What does a TS look like?

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Postby Denise O'Dwyer » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:17 pm

Carolyn,
I did not see any mention of roads, bridges or intersection repairs for the trucks if we have a Transfer Station on Feron/Lawrence road. Would this expense come from the CIP Fund? Shouldn't all this expense fall under the total cost to build a TS?
I know all you have posted is in no way attached to any committee, Thank you.

Denise
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:57 pm

Wayne,

I do not think we are going to see anything that resembles a plan unless it comes in the form of a petitioned article. Thats been a big part of the problem we've been facing. The leadership has been concentrating its efforts on everything but establishing a solid waste management plan. They have consistently put the cart before the horse. Two examples of the topics we should have been focusing on:

1. Increasing the amount of diversion (reduce, reuse, recycle) in Merrimack. This is critical in keeping our costs down now that the landfill is closing and our costs are going to at least triple.

2. Creating a program that is as financially equitable as possible to as many as possible.

In all the time we have been chewing over this issue, have you ever heard a single BOS member utter a word about either of these two issues? I haven't. What I've heard is nothing but the continued drone of "the dump is closing and its gonna cost everyone more money"......nothing about how we keep our costs down, nothing about how we reduce our waste stream and nothing about how we fund the future program. They now expect us to choose between two options and they have not defined how either option would work and lumped all the money into one big undefined fund. Look at the questions we're still asking ourselves:

Whose cost estimates do we believe?
Are condos included in curbside?
Are we going to accept commercial waste at any transfer station we build?
What will our tipping fee be?
What are we going to do about self-hauled waste thats delivered for free?
How much is the TS really going to cost?
How much waste would be delivered to a TS?
etc, etc, etc..........

No Wayne, the only definitive options that will be put before the voters will have to come via petition. They'll have to be spot on as far as costs go. In other words, the people will have to sort this mess out with clear options listing the actual costs since the BOS will not.
Mark Fitzgerald
 

Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Wed Jan 22, 2003 3:32 pm

Wayne, you asked,

Could someone, either in this thread or in a new one, describe what we would have at the landfill site if curbside passes?


What I was told on Monday was that if curbside passes, the $250,000 bulky waste loading area/cement wall will be built on site, a yard waste/composting area will exist, and the Dan Ayer Recycling Center will be available for another (undefined) use.

Same disclaimer!
Carolyn
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Postby Norman Phillips » Wed Jan 22, 2003 3:57 pm

Denise, as far as I know, there is no such thing as a "CIP fund". The CIP is only a scheduled "wish list", originated yearly by the School and Town Departments, passed through the School Board or BOS, and then to the Planning Board. The PB reviews it and assigns a category to each item, such as "Urgent", "Necessary, or "Desired" (These names might not be correct, but they indicate the priority according to the conventional meaning of the adjectives. ) It is therefore more than a simple "wish list".


Items that float up to the top are supposed to be funded by budgets or Warrant article appropriations.

Straightening of Lawrence Road has never been on the CIP as far as I know, and no matter what Mr. Carr has said. ( And he is the BOS representative to the Planning Board!!) Improvement of the bridge over Baboosic Brook has been there for a while, but only at a low priority---that necessary to maintain current usage
Sincerely, Norm Phillips
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:11 pm

Carolyn,

You stated (with disclaimer) :) :

What I was told on Monday was that if curbside passes, the $250,000 bulky waste loading area/cement wall will be built on site, a yard waste/composting area will exist, and the Dan Ayer Recycling Center will be available for another (undefined) use.


I think that says it all. Either:

There is no recognition that the Dan Ayer building would be available and viable to serve as the bulky item drop-off area or..........

Those drawing up this budget have a defined plan for this "undefined" use that they're not telling anyone about.
Mark Fitzgerald
 

Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:11 pm

Denise, you said,

Carolyn,
I did not see any mention of roads, bridges or intersection repairs for the trucks if we have a Transfer Station on Feron/Lawrence road. Would this expense come from the CIP Fund? Shouldn't all this expense fall under the total cost to build a TS?

I know all you have posted is in no way attached to any committee, Thank you.

Denise


Excellent questions! There are no road, bridge or intersection repairs scheduled for the year 2003-2004 EXCEPT for "fixing" the "Farmhouse" curve on Lawrence Road. I have been told the cost of fixing the curve will be $105,000. There is not a line item in the budget for this expenditure nor is there a line item in the revenue budget to indicate fundraising for this purpose.

As I understand it, the Selectmen are depending on there being a lower-than-anticipated amount of commercial dumping caused by commercial haulers being discouraged by our yet-to-be-determined, much higher, tipping fees. The money will be raised to pay for the higher volume of dumping but if not that much money is required to haul the trash away, the plan is to use that surplus to pay for the improvements to Farmhouse curve.

To be honest, I don't know if road improvements should be thought of as costs of building a transfer station but I guess if they are planning to use money from the solid waste disposal budget and if they are going to make the road improvements only in the case that a transfer station is built, then it would seem logical to say that they are part of the costs of building a transfer station.

You already know the disclaimer!

Hope this helps!
Carolyn
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:39 pm

Carolyn,

Understanding you are only telling us what you've been told, I offer the following:

Quote:

There are no road, bridge or intersection repairs scheduled for the year 2003-2004 EXCEPT for "fixing" the "Farmhouse" curve on Lawrence Road. I have been told the cost of fixing the curve will be $105,000. There is not a line item in the budget for this expenditure nor is there a line item in the revenue budget to indicate fundraising for this purpose.


Question:

Has the COST of either buying or taking by eminent domain the land required to fix the curve been accounted for?


the Selectmen are depending on there being a lower-than-anticipated amount of commercial dumping caused by commercial haulers being discouraged by our yet-to-be-determined, much higher, tipping fees. The money will be raised to pay for the higher volume of dumping but if not that much money is required to haul the trash away, the plan is to use that surplus to pay for the improvements to Farmhouse curve.



Questions:

1. Am I to understand then that the availability of the funding needed to fix the curve is going to depend upon the less than anticipated use of the facility by commercial haulers?

2. If yes, what about the fact the facility will absolutely be receiving some waste and therefore absolutely will be transferring materials, the very problem the fix is meant to address?

Again, if #1 is "yes", is it not counterproductive that the MORE waste we receive and transport the LESS likely it will be that the curve funding will be available?
Mark Fitzgerald
 

Postby Denise O'Dwyer » Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:46 pm

Carolyn and Norman,
Thank you for your answers.

The BOS knows that if a TS passes, Lawrence and Bedford Road will need to be strighten and widen. They know that the two bridges on Bedford road need meet a certain weight regulation so therefore need to be brought up to code. They know (or at leat they should) that the trucks have very hard time at the intersection of DW Highway and Bedford road and that intersection needs to be fixed.

Where is this money going to come from? None of this would need to be fixed if TS is not put on Lawrence Rd. So shouldn't this be included in the cost building a TS? Or am I wrong to think this?

Denise
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Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:39 pm

The BOS knows that if a TS passes, Lawrence and Bedford Road will need to be strighten and widen. They know that the two bridges on Bedford road need meet a certain weight regulation so therefore need to be brought up to code. They know (or at leat they should) that the trucks have very hard time at the intersection of DW Highway and Bedford road and that intersection needs to be fixed.

Where is this money going to come from? None of this would need to be fixed if TS is not put on Lawrence Rd. So shouldn't this be included in the cost building a TS? Or am I wrong to think this?

Denise


Indulge me while I pretend to be a "Devil's Advocate" wannabe. :twisted:

You remarked, "The BOS knows that if a TS passes, Lawrence and Bedford Road will need to be strighten and widen." The question they would ask themselves is does it need to be widened and straightened in this (the 2003-04) budget cycle? Can a transfer station be operated on Fearon Road/Lawrence Road before roadwork is completed? Obviously, they decided (consciously or unconsciously) that it could.

Then you said, "They know that the two bridges on Bedford road need meet a certain weight regulation so therefore need to be brought up to code." They asked themselves the same questions as before. They know one bridge is on the schedule (Capital Improvement Plan) for 2004-2005. That's close enough. We can get by until then. The other bridge? Shhhh. We can change the designation of the bridge.

Next, you asked, "Where is this money going to come from?" They would say this is not an issue at this point because there are no plans to do any of this work except for straightening out farmhouse curve and the money to do that is in the 2003-04 budget. It will be up to the next board to decide when and if this roadwork needs to be done.

End of the D.A. wannabe section! :evil:
Carolyn
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Postby Denise O'Dwyer » Fri Jan 24, 2003 11:19 am

Carolyn,

You do raise some good points. The BOS could put the repairs back a year or two, But I would still consider any work done to accommodate the TS should be part of the overall cost. So therefore whether or not the work is done in four months or four years the voter has a right to know the total cost, not just what is going to cost us this year. The other bridge they can change the designation from an E-2, but then that too will need repair done sooner than scheduled. If the voters decide to put a TS on Lawrence Rd, I would hope the BOS has enough common sense to do it right.

Denise
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Postby Wayne » Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:51 pm

Yes, Denise, but "doing it right" means "it will cost more", and that is something the BOS seems to want to avoid talking about. The new BOS will be left to pick up the pieces.

Carolyn, thanks for getting what you've been able to get out of town officials. What I would like to see, though, is a clear, simple, and complete document from the BOS that spells out exactly what we get, and what we pay for, with each choice. And given that they don't want this to be part of the warrant articles, we sure deserve it in this separate form.

I would like to see them spell out the details as well as, and in even more depth than, you have, covering both projects thoroughly in one place. If they claim cement ramps are needed for both, lets see it separately in each plan. Let's see all the roadwork that will be needed, right away and several years out. Let people know that the TS will be right at the entrance on Lawrence Road. Admit that a TS on LR is something voted against last year via Article 25. Clear the air on whether or not condos will be serviced by curbside. And let's hear about the funding mechanism - let them say if it will be PAYT, if it will be on the tax rate, or in the case of the TS, will private hauler tipping fees fund everything. Describe clearly the expenses for starting up each of the options and where the money would come from. How much do they estimate subscribers private hauling fees would increase with a TS, and how many subscribers would likely switch to self-hauling as a result? This would be information we could all review and discuss. This would be real public numbers that citizens could understand.

Does anyone expect we will be getting this? Is there anyway to insist on it?

Wayne
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