Town Representatives: Keith Squires (Arlington), Stu Hurd (Bennington), Rob Gaiotti (Dorset), John O’Keefe (Manchester), Nancy Bushika (Stamford), Steve Bendix (Sunderland), Betty Charette and Mike Charette (Woodford)
Not in Attendance: Megan Randall (Pownal), Sandy Gaszek (Searsburg), Ricky Harrington (Glastenbury), Mark Lourie (Rupert), Suzie dePeyster (Sandgate)1 , Mitch Race (Shaftsbury)
BCRC Staff: Michael S. Batcher
Town of Pownal: Tom Shuey
Location and Time: Arlington Town Hall – 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Introductions: Keith called the meeting to order just as the seventh representative sat down at the table. Tom Shuey attended as he runs the Pownal transfer station. He has not been appointed as an alternate, but was invited to sit in as a nonvoting member.
Minutes: Keith asked if anyone had any changes to the minutes. Steve Bendix moved to approve and Mike Charette seconded and the resolution to approve the minutes was adopted unanimously.
1. See Post Meeting Note below
Status of SWIP: Keith asked if the SWIP was ready to be adopted. Michael responded that Glastenbury and Woodford had just adopted their pay as you throw ordinances which we needed to add to the SWIP before sending it for pre-approval. He had made the changes requested by VT ANR and would contact them to confirm the process for approval and adoption. Nancy asked what we needed to do to modify the SWIP. Changes would have to be approved by the board and by VT ANR.
Discussion of BCRC Contract: Keith started the discussion on the proposed BCRC contract focusing on Attachment A. There was general concern about the overall cost of the contract. Keith had concerns over duplication between the RFQs and the BCRC contract. For example, an RFQ has been issued to hire a contractor to design a web site, and the BCRC contract has BCRC providing content for that web site. This seemed like duplication to him. Michael explained that the web designer would design and host the site, but we would need to provide content unless they also had expertise in solid waste management and the Universal Recycling Law. John O’Keefe wondered if we could just get the code from another solid waste entity and save a lot of money. Michael explained that one of the potential vendors was the Windham Solid Waste District, but that he had no experience with creating a web site and BCRC could not host that site. John brought up the Windham SWD web site on his computer and he and Stu agreed that seemed like a simple and appropriate layout.
Stu stated that he had expressed concern to Michael before on the total costs. Michael explained how he had developed these estimates. John asked if there were more details, and Michael offered his workbook detailing cost estimates to anyone who would like to review it. Stu stated that the contract was for an amount that could not be exceeded, and Michael agreed adding that it could not be exceeded without the approval of the Alliance. However, the program had to be self-sufficient and BCRC could not use funds from other sources to subsidize the Alliance.
The discussion moved to sludge and biosolids. John wondered why the Alliance was involved in this, and Michael explained it was a requirement in the VT ANR Materials Management Plan. Stu and John said they already have programs to educate septic system contractors on what they can deposit at the waste treatment plants. Michael mentioned that we needed to educate residents and businesses on what they could flush down the toilet, especially pharmaceuticals. John thought that was a bigger issue that should be addressed by pharmacies. There was discussion of drug take-back program operated by the county sheriff, the Manchester Police and Bennington Police. Michael said that might not serve all the towns well as it was unlikely residents from Rupert would drive to one of those sites to dispose of their pharmaceuticals. He said that the DEA was providing less funding for local take-back programs, but they would be sponsoring some later this summer.
The discussion then moved to clean wood and leaf and yard debris. Tom said they were taking materials now. Stu said they also took materials, and TAM used some in their compost operation. Michael said that residents of all the towns needed to be able to dispose of leaf and yard debris. Towns like Rupert may not be taking that material.
Steve asked why A2 on sharing services was in the contract as all that was listed “took care of itself.” Michael responded that the system we now have serves different residents differently. What residents can dispose of in Pownal is different from what they can dispose of in Rupert or Bennington. In fact, getting back to the web site content issue, VT ANR wants that site to have an A to Z list so that residents can look up “mattress” and find out what they can do with those. What they can do will differ from town to town, making that list complicated. Over time, the towns need to determine how they could share services and share the costs if, for example, someone from Shaftsbury wanted to use the Bennington transfer station.
Stu suggested that insurance could be acquired from VLCT, and that the board members are likely already covered. HHW and similar events would require liability insurance. The contract specified that both the Alliance and BCRC should have adequate and necessary insurance.
Nancy asked what we had decided about Somerset. Stu said we had decided not to take on Somerset. She asked why, and Stu replied that taking on Somerset would be problematic as they had only a few residents and were an unorganized town. Michael said the Alliance would need to serve them, for instance, making sure they had access to HHW events and a transfer station that took leaf and yard debris. He had spoken to Bob Spencer who suggested that their town supervisor attend a Windham Solid Waste District board meeting.
Keith said that TAM was doing outreach and asked if the Alliance could somehow use that as part of their program. Michael said TAM is serving their customers and we need to reach all the residents, including those served by Casella or Republic. Keith suggested if TAM did the outreach, they may gain some customers.
Stu volunteered to review the SWIP, talk with John and with Pownal on their treatment plant operations and add information on current programs. Michael said if there are current programs for biosolids, then we only need to state we will be continuing those. Stu will make those changes and then meet with Keith and Michael for further work on the contract. Keith again expressed concern about duplication between contracts.
There was some discussion on hauler registration. Bennington and Sandgate have sent out letters and Pownal, Sunderland, and Stamford are in the process of doing so. Michael had heard complaints from TAM that they did not like having to register with all 13 towns. He suggested that the Alliance might be able to do that. Stu felt it was the towns’ responsibility as each had an ordinance that only they could enforce.
Scheduling Fall HHW Events: Michael asked about the next HHW event. Bennington has scheduled theirs for October 3rd and Michael suggested we use the same date. There had been some traffic problems at the Bennington event which Stu attributed to a late setup by Clean Harbors. Stamford, Glastenbury, Pownal and Shaftsbury will participate in the Bennington event and the other towns in the BCRC event, which Michael hopes to hold at the Riley Rink if they approve.
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at the Arlington Town Hall from 4:00 to 6:00 PM to continue discussing the draft contract with BCRC. By approximately 5:30 PM, we had covered the agenda. Stu moved and Steve seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting and that resolution was adopted unanimously.
Post Meeting Note: Suzie dePeyster arrived at about 6:02 and spoke with Michael and Keith about notifying haulers. She said Sandgate has sent out letters but received no response. Michael said TAM had called him about those and was not happy about having to register with 13 towns. Suzie asked what to do if they received no response. Keith suggested they contact VT ANR, but write a second letter first.