China committee re-explains fees at transfer station

by Mary Grow

At their Nov. 14 meeting, China transfer station committee members re-explained that facility users should expect to be charged for many items they donate to the free-for-the-taking building.

Not everything that someone donates is picked up by someone else, and rejects end up being thrown out. If the item can be disposed of without cost, like metal, glass that is crushed and used for road mix or clothing that goes to the separate donation box down the hill, there is no fee.

If getting rid of the item will end up costing taxpayers money, there is a fee.

Sometimes, as committee chairman Paul Lucas illustrated, the fee is reimbursed. Lucas remembers paying $2 to leave something and, when it was picked up before he left the premises, getting his money back.

He and Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood both suggested an alternative disposal method for things that seem too good to throw away: put them by the road with a “Free” sign and watch them go.

The other major topic Nov. 14 was the China-Palermo contract under which Palermo residents use China’s transfer station. Palermo select board member and transfer station committee member Robert Kurek said Palermo had just received notice of China’s intention to terminate the contract, effective Nov. 13, 2024.

Kurek expects Palermo officials will ask their town attorney for advice.

Committee members have discussed at length complains about some Palermo residents – “Always just a few,” Lucas commented – who evade rules and when challenged react rudely.

Transfer station stickers now available

New China transfer station stickers are now available at the China town office, for a $2 annual fee. They will be required for China residents to enter the transfer station beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood said the stickers are “cling, not sticky,” so they won’t mess up the vehicle to which they are affixed. They show the vehicle’s license plate number, but not the name of the town, as a privacy protection.

In other business, station Manager Thomas Maraggio reported on pending equipment upgrades and on satisfactory relations with Albion, whose residents are now allowed to dispose of some items not covered by their curbside pick-up program.

Maraggio recommended increasing the budget for equipment maintenance next year.

Director of Public Services Shawn Reed added that his department needs money to fix the leaking roof of the sand shed.

Reed said he is waiting for recommendations from the state Department of Environmental Protection for dealing with PFAS-contaminated water at the transfer station (see the Oct. 19 issue of The Town Line, p. 3).

Committee members scheduled their next meeting for 9 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19. Lucas indicated he might not be there: after six or seven years on the committee, he is ready to resign and let someone else take his place.

Hapgood reminded him of the shortage of volunteers for town positions.


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