Do you write blank checks?

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Do you write blank checks?

Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Sun Jan 05, 2003 4:34 pm

Note: Since only 42 people have read this thread, I decided to change the subject to a catchier name. The text is the same as the Selectmen's Solid Waste Budget for 2003-02004. - cgw

The Selectmen have submitted a budget for Solid Waste Disposal to the Budget Committee.

In this budget, they have included:

$287,093 for wages and benefits, etc. for 6 full-time employees for the first half year and 4 full-time employees for the second half year

$52,432 for office, maintenance, operating supplies; uniforms, equipment rental, printing, postage, electricity, vehicle fuel, telephone, dues and fees, general insurance, legal, travel and meetings

$105,700 for maintenance of grounds, buildings, various equipment, and for cover material for the landfill

$1,445,012 for education and training, solid waste disposal, other outside services, well testing, special waste disposal, advertising, infrastructure, and capital reserve fund contribution.

The above items total $1,890,237. Included in this amount is an undefined $1,066,000 for "Solid Waste Disposal." Also, there is $250,000 for "infrastructure" which has been defined as a bulky waste loading area.

The number of personnel changes mid-year. From July - Dec., personnel will include 1 Foreman/Supervisor, 1 Secretary/Scale Operator, 2 Equipment Operators III, and 2 recycling attendants. From Jan. - June, there will be 1 Foreman/Supervisor, 1 Secretary/Scale Operator, 1 Equipment Operator III, and 1 recycling attendant. This will be the Solid Waste Disposal staff regardless of whether the selectmen go with a transfer station or curbside pick-up.

In addition, the selectmen plan submit warrant articles to poll the voters to see how many want to have a transfer station and how many want curbside pick-up and recycling. To the selectmen, cost is not a factor that needs to be considered in the choice. We know this because they have said they will not include the cost of each option in the warrant articles on the ballot.

Not knowing what expenses are included in the undefined $1,066,000 (one million, sixty-six thousand dollars) the selectmen have put into the budget under the description "Solid Waste Disposal," it is impossible for anyone to know what is going to be funded in that third warrant article that is not already in the budget.

Hopefully, the Budget Committee will help in getting this straightened out. As it stands now, it looks to me like the selectmen are asking for a blank check for $1,066,000 as well as another blank check in the form of a warrant article for an amount large enough to pay for either curbside or a transfer station. Let's say the budget and the cheaper option pass. Have we just voted a nice slush fund in the amount of the difference between the more expensive option and the less expensive option?
Carolyn G. Whitlock
Posts: 721
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:51 am

Postby Storytjdsa1 » Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:55 am

I'm glad you changed the title.
Very interesting read.
Thanks for the information.
Tom S.
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 1:29 pm
Location: Merrimack, NH

Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:57 pm

Thanks, Tom. If nothing else, my posting gives people a listing of what kinds of expenses need to be factored into the cost of a transfer station and the cost of curbside pick-up.
Carolyn G. Whitlock
Posts: 721
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:51 am

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