Public Works asked me to update and clarify for readers that seniors who rent homes in Southborough also qualify for free Transfer Station permits.
On Wednesday, I posted that the permits were free to senior homeowners and that proof of homeownership (in the form of a property tax bill) is required. That caused some consternation and confusion.
Apparently, the language in the posted FAQs and on the rules and regs is inaccurate. It states that to qualify, seniors must be the owner of record for the property. But, as DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan explained in an email to me, it would have been more accurate to say “primary resident at the residence”.
Nothing has changed for seniors this year. . .
they need to own the house or they need to be the leasee of the house or apartment. This came about from seniors moving in with their children’s families and getting free transfer permits for the household. Residents took issue with this, so the town tries to ensure that residents who should be paying for permits, pay for permits.
We have always checked drivers licenses and have checked homeownership or lease agreements. We were able to check ownership in the office, and if the address is a rental development, such as Madison Place or Colonial Gardens, we would not ask for a lease agreement; however, someone renting at a house, or an entire house, would show the lease agreement. Again, nothing has changed for seniors, I just think that now that people are uploading documents with the new permit software, other people are becoming aware of the regulation.
I believe that we need to clarify the definition of a senior resident on the rules and regulations to say “…owners of record, or leases of a Southborough residence…”. No one noticed that it didn’t include renters, but that definition hasn’t changed (except for the dates) over the years, but it obviously isn’t clear and needs to be changed.
If you are a senior born before 12/31/57 who rents a residence in Southborough and you are unsure what proof you need to provide, you can contact the DPW directly at at (508) 485-1210. They are open weekdays from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.