New Windsor considers discontinuing recycling service for used oil

Mayor, council concerned over possible hazards

Town Hall repairs set

February 03, 2000|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Troubled by dozens of abandoned containers of unidentified liquids, the town of New Windsor might close its oil-recycling container.

Area residents can dispose of used motor oil in the 250-gallon tank at the town's public works yard near the railroad tracks on Geer Lane, said Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr.

Maryland Environmental Service, a quasi-public agency, empties the tank when town officials call, he said.

"But people don't listen," Gullo said. "So they come down with used oil in containers. They figure it's going to be put in a big truck anyway -- so they don't bother to put it in our container. They just set it down."

Gullo said as many as 70 or 80 jugs of who-knows-what have been left at the yard, which is used for storing salt and parking trucks but is not routinely staffed. In October, someone left a 55-gallon drum of something.

"It not only looks unsightly, but it presents a health hazard," Gullo said. "We don't know what's in it, so our public works guys have to spend time dumping it. If it takes two hours, that's time our citizens are paying for, aside from the liability of it being on our property.

"Let's just get rid of it."

After Councilman Paul Garver moved to remove the tank, Councilman Ronnie Blacksten persuaded the others to table the motion and alert the town that the service might be discontinued, to see whether conditions improve.

"I agree this is a service: I use it a good bit," said Blacksten, who said oil filters have been left as if someone changed the oil right there.

If the town's container were removed, residents could take their oil to the county landfill in Westminster, councilmen noted.

Gullo suggested that MES or local garages take over the oil recycling.

In other business, the council voted to pay its share toward the county's Census 2000 Complete Count Committee.

New Windsor's population of about 1,400 works out to 0.8 percent of the county -- and a $60 share of the $7,500, Gullo said.

"We didn't budget for it, but we can find $60 somewhere -- so we'll check the car seats for change."

Gullo also announced that New Windsor Town Hall will be closed for repairs for the next two weeks, in part to eliminate a bee problem, and the town clerk will work from Gullo's law office.

The building at 211 High St. was renovated in 1997, he said, but bee honey apparently was sealed in the walls -- creating a black ooze -- and the bees later found their way back inside. The walls will be sealed, and a small office created, for about $2,000.

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