GREENVILLE, Maine — Greenville residents will be asked at the annual June town meeting to authorize selectmen to borrow $300,000 to help fund the landfill closing and the acquisition of land, if needed, for a transfer station.
Because the grandfathered landfill is contaminating the groundwater, the Department of Environmental Protection has ordered that the facility be closed.
Town officials have submitted a closure application to the DEP for a phased-in process that would conclude by 2012, but that application has not yet been approved, Karen Knuuti of the DEP said Friday.
Anticipating that OK, Greenville Town Manager John Simko received approval from selectmen Wednesday to ask residents to borrow the funds to start the process. The estimated cost to close the landfill over three years is $504,000, which would be shared by Beaver Cove, Shirley and the Unorganized Territory in Piscataquis County. The board hopes that some of the landfill-related costs would be reimbursed by the state should more funds become available.
“With that [$300,000] we can basically reduce our budget by a fairly significant amount, reducing it to a flat budget, and we also would create more flexibility purchasing the land going ahead,” Simko said Wednesday. He said the borrowing would take “a bit of a bite out” of future bonding for the transfer station construction.
Should the town not need to buy land, the remaining bond funds would be applied to the development of the transfer station, Simko said. Two properties now are being eyed for the project. The town hopes it can acquire a site by this summer or fall and then seek a permit from the DEP for the transfer station, Simko added.
Selectmen also agreed to request $10,000 at the June 1 town meeting as a contribution for the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce. The board had reduced the request to $8,000 but increased it Wednesday after Bob Hamer, the Chamber’s executive director, spoke about the Chamber’s activities.
Hamer said the Chamber relies yearly on membership fees and contributions from the town and Piscataquis County to fund the operation. The difference between those revenues and the budget, or about $68,000, is raised through fundraising efforts such as the popular Chocolate Festival, he said.
Also on Wednesday, selectmen voted to include a 3 percent cost-of-living increase for all municipal employees in the proposed budget.
Selectmen plan to complete the town warrant at a special meeting at 6 p.m. May 12 in the town office.