2017-10-11 / Front Page

Area towns receive solid waste management refunds

By STEPHEN SEITZ

SW/WSWMD Treasurer Bob Forguites hands a check for $30,764 to Chester Town Manager David Pisha at a select board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 4. — TORY DENIS PHOTOSW/WSWMD Treasurer Bob Forguites hands a check for $30,764 to Chester Town Manager David Pisha at a select board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 4. — TORY DENIS PHOTOCHESTER — Town officials in Chester were pleased to receive $30,764 from the Southern Windsor/Windham Solid Waste Management District (SW/WCSWMD) at a regular select board meeting on Oct. 4.

“Of course we were happy to receive the money,” said Julie Hance, assistant town clerk. “We found out about the refunds a few months ago. At a previous meeting, we decided to use the money to fund a zoning audit and for the wayfinding signage plan.”

The money was left over when the Vermont / New Hampshire Solid Waste Project dissolved in 2008. Under that plan, solid waste from Vermont and New Hampshire was taken to Claremont, New Hampshire for incineration, funded by tipping fees.

Once the project was dissolved, $404,193 was left over as the district share for Vermont.

“The funds received from the dissolution of the project have been held by SW/WCSWMD to have available if they were needed for operation of SW/WCSWMD without assessing member municipalities,” SW/WSWMD Treasurer Bob Forguites wrote in an email. “With the new state-mandated recycling laws, municipalities operating solid waste and recycling facilities are having additional expenses. Some municipalities asked SW/WCSWMD about being advanced some funds to help in meeting the additional expenses.”

At its regular meeting on July 27, the district’s board of supervisors decided to give the money to the member towns, based on the percentage of trash tonnage each town produced over the last 11 years of the compact with New Hampshire. The board decided to keep $25,000 for cash flow emergencies.

Besides Chester, the other towns receiving the dissolution funds, once all have met to approve the action, are: Andover ($1,719); Baltimore ($1,051); Cavendish; ($14,786); Grafton ($5,372); Ludlow ($72,435); Plymouth ($8,956); Reading ($3,912); Rockingham ($48,392); Springfield ($111,703); Weathersfield ($24,433); West Windsor ($6,229); and Windsor ($49,441).

“It didn't seem to make sense for SW/WCSWMD to act as a bank for advancing funds when requested,” Forguites wrote. “It was not a matter of SW/WCSWMD waiting a long time before disbursing the dissolution funds — the intent was to retain the funds to cover the expense (without an assessment to member municipalities) if there are things that SW/WCSWMD is required to do. Those expenses would now have to be covered by tip fees or special assessment.”

More information can be found at the district’s website, www.vtsolidwastedistrict.org.


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