Board of Supervisors
Quarterly District Meeting
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Springfield Select Board Hall, 3rd Floor, Springfield, Vermont
At 6:00 p.m., Forrest Randall, Board Chair, opened the public hearing. Tom Kennedy, District Manager, described the District’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWIP) for 2015-2020. F. Randall asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing at 6:03 p.m.
Forrest Randall, Board Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m.
1. Changes to the agenda
Tom Kennedy, District Manager, asked that an agenda item be moved to accommodate the imminent arrival of someone driving from Shaftsbury to attend the meeting.
2. Roll Call
Board supervisors present included: Forrest Randall, Springfield; Derek Suursoo, Chester; Tom Yennerell (alternate), Springfield; Cynthia Gibbs, Grafton; Wayne Wheelock, Baltimore; Frank Heald, Ludlow; Bruce McEnaney, Cavendish; Joe Fromberger, Andover; Gary DeRosia, Rockingham; John Oberling, Athens; Tom Kenyon; West Windsor; and John Denner, (alternate) Ludlow
Others present included: Tom Kennedy, District Manager; Mary T. O’Brien, District Clerk and Recycling Coordinator; Ham Gillett, District Outreach Coordinator; Bob Forguites, District Treasurer; Jim Toher, Casella Waste; Matt Priestley, Al Basso, and Paula Basso, Alva Waste; Walter Marton, Springfield Select Board member; Trevor Mance, TAM Waste Management; Joe Ruggiero, Ruggiero Trash Removal; and Shane O’Keefe, Rockingham Town Manager
A quorum was achieved with ten towns represented.
3. Approve minutes of October 27, 2016 meeting
T. Kenyon made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 27, 2016 meeting as published. D. Suursoo seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
4. Acceptance of Treasurer’s Report
B. Forguites noted that at this point we are 50% through the fiscal year. District income is at 47.7% and expenses are at 48.3% of the budget, expenses exceeding income by $1,100. The District had anticipated using $21,000 out of the fund balance by the end of the fiscal year. D. Suursoo made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. F. Heald seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
(F. Randall skipped to #7 on the agenda.)
7. Update on the USDA Grant
H. Gillett gave the Board an update on the USDA grant. He noted that he, T. Kennedy, and M. O’Brien had just finished the 1st quarter progress report for the grant. He summarized some of the report and then stated that the District would be applying for a composting supplies grant from the Agency of Natural Resources.
8. Recycling Coordinator’s Report
M. O’Brien further discussed the composting supplies grant and the reason to apply for it; with the additional requirements of Act 148 Universal Recycling, the District would like to encourage residents to divert food scraps from the landfill by backyard composting. The District will heavily discount the cost of SoilSaver composters to purchasers who also attend a composting workshop – a mandate of the grant.
(F. Randall went back to the two skipped agenda items.)
5. Discussion of the Solid Waste RFP and selection of a hauler to provide the service beginning on July 1, 2017
The Request for Proposals (RFP) deadline was on Friday, January 20; on Monday, January 23, the Executive Committee reviewed the two proposals that were received and decided not to accept either one because the Committee had questions and decided to open up the process again. The Committee did not ask the Board to take any action but will meet with the two proposers in February and return with a recommendation at the Board’s meeting in April.
In the current hauler’s (Casella) contract, there is an allowance for two one-year extensions on the contract. J. Fromberger asked if the vendor needs to be notified 90 days before the Board decides to extend the current contract.
J. Fromberger said that since he was the one who made the motion to not accept either of the proposals, he is not against the Executive Committee interviewing them and returning with a recommendation in April. T. Kenyon asked if it is limited to the two proposers. T. Kennedy responded in the affirmative.
6. Discussion of the District offering a grant program to member towns for the purchase of capital equipment
F. Randall noted that there had been an on-going discussion in the Executive Committee about the money that the District has been holding. T. Kennedy asked J. Fromberger or B. Forguites to speak about the history of the bi-state district and its dissolution. J. Fromberger volunteered. He stated that in 1977, the State of Vermont was concerned about unlined landfills and passed a law to close them by 1986 and mandating that towns provide for solid waste disposal. It was suggested that a solid waste district could be created that would discharge the solid waste responsibilities of the towns.
Originally, there were twelve towns (two of them in Windham County – Rockingham and Westminster) in the newly-created district. All funding has been on user fees based on tonnage. The District got together with New Hampshire towns to achieve the trash volume needed to build an incinerator. Twenty-five million dollars had to be raised. After twenty years, the bi-state district was dissolved and since 2007, the District has been on its own. The Board at that time, voted to set aside $404,196 to use if and when the State required that certain projects be done. J. Fromberger said that the money was never raised by the towns – it was raised by user fees. He stated his opposition to a town grant program (unless the grant money is returned with interest) and his opposition to the proposed disbursement of the funds to towns.
F. Randall noted that there was a requirement that the tonnage from District towns had to go to the incinerator, where the haulers had to state which town(s) they were hauling trash from. J. Fromberger said that was to enable an equitable disbursement of the funds if a dissolution came about. B. Forguites asked to meet with J. Fromberger and T. Kennedy to discuss the options and come up with a recommendation for the Executive Committee and the full Board. B. Forguites described the scenarios that the Executive Committee had discussed and noted that the District had not spent a penny of those monies. J. Fromberger stated that the revenue from the fund does reduce the operating fees and enables the District to have the low fee of $7/ton. Currently, the District gets a return of 2% with a collateralized bank investment.
F. Heald spoke from the perspective of the town managers about the financial challenges that they have with their transfer stations, particularly capital equipment. Hauling fees are high so compacting recyclables would help with that expense. The genesis of the discussion can be traced to that difficulty. F. Randall explained that the monies could remain as is – the status quo could prevail but if the towns need assistance then perhaps the policy could change. B. Forguites suggested that if the State had a grant program, it might not award a grant to the District because of its reserve fund.
T. Yennerell and G. DeRosia noted that their transfer stations could use some of the fund to invest in capital equipment. T. Yennerell asked the Board members to consider that possibility. M. Priestly stated that at the incinerator, the town tonnage was a guesstimate. J. Fromberger agreed that those numbers were soft but that the last eleven years of the operating budget of the incinerator were remarkable consistent and were used to disburse funds when the incinerator closed and the bi-state solid waste district was dissolved. M. Priestly pointed out that of the 24,000 total tons that are generated in the District annually, 20,000 are handled by haulers and 4,000 tons are brought to the transfer stations.
F. Randall appointed J. Fromberger, B. Forguites, and T. Kennedy to a committee which would create a recommendation to bring to the Executive Committee and then to the full Board at the April meeting. T. Kenyon asked how much a compactor costs. The response was, all-in, $25,000-$30,000.
9. Old Business: none
10. New Business
D. Suursoo mentioned Amazon’s program that enables people to fill Amazon boxes with unwanted clothing, bring the boxes to a drop-off site, and have the boxes shipped for free to Goodwill.
At 7:00 p.m., J. Fromberger made a motion to adjourn the meeting.
Mary T. O’Brien
The next quarterly District meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the same location.
The next quarterly meeting of the Board of Supervisors is the annual meeting. It is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Select Board's Meeting Room, 3rd floor, Springfield Town Offices. The public is welcome to attend.