By Pattie Pacella, Neighb News Correspondent
Trash talk dominated the night at the last Acushnet Selectboard meeting on 6/21. Dan Menard of the Department of Public Works, upated the board on the use of the new trash barrel system that has been in existence for approximately a year. The board also discussed disposing of bulky items.
Mr. Menard told the Selectboard that the tonnage of trash did not decrease much from the year before, with the new system in place.
“It only decreased by 13 percent,” he said. However, he was happy that the recycleables have increased about 35%.
The Board reviewed the cost of an extra barrel to a home and what the cost would be on an annual basis. Mr. Menard explained that 35 residents have taken on an extra trash can at a fee of $65, and that previous discussions took place on what the fee would be for the extra tonnage.
Chairperson Kevin Gaspar said that he remembered the conversation and stated that they should send a letter to the 35 residents with the extra barrel and advise that they would be paying an extra $67 a year for the extra tonnage.
“I believe it was understood that if a resident took an extra barrel, they would also be paying for the extra tonnage for the waste,” Mr. Gaspar stated.
Selectboard member Roger Cabral said that it should not be understood, but should be communicated to the residents that they would have this extra fee. He explained that a trash flyer was just sent to all residents. but it did not include any fees of an extra barrel, or tonnage, that would be passed onto the resident.
“I think if a resident wants to opt out of having a second barrel, they should be able to,” Mr. Cabral said.
Town Administrator Brian Noble agreed. He said that residents could absolutely return the barrel if they did not want to pay the extra fee. He agreed to add the fees to the website as well as add it to the flyer next year.
Mr. Menard was also present to discuss and review a recycle collection prices flyer he had given to the Selectboard. He stated that he used different neighboring towns’ prices to come up with the flyer and agreed to trial the fees for the next six months.
If a resident would like to dump anything from shingles to carpets, mattresses, or a couch, they could do so at the DPW for a fee. Mr. Noble stated that he was hoping the fee schedule would be online so that residents could pay online, print their receipt and take it down with the items to be dumped at the DPW for easy calculations.
In a conversation with Mr. Menard after the meeting, he advised that they never were able to take tires before, but now would for a small fee. The fees run at $15.00 for a couch or love seat, to $30.00 for a mattress or box spring. Residents should contact the DPW for the prices.
In another matter, the Selectboard discussed a situation at 55 James Street. The Public Safety Department and the Board of Health agreed the Town needed to take it over to clean the property up.
Mr. Gaspar said it should have been taken care of a long time ago and the “conditions just keep getting worse and worse.”
Mr. Noble stated that there is approximately $50,000 owed to the Town, plus the clean-up being done by the Town would cost another $4,000.
“We are definitely going to be upside down on this property,” Mr. Noble said. “But it has to get done.”
The Board agreed to hold a public meeting on August 15, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Noble stated that the owner could come to that public hearing to be heard on the property.
In the Town Administrator’s report, Mr. Noble advised the Selectboard he would be requesting that they appoint a Cable Advisory Committee at their next meeting.
Mr. Noble also advised that they would be discussing the draft proposal letter he has written to FERC regarding the LNG project. He said that he felt they still had time to review his draft as there are only two commissioners on FERC as right now, which is not even a quorum to conduct business. He said they would be discussing the draft letter at their next meeting.
In other business, Mr. Gaspar reviewed the summer schedule of Town Hall’s hours. Town Hall is now on a four-day work week, with Tuesday as a twelve hour day. The hours are: Monday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed on Fridays.
The Selectboard voted to close town offices on Monday, July 3, at Mr. Noble’s suggestion.
“Employees would be required to use a vacation day or personal day,” Mr. Noble said. “And if they don’t want to, I’m sure I can find something for them to do.”
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