“Toilet Tax” rejected in Ridgewood
Monday October 21, 2013, 12:17 PM
BY DARIUS AMOS
The Ridgewood News
The Ridgewood Council rejected an ordinance that would have increased sewage fees for significant dischargers, welcome news to many restaurant owners in the Central Business District (CBD) who previously resisted the proposal.
“The sewer fees will not increase this year, but there will be further discussion of what will be done going forward,” Mayor Paul Aronsohn announced prior to the council’s unanimous vote to defeat the ordinance calling for the fee hike.
Considered by the village’s governing body in the latter portion of the summer, the proposed ordinance and its public hearing were continued from month to month until Ridgewood officials could discuss the increases with Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce leaders. Some downtown business owners, meanwhile, spoke publicly during council meetings and suggested the fees unfairly targeted CBD establishments.
“You have a handful of significant dischargers, people who utilize the system, and then you have thousands of other customers who utilize it far more,” said Paul Vagianos, whose East Ridgewood Avenue restaurant is billed an excessive discharge fee. “Those other customers aren’t charged. Only a handful of businesses and non-profits [are charged], most of them are small businesses and mom-and-pop operations.”