China transfer station committee recommends purchase of utility vehicle

by Mary Grow

China transfer station committee members voted at their March 7 meeting to recommend to the select board purchase of a utility vehicle for transfer station staff use.

The vote was unanimous, with two transfer station staffers and road foreman Shawn Reed abstaining to avoid any appearance of self-interest (although Reed said he doubts public works would need to borrow the machine).

Station attendants currently use a donated golf cart to move things to their proper disposal locations. Transfer station manager Tom Maraggio said the new vehicle will accommodate larger things, like discarded air conditioners and television sets.

The price for the recommended Polaris Ranger 500 is $10,699. Staffer Cheyenne Houle had two other bids on different models, one higher and one slightly lower.

The China transfer station offers a six-page hand-out describing what materials can be recycled (with a reminder that the list may change as markets for recyclables change) and what other discards are acceptable, free or for a fee, with an aerial photo labeled to show where different things go.

She and Maraggio recommended the Polaris as the only one offered with a roll cage and lights, and as probably the most durable of the choices. Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood said the transfer station capital expenditures fund has enough 2022-23 money left to cover the cost.

Hapgood said she would put the request on the agenda for the Monday, March 13, select board meeting.

Two other transfer station projects are pending, paving in two areas and putting a cover over the new compactor.

Houle had asked for price quotes on paving and gotten only one, so far. Reed is having the same problem as he tries to budget for road paving in the coming summer; he predicted that by the end of March, companies will have a better idea of per-ton paving costs and will be more willing to offer estimated prices.

Houle said she has no bids yet on a cover for the pre-crusher.

Two other topics at the March 7 meeting were using the RFID (radio frequency identification) system to get more information about transfer station use, and refiguring the fee charged Palermo residents for their trash bags.

Hapgood said too many non-residents are using the China transfer station, which is supported primarily by China residents’ property taxes. Some people borrow residents’ RFID tags; some move out of town, find that their new town’s disposal system is less convenient or more expensive and continue to bring trash to China.

Committee members discussed ways to make the RFID system more useful. Hapgood and committee chairman Paul Lucas think requiring annual renewals would be one way to help keep records up to date. Hapgood accepted Houle’s offer to explore additional uses with the company that runs the system.

The updated version of the agreement under which Palermo residents use China’s facility calls for a recalculation of the bag fee each spring, so it can be adjusted as costs change. Palermo representative Robert Kurek reviewed the process, which Hapgood said she has started.

Committee members scheduled their next meeting for 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, in the China town office meeting room.


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