October to mid-April and mid-April to mid-October. Genewick said the goal was to make paying refuse bills more convenient for people.
Eventually, residents will be able to pay water and sewer bills in the same fashion, but the city isn’t ready to handle that yet, Genewick said.
Back in September 2012, the Common Council awarded a contract to M&T Bank to handle credit card payments.
Also on Wednesday, Common Council members made the new budget hearing and vote date official. A budget hearing will be held Nov. 13 and vote on Nov. 20.
Common Council President Anne McCaffrey said the Council will meet next on Nov. 6 to talk with Lumsden & McCormick.
Part of the reason for the budget delay is the city won’t receive final healthcare costs until Oct. 28, said Mayor Michael Tucker.
”It’s a big part of the budget, it would be foolish to not know that before,” he said. “I’m more concerned about having an accurate budget.”
The other is the state comptroller. Lockport was designated a “moderately” stressed municipality by the state comptroller, who has sent representatives to look over the city’s books. City officials said they want to have the comptroller’s recommendations before making any final budget decisions.
In other city news:
• In order to deal with a sanitary sewer leak, Common Council members directed Tucker to enter into a contract with Yarussi Construction Inc. of Niagara Falls.
A major sewer main called the “Gulf stream interceptor,” which carries sewage from the southwest part of Lockport through the Gulf area to the city’s sewage treatment plant, was found two weeks ago to be leaking, said 4th Ward Alderman Patrick Schrader.
The Gulf is a steep ravine that includes a small stream, a tributary of Eighteenmile Creek.
Schrader said the hope is the entire 1,000-foot pipe won’t have to be replaced. The city needed state DEC approval to remove a beaver’s dam that was in the way.
It’s unknown what caused the leak, Schrader said.
The contract’s cost is on a time and material basis, plus 5 percent.
• City Hall will be closed from 5 until 8 p.m. Oct. 25 for a Halloween party. Main Street Trick-or-Treating will run from 4 until 7 p.m. Oct. 31.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.