August 02, 2012WAKEFIELD — Peter LaChapelle from Waste Management came to the July 25 Wakefield selectmen's meeting offering the town 50 free Bagsters® – the waste disposal company's "Dumpster in a Bag" product that is sold at Home Depot and Lowe's for $29.95.
The Bagster® is a special-reinforced plastic tarp bag that unfolds to hold up to three cubic yards or 3,300 pounds of material destined for disposal. It is intended as an alternative to renting a metal dumpster that has to be hauled to a location and then emptied periodically by a large truck. The Bagster® is put in place by a homeowner or contractor. Once it is full a Waste Management truck with a boom comes, picks it up and hauls it away. According to a flyer LaChapelle handed out, the Bagster® can hold 47 sheets of four-by-eight-foot drywall or 20 full trash bags or eight-10 squares of roof shingles.
The 50 Bagsters® would be given to the town at no charge for distribution to residents. While the bag is free, there is a charge of $164 to pick the Bagster® up once it is full. To offset that cost for these 50 bags, LaChapelle said he would also provide 50 coupons worth $10 off the pickup charge. That means that 50 residents would be able to dispose of up to 3,300 pounds of material for $154 and avoid hauling that material to the Wakefield Transfer Station.
The benefit to the town would be to divert up to 82.5 tons of waste and avoid the disposal and hauling fees on that material. LaChapelle estimated diverting that amount would save the town $16,000.
The benefit to Waste Management is that by making residents aware of this new service and giving away 50 samples the town will help the company increase public awareness of the product. The bags could be given away at Town Hall and the Transfer Station.
If the program goes well for the town, it could become a reseller, purchasing the bags from Waste Management for $18 each and reselling them for the $29.95 charged by Home Depot and Lowe's. There is no obligation to purchase any bags beyond the free 50, however.
Resident Relf Fogg asked if windows and doors can be placed in the bag. LaChapelle said yes: anything that is not hazardous can be placed in a Bagster® – including demolition debris. He noted that you have to be careful where you place it for loading because it is picked up by a big truck.
Selectman Peter Kasprzyk asked if there is a discount on the pickup fee if a second Bagster® is picked up at the same time. LaChapelle thought there was a discount: he agreed to write up a specific proposal and send it to selectmen along with a draft of a new hauling contract.
Town Administrator Teresa Williams said she would let Transfer Station Manager Warren Winn know of the offer and keep him in the picture.
LaChapelle addressed the issue of removing Wakefield's ash pile. He said he had spoken with the town's landfill consultant Robert Saunders about needing a profile signed in order for Waste Management to do the removal. Otheriwse all that is needed is a week's notice.
Selectmen were given a presentation on the Carroll County Coalition for Public Health by Coordinator Mary Reed, who also provided the board with Wakefield's copy of the health emergency plan. Please see separate article on this subject elsewhere in this issue.
The board had placed the issue of changing Town Hall hours on the July 25 meeting agenda but voted to table the matter. Selectman Charlie Edwards gave his view that town employees should be invited to a discussion of this topic. Selectman Chair Ken Paul thought it could be the subject of one of the board's new Wednesday afternoon meetings.
In response to a request from Janet Ellis, selectmen voted to waive the fee for using the town field for home-schooled residents of Wakefield. Parks and Recreation Director Wayne Robinson has recommended a one-time $10 fee per player to defray the cost of maintenance, but selectmen felt that home schoolers deserved a break since they are not sending their kids to school and thus saving taxpayers that cost.
Selectmen were notified by the Department of Transportation that the town's Highway Block Grant for this year would be $116,014.25, which is down $10,000 from last year. The grant is paid to the town in four installments.
Kasprzyk reported that Heritage Day will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Union and that there will be a fundraiser for the Wakefield Food Pantry on Sunday, Sept. 16 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Wakefield Opera House by the churches of Wakefield. The septic design for the new Food Pantry building was approved on July 24 and work is now proceeding.
Selectman Charlie Edwards reported the planning board had a worksession where it heard a presentation by Forest Bell on phosphorus levels in lakes and what homeowners can do to prevent more phosphorus from being washed in. Edwards said he was impressed by the simple things people can do and would like to see the presentation televised.
Selectman Chair Ken Paul verified that town policy does not allow smoking on town property. The board agreed that No Smoking signs should be installed at the Transfer Station.
The board approved unanimously sending a letter of appreciation to Judy Nason for all the good work she has done for the town as well as her service on the school board.
Selectmen denied a request to cut trees on a property taken for non-payment of taxes on South Cove Road. Technically the town did not own the property yet, and if it did it would require the trees be taken down by an insured forester.
Williams informed the board that the town can allow the purchase of new or used equipment if two-thirds of voters approve a warrant article to that effect.
She also reported that Cartographics is asking $122 for a 17 by 22 inch town map. Paul had wanted it to show plowing routes. Williams said the town may get a free map from the E911 survey, which is to take place in the next few months.
The next scheduled meeting of the Wakefield Board of Selectmen is on Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 3:30 p.m. The focus of that meeting will be the town budget.