Schroon Lake Less than a year after a police investigation of the Schroon trash transfer station, the town’s garbage operation is a success story.
“We made a lot of changes, we’ve really tightened up our procedures there,” Supervisor Mike Marnell said. “The transfer station is running really well now.”
A state audit last year found transfer station revenues had fallen more than $30,000 — 32 percent — from 2009-2011. Auditors expressed concern and referred the matter to local law enforcement.
Marnell, who was not supervisor during that time period, blamed the decrease in revenue on “poor management.” He believed no crimes had been committed.
Police agreed. Following an investigation no charges were filed.
Marnell pointed out town revenues at the trash transfer station have increased $70,000 since he took office in 2012 and instituted changes. Profits at the station go into the town general fund.
The chief change has been the purchase of a new scale at the transfer station. That scale not only weighs trash, it keeps a running tally of total garbage accepted and cash receipts.
“At the end of every day we know exactly how much trash came into the station and how much money we should have collected,” Marnell said. “There’s no guess work.”
In past years, Marnell believes, station attendants would sometimes approximate some charges and overlook others.
“This really helps our people (employees) there,” he said. “The scale prints out the cost and people pay it. There’s no getting around it.”
The town, which accepts cash, checks and pre-paid cards at the transfer station, also now requires employees to deposit each day’s receipts at the town hall every day at the close of business. In the past, Marnell said, employees would sometimes hold money for several days making it difficult to track.
A second employee has also been added at the transfer station to separate duties. One person serves as a cashier and the other handles the trash. In the past, Marnell said, a single employee at the station did both jobs.
“There were a lot of problems at the transfer station,” Marnell acknowledged. “We’ve since made a number of changes and everything seems to be going well.”