Greenville may end going it alone on its transfer station

Posted Nov. 23, 2011, at 3:06 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — Two towns have opted out of sharing the costs of Greenville’s planned transfer station and the Piscataquis County commissioners have yet to decide whether to continue the relationship of three unorganized townships with the town.

For years, Beaver Cove, Shirley and the Unorganized Territory of Harford’s Point, Big Moosehead Township and Moosehead Junction Township were in a partnership for the use of the Greenville landfill, which is now being closed as required by the Department of Environmental Protection. The towns and the unorganized townships are contributing to the landfill closing costs and will share the yearly monitoring of test wells at the facility.

Greenville is now constructing a transfer station, but the town may be funding that operation on its own. Beaver Cove has contracted with Piscataquis County to take its garbage to the Lily Bay Transfer Station overseen by the county commissioners and funded through the Unorganized Territory budget. Shirley residents voted Oct. 31 to contract with a local waste hauler for curbside pickup of trash. The county commissioners have yet to make a decision on whether to continue its partnership with Greenville on behalf of the three unorganized townships.

“It’s disappointing. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising because of the rising costs of the new facility,” Greenville Town Manager Gary Lamb said this week. If the county also pulls out, Greenville taxpayers will have to fund 100 percent of the operational costs.

The annual estimated cost to operate the transfer station is pegged at about $130,000, which does not include tipping fees and transportation, Lamb said. He said he is currently getting estimates on the cost of taking the solid waste to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington or to the Norridgewock landfill.

Greenville budgeted the transfer station costs upfront, but with the pull-out of Shirley and Beaver Cove, it will not see the anticipated revenue, Lamb said.

The transfer station is expected to be in operation well before the Dec. 31 shutdown of the landfill, according to Lamb. More than 75 percent of the site work has been done, and the scales and the building will be delivered this month. The town is still waiting for Central Maine Power Co. to install three-phase power to the site, but overall, progress is being made, he said.

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