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Lynn weighs city-wide trash fee

LYNN — More than seven months after a trash fee for owners of multi-family properties was adopted, the city is expected to consider extending the surcharge to single-family homeowners, The Item has learned.

Enacted last summer by the City Council as the mayor’s office dealt with a $5 million budget deficit, bills for the trash file were never issued.

Peter Caron, the city’s chief financial officer, said billing for the original ordinance posed a logistical nightmare because the fee was to be imposed only on out-of-town landlords.

There were also exceptions to the fee. For example, if the owner of a two-family lived on the first floor, but leased the second floor to a relative, there would be no charge. The registration of such arrangements would create a hardship for the city to enforce, Caron said.

Originally, the city expected to raise about $2 million from the fee with the cost estimated to be in the $150,000 to $220,000 range annually. If the council sticks to those numbers for the revised ordinance, the city could raise as much as $3.7 million with the inclusion of single-family dwellings.

The city has nearly 17,000 single- and multi-family homes.

Caron said the goal was not necessarily to raise more money, but to make the implementation of the new fee easier.

Mayor Thomas M. McGee, City Council President Darren Cyr and former Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy did not return calls seeking comment.

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