CHINA: Committee will not recommend new storage building

by Mary Grow

CHINA, ME — China Transfer Station Committee members decided at their May 17 meeting they will not recommend a new building to shelter the second compactor just north of the main trash hopper, because cost estimates are too high.

Instead, they plan to investigate a cover to protect the controls and container contents from rain and snow, both to extend their useful lives and to avoid paying to truck away water as well as trash for disposal.

Committee Chairman Lawrence Sikora said he had an estimate of $238,000 for a 20-by-20-foot metal building – to protect an $80,000 piece of equipment. Such an expenditure would make sense only if the building were multi-purpose, in Sikora’s opinion, and neither he nor others present suggested other uses.

Sikora asked committee member Mark Davis to see about prices for waterproof tarps from an Augusta source. Director of Public Services Shawn Reed commented that town truck bodies have canvas covers; the only problem is that they’re hard to roll up when covered with snow.

Committee members again agreed to recommend that select board members buy a new loader as soon as possible. They took no vote because, Sikora pointed out, they already made a formal recommendation at their April 12 meeting (see The Town Line, April 21, p. 3).

Reed said the prices he had as of March 1 have already gone up, one by $14,000, another by $20,000.

Reed strongly recommended the new machine have a quick-connect bucket that can be removed and replaced with a 12-foot “pusher” to remove snow. That addition would have cost $10,000 and is now $11,790, he said; but the overtime money it will save over the life of the machine – which could be 25 years — makes it still worthwhile.

Another pending improvement at the transfer station is a cement pad on which to store appliances, tires and other items awaiting disposal. Reed, referring to a map of the transfer station on page 60 of the newly-printed China town report (for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021), pointed out the shortage of unoccupied space. He intends to talk with Codes Officer Jaime Hanson about setbacks from boundaries and other regulatory issues before suggesting a site.

Robert Kurek, one of Palermo’s representatives, shared information compiled from RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags by his colleague, Chris Diesch. The pages show how often a given tag was recorded, without giving any information about the person to whom it was issued.

Committee members have previously discussed making fuller use of information the RFID system can provide. They have also considered scrapping it and returning to stickers on vehicles; and installing a “guard station” at the entrance.

Site Manager Tim Grotton said if there were a manned entrance, some type of placard or sticker would still be needed, unless newcomers were expected to produce a driver’s license to get in. Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood would like an annual renewal requirement for RFID placards, if they continued to be used.

Committee members again reached no conclusions.

The committee’s next regular meeting date would be June 14; since that is voting day, the committee will not meet June 14. Sikora announced his pending resignation from the committee, due to time constraints, and suggested others should choose a meeting day.


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