Public hearing set on solid waste ordinance

April 22
By Beth A. Birmingham | Apr 10, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham

Waldoboro — An executive session held April 2 with selectmen from Waldoboro, Friendship and Cushing has resulted in the setting of a public hearing.

On the agenda are proposed changes to Attachments A and B of the Waldoboro Solid Waste Disposal and Required Recycling Ordinance. A copy of the proposed changes is on file with the town clerk and can be found on the town website.

All interested persons are invited to attend the public hearing Tuesday, April 22, at 6 p.m. at the Waldoboro Town Office.

The three town's Board of Selectmen met April 2 to discuss the proposed changes with Lee Bragg of the Portland law firm Bernstein Shur, who has been conducting a review of the ordinance.

The changes have already been approved by the Transfer Station Committee, according to an email correspondence from Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs.

Of primary concern in the amendment process is verbiage and confirming that the ordinance is enforceable.

At its March 26 meeting, the Transfer Station Committee agreed to change the wording to clarify the issuing of waste hauler licenses and collection of fees. Also agreed upon was the minimum goal of 30 percent recyclables, and "only garbage shall remain for deposit into the Transfer Station compactor after such separation."

At a March 6 meeting, Public Works Director John Daigle informed the committee that individual haulers are more than meeting the 30 percent recycling guideline. If permitted users do not have 30 percent, transfer station staff can open the bags and charge the applicable fees.

Daigle further stated there are only two haulers that are not in compliance.

Although he said the selectmen reported getting calls from people complaining, the Transfer Station Committee has not had any incidents documented.

Further amendments were made to the Fines, Penalties and Sanctions section of the ordinance. Chairman Bob Butler suggested that a recent incident demanded extensive clarifications to ensure everyone understands violence in the workplace.

Instead of referencing OSHA regulations on the subject, the committee agreed by consensus that the lengthy explanation — as amended — will further a better understanding of what constitutes workplace violence.

The incident Butler referred to was the selectmen's decision to permanently suspend a driver for "unacceptable behavior" toward Transfer Station personnel. This occurred following a closed door session of the selectmen Feb. 25.

Scale purchase supported

In other business, following a discussion with both partner towns, the Waldoboro Board of Selectmen decided 3-2 to support the purchase and installation of a 70-foot scale at the Transfer Station. Selectmen Carl Cunningham and Ron Miller opposed the purchase.

Studies conducted by DSM and Pine Tree Engineering — which were paid for by funds contributed by all three towns — recommended a 70-foot scale versus a 40-foot scale. Several selectmen were opposed to spending the extra $30,000 for the larger scale.

Interim Town Manager Wes Richardson had pointed out at an earlier meeting that the cost difference would grow as time passes, and recommended the larger scale purchase as well.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
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Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.

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