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Thomaston to hold public hearing on reserve account

By Christine Simmonds | Feb 19, 2021
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Thomaston voters will decide on a reserve account for the Owls Head, South Thomaston and Thomaston Cooperative Transfer Station.

Thomaston — Thomaston will hold a public hearing Feb. 22 about an upcoming special town meeting.

The hearing will be held over Zoom at the start of the Select Board meeting at 6 p.m to discuss article 2, the only warrant item being voted on at the March 3 town meeting.

The article establishes a solid waste facility reserve account with money received from when the town stopped doing business with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company in 2017. Creating a reserve account allows the Select Board to spend funds without needing voter approval.

Town Manager Kara George said once the funds are placed in a reserve account, the board can only use them for the purpose approved by the voters. In this case, the funds would be for expenses at the transfer station, including an upcoming renovation project.

Zel Bowman-Laberge, who is a member of both the Thomaston Select Board and the board of directors for the Owls Head, South Thomaston and Thomaston Solid Waste Co-Operative, said the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company was hired to remove waste from the transfer station.

When the town voted to leave the company in 2017, Penobscot Energy Recovery Company refunded Thomaston $363,440.93.

Also part of the article being voted on at the special town meeting is the approval of $48,578 for the purchase of a new compacter for the transfer station.

This leaves $314,862.93 plus interest for the solid waste facility reserve account.

Bowman-Leberge said the select board already voted to spend the money, thinking the funds from Penobscot Energy Recovery Company were placed in a reserve account.

“It was a misunderstanding,” said Bowman-Laberge. She said once the board realized this was not the case, they scheduled the special town meeting.

The town meeting will be held Wednesday, March 3 at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the Thomaston Municipal Building.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Anson Norton | Feb 20, 2021 09:10

This article states that creating a reserve account would allow the selectboard to spend reserve funds without voter approval. Then it contradicts itself by Kara George saying the board could only spend them for a voter approved purpose. Which is it?

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