Virtually every month Summit Hill Borough Council receives - and approves - requests from property owners who want to be exempted from paying their garbage bills because their properties are vacant.

Effective 2011, those exemptions will be considered only once a year - in January, the council said last night.

Last night one exemption request was received.

Councilman Michael Alabovitz asked regarding the exemption request, "Will this continue monthly?"

He was informed by Council President Joseph Weber that the ordinance allowing the exemptions states property owners must apply every year by January 1 for the exemption or they will not be considered. The ordinance went into effect this year. Numerous exemptions have been approved, but those who have received the waivers of fees must apply by Jan. 1 to have them continue.

The major rule to qualify for the exemption is that the property must be vacant for a continuous six-month period.

The request was granted to the lone applicant last night.

In another matter regarding trash collection, it was noted that the borough's annual fall clean-up will be held on Thursday, Oct. 7 on the east side of the borough as well as Knepper's Trailer Court and all of White Bear Drive. The clean-up for the west side and all of Laurel Drive and Mountaintop Drive will be on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

The council tabled a proposal by First Niagara Bank to allow a credit card option by the bank for trash collection payments.

Weber said the if the option is eventually accepted, it could extend to taxes, zoning law fees, and citations.

The concerns were that there could be a fee charged to the borough and it's not a guarantee that the money would be collected.

The council said it wants more time to study the proposal.