Camden Herald Letters to the Editor, Nov. 29

Nov 29, 2018

Explaining the solid waste weighted vote arrangement

In response to the [Camden Herald] Nov.15 article, “Mid-Coast Solid Waste board approves food composting program,” I see why they haven’t made any progress in a number of years. For a couple of years, the representatives from Hope and Lincolnville have been demanding an equal vote as opposed to the weighted vote arrangement that was agreed to when the Inter-Local Agreement between the four towns (Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockport) was first approved back in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The last paragraph of the article says it all. Michael Brown, one of the two representatives from Lincolnville, confuses the weighted vote’s impact on the assessment of overall, budgeted costs with the cost to an individual citizen to dispose of their solid waste via the Pay-As-You-Throw (a.k.a., the yellow bags) program. Under the weighted vote provision, Hope has about 10 percent, Lincolnville, about 17 percent, Rockport about 31percent and Camden about 43 percent of the “vote” (does not equal 100 percent due to rounding). Each representative (each town is authorized two representatives) get one-half of the “vote” for their town but can vote the full amount if the other member isn’t present.

Yes, that sounds unfair on the surface, but that weight carries over to the allocation of the cost, meaning Camden as a whole pays about 43 percent of the costs to operate the facility (transfer station and land fill) while Hope pays only 9 percent. The so called “weight” is determined by the most recent population count (2010 U.S. Census) plus the state’s estimated total town valuation. Since Camden has the largest population and the highest estimated valuation, they pay the most and get the largest vote. The current fiscal year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019) budget shows that the cost to operate the facility, over and above the fees charged “at the gate,” and charged to the towns, is $511,282. Of that, the taxpayers of Camden are paying $217,584; Hope pays $50,162; Lincolnville pays $86,696 and Rockport pays $156,841.

If Mr. Brown had his way and each town had an equal vote, the amount charged to Camden would be reduced by $89,763.50 while Lincolnville would pay an additional $41,124.50. I am sure both Camden and Rockport taxpayers would be happy with that arrangement! Or, does Mr. Brown actually believe that the price of a yellow bag for Hope and Lincolnville residents be reduced to mirror the voting weight, while price for Camden and Rockport residents increased? The vote is weighted because the cost allocation is weighted. And, that cost should not be confused with the cost to the individual to dispose of their trash.
William Chapman
Former member of MCSWC Board of Directors, Rockport

Conservation District says thanks

Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District congratulates all the individuals who were honored Thursday, Nov 1, at the Knox-Lincoln SWCD 71st Annual Awards Banquet at Camp Wavus in Jefferson.

This year we recognized the following conservationists for their contributions:

Conservation Farm of 2018: Cooper Funk & Marina Sideris of Dooryard Farm in Camden in recognition of farming practices to promote soil health for generations to come

Lifetime Service Award: William Laflamme of Sidney for 36 years of service in soil and water conservation at Maine DEP

Special Appreciation Award: North Nobleboro Community Association for community service and more than 30 years of hosting the Knox-Lincoln SWCD Awards Banquet (Janet Spear, accepting)

Volunteer of the Year: Gail Presley of Rockland, with many thanks for assistance with the spring plant sale

Woodland Stewardship Award: Dick Koubek of Bremen for managing for the future forest

Excellence in Conservation Education: Coral Coombs, Lincolnville Central School; Ferolyn Curtis, South School in Rockland; and Pamela Walton, Gilford Butler School in SouthThomaston for bringing environmental education to elementary classrooms

Along with congratulating our conservation award winners, we held a raffle as one of our yearly fundraisers. Thank you to all who attended our awards banquet and contributed to conservation efforts over the year.

We appreciate the following individuals and local businesses, who generously donated prizes for our raffle which raised $300 and ensured that we can continue with these efforts: Sharon Abair, Dragonfly Cove Farm, Fireside Pottery, Fresh Off the Farm, Green Thumb, Hatchet Cove Farm, Midcoast Conservancy, Mystic Woodworks, Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery, School House Farms, State of Maine Cheese, Jean Vose and Warren True Value.

Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District


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