May 26, 2018
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Recycling options on Abbot agenda

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

ABBOT, Maine — More benefits and some savings offered through a solid waste and recycling option will be presented to residents at the annual town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 16, in the municipal building.

Residents will be offered two options this year regarding solid waste: continue as is with the transfer station in town or contract with the Mid Maine Solid Waste facility in Dexter, according to Selectman Jan Ronco, the board’s chairman.

“We’re not saying they have to; we’re just proposing the idea as a possible way to save some tax revenue,” Ronco said Monday.

Residents now have to purchase trash bags from the town and then haul the trash and recyclables to the transfer station located behind the municipal building. The town contracts to have the recyclables hauled to the Dexter facility; the solid waste is trucked to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.

If the town contracted with Mid Maine Solid Waste, residents would have to haul both materials to the Dexter facility, or they could contract with a private rubbish collector to take it for them, according to Ronco.

The benefits of joining the Dexter facility would include more service and more options, Ronco said. The recycling program in Dexter accepts more varieties of recyclables than are being accepted by the town, and the Dexter facility is open more days than the town service. In addition, residents no longer would be required to purchase special trash bags from the town, she said. She figures the change would save the town about $13,000.

Ronco said residents are encouraged to talk with selectmen about the option so they are better prepared for the town meeting vote.

Although the budget is not yet final, Ronco said the spending plan would require $174,170 from taxation. This would reflect about a 6 percent increase from 2008.

“One of the reasons that it looks high is because we slashed the road budget so much last year,” Ronco said. She said there is not a lot left to cut. The budget includes $42,000 for road improvements from taxation as well as $8,000 from surplus — the undesignated fund.

Ronco said most accounts either stayed the same or decreased a little, so most of the increase is reflected in roads. “We want to be able to at least maintain the roads,” she said.

Two land use ordinance changes will require voter attention. The planning board has recommended amending the minimum lot size so proposed setbacks on boundary lines are 10 feet and setbacks from roads are 50 feet, according to Ronco. In addition, an amendment is proposed in the shoreland zoning ordinance to conform with the state’s regulations and to clarify some of the language.

Elections will include a selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor, town clerk, town treasurer and fire warden.

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