Town won’t pick up trash collection tab

BEACON FALLS — After exploring the impact of providing trash collection for residents of a private road, the Board of Selectman on Monday opted not to provide the service.

Residents of Sharon Drive, a private road, came before the board in December to request the town accept their road as public and offer services, such as plowing and trash pickup. The request came after a court ruling stipulated the town has to offer some services, including trash collection, to residents of Oak Drive, a private road.

In December, First Selectman Christopher Bielik said he wouldn’t entertain accepting Sharon Drive as a public road, but would reach out to the town’s trash collection agency, Winters Brothers Waste Systems of Danbury, to see if there would be a cost to extend trash pickup to the road. If there was no cost to the town, he said at the time, officials would implement curbside trash pickup on the road.

On Monday, Bielik said Winter Brothers informed him that it would cost the town an additional $25 per household per month to collect trash on Sharon Drive.

Bielik said if the board authorized this for Sharon Drive it would hear from all the other residents on private roads throughout the town who would want the same service afforded to them.

“The bottom line on it is it would cost the town in the ballpark of a minimum of $6,000 per year by my rough calculation to take care of those people on private roads,” Bielik said.

Bielik felt it was cost prohibitive to provide trash collection for residents on private roads.

“To be frank, there is $6,000 of other stuff in the budget I would rather spend it on,” Bielik said.

Bielik said Winter Brothers would offer direct billing to the residents of private roads who want trash collection.

“If anybody who lives on a private road is interested in getting curbside pickup, Winter Brothers will be happy to provide that service to them for the cost of $25 per month per household. So we can certainly make that offer to anybody who is out there that if they choose to pay that extra amount directly to Winter Brothers they can get what they are asking for,” Bielik said.

The court ruling that favored Oak Drive residents said the street still remains a private road and cited several factors for siding with residents, including that the road is used as a cut-through and the Water Pollution Control Authority received an easement for sewer connections to run through the back of the road.

In December, Bielik said the ruling did not set precedence for other private roads in the town, and that the town would still fight against offering public services to private roads.

On Monday, Bielik stood by that statement, saying that the town would not bring curbside trash pickup to private roads.

“No, the town is not going to pick up the tab for free. Yes, if they want to pursue it on their own they are welcome to,” Bielik said.