Penn Forest Township Supervisors voted to leave garbage fees at the same rate next year during their normal monthly meeting on Monday evening. Supervisor chairman Paul Montemuro, asked the board to keep fees for 2010 at $100 for residents and $200 for commercial enterprises. The due date for payment of the fee is January 8, 2010.

"With billing getting straightened out, us not paying for recycling any more, even with Waste Management's anticipated increase of 3-5% next year, keeping control of our transfer station is going to keep our rates down," Montemuro said.

Supervisor Judith Knappenberger asked whether the due date for next year's fee couldn't be moved from January 8 to sometime later in the month to make it easier on retired people on fixed incomes.

"We could leave it the way it was last year with the January 31 due date and next year we change the data and they'll have enough time to know that it has been changed." Knappenberger said.

Montemuro said that waiting until later in the month created problems at the transfer station as people who had not yet purchased a current year permit were still trying to throw out garbage using the old permit, which was no longer valid. He said that most older residents will get their monthly checks on the 3rd, giving them time to make the payment by the 8th.

But Knappenberger argued that too many expenses would be coming due that early in the month.

"You've gotta remember they've got Christmas bills and house insurance, car insurance, everything is due," she said.

The motion was made and seconded. Knappenberger voted against the motion, but the other supervisors voted for it and the motion passed.

Knowing that Waste Management has already promised to raise rates next year, Supervisor Alan Katz suggested that the township put the word out to more companies, letting them know that the township would be seeking new bids once the existing Waste Management contract ends in July 2010. Montemuro agreed that the township should begin seeking information by January.