Condominiums built in Manchester before 1997 get a modest reimbursement for trash removal services. Those built after 1997 do not qualify. A couple of owners from a newer complex-Cheney Village- are complaining this is unfair. They pay the same taxes and should get the same services. Now that the issue has been raised, Mayor Diana is considering phasing out the rebate program all together explaining that waste collection is funded by tipping fees at the landfill, not property taxes.
The Mayor’s argument misses the point no matter where the money comes from. That condominium owners are not provided with the same trash pick up for single family homes is discriminatory. The rebate program is grossly unfair as it is selectively applied and it is underfunded.
The landfill is owned by the Town of Manchester (thereby owned by ALL Manchester taxpayers). It collects tipping fees from commercial and private users. The tipping fees in turn fund residential trash collection. But the benefits of “free” trash pick up are selectively awarded to only residential single family homeowners, with a partial rebate going to condominiums built before 1997. Shouldn’t these benefits accrue equally to ALL Manchester property owners- including all condo owners? Or in other words- “free” trash pick up for all.
Town officials can look to Vernon for a solution. They faced this issue responsibly years ago. They agreed to pick up trash at condos. The condos agreed to pay the equivalent cost of one year of trash collection to the town so the town could buy a truck. Condos also agreed to buy the required dumpsters. Going forward, new condos joining the trash pick up pay a one time time charge of $232 per unit to buy into the service. This was a win-win compromise fair to all property owners. I hope Manchester officials will consider a similar plan.