Palmyra eyes new recycling compactor, community center fees

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, at 6:32 a.m.

PALMYRA, Maine — Recycling systems, community center operations and finalizing the town warrant articles were the major items discussed at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Palmyra does a good job of recycling, Jim Dunning of Pine Tree Waste said, with 36.4 tons collected between April and December 2012. This weight and volume, with the current recycling systems, means the town is hauling weekly to a collection center costing $300 per load based on volume. To reduce costs, the selectmen finalized Article 20 in the 52-article warrant which asks if the town wants to purchase and set up a compactor for recycled items such as glass, plastic milk cartons and tin cans.

The proposed new compactor’s bin would be larger than the current system — 40 versus 30 cubic yards. The selectmen believe this will reduce the frequency of trips from weekly to once a month, saving the town $900 per month and recouping the compactor’s cost within a few years.

The estimated $30,000 to buy, shelter and provide electricity for a compactor would come from a variety of sources: $16,481 from funds already set aside for recycling, $3,000 from surplus, and $13,600 raised at the March town meeting. Money from the sale of the town’s curbside recycling truck will also be added to the recycling cost. Curbside service ended in April 2012 and recycling bins are near the new town garage.

If approved by Palmyra voters, the new compactor would be installed on the concrete pad at the former town garage, which will be demolished. The compactor would go under a “dog house”-style shelter and work off the town garage’s electricity.

Along with the recycling systems, the Palmyra Community Center operations were reviewed, resulting in a clarification of the PCC Boosters role and changes to the rental rates. The selectmen decided that the PCC Boosters will be a quasi-town committee, with all scheduling to be decided by the town with the recommendation of the Boosters. Access to the building’s keys and unscheduled use of the community center continues to plague the town officials.

The rental rates for extra classroom hours increased from $10 to $50; gym use up to four hours increasing from $50 to $75, four to eight hours from $100 to $125 and over eight hours from $200 to $225. The combination gym and kitchen rates remain the same.

The town administration continues to settle into the community center, having moved from the town office last year. The old town office is currently leased to the Palmyra Soup Kitchen and the modular building next to the playground might be sold but no decision was made.

The select board signed the 52-article town warrant. Articles 1 and 2 will be voted on by secret ballot from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Palmyra Community Center. Article 1 elects a moderator for the town meeting and Article 2 seeks to fill the seats of two select people, Priscilla Jones and Donald Harriman, and one member of the RSU 19 Board of Directors, Darren Briggs, for three-year terms. The other 50 articles will be voted at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8.

 

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