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Selectmen urge Wakefield residents to recycle to save on taxes


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
August 21, 2014
WAKEFIELD — At the Aug. 13 meeting of the Wakefield Board of Selectmen, Town Administrator Teresa Williams reviewed transfer station revenues and expenses with selectmen.

Over the past three years annual revenues from recycling have fallen by $38,416, from $163,988 in 2011 to $125,572 in 2013, and Station Manager Warren Winn reports that revenues to date in 2014 are running $2,000 behind last year. While expenses have risen by only $1,363 in the same time period (from $198,662 to $200,025), the decline in revenue has caused the net cost to taxpayers to run the transfer station to more than double, from $34,674 to $74,453.

Williams brought the subject up because this is an area where taxpayers can do something to keep costs down. The more materials are recycled rather than thrown away, revenues will increase and, more importantly, the amount the town pays to haul away the remaining trash (currently more than $100 a ton) goes down – in other words, there is a double benefit.

Wakefield has an ordinance that makes recycling mandatory; however, Winn estimated recently that participation in recycling was as low as 30 percent.

Recently ClearView Community Television took a tour of the transfer station where Jim Miller reviewed with Winn what can be recycled, and the range of items is impressive. The video can be viewed on CCT's website, www.clearviewtv3.com: click on "Community Profiles" and scroll down to "Warren Winn, Transfer Station Manager." The video was filmed and edited by Carl Tyrie

Bids opened

Selectmen opened three sets of bids on Aug. 13.

There was only one bid on the F350 truck with plow that failed to pass inspection. Selectman Charlie Edwards regretted not putting in a bid. "At $825 that's very cheap, even if it is only used as a yard truck." The board accepted the bid, 3-0.

There were three bids for Phase II of the Town Hall fire alarm installation, which will include the first floor and elevator, 14 smoke detectors, strobe lights, and programming the control panel. Quotes ranged from $24,000 down to $4,995. Selectmen were disposed to take the low bid, from Hackworth Fire & Security of Somersworth, but asked Williams to verify what is included in the bid. The board will make its decision at the next meeting.

There were two bidders for road salt, Granite State Minerals and Morton Salt, and they both bid $56.41 a ton, which is the state bid price. With no difference in price the board voted 3-0 to go with current vendor Morton Salt.

Town seal

The board reviewed revised versions of the proposed town seal prepared by artist Judy Brenner. Resident Jim Miller also turned in three designs of his own. Selectmen reviewed both sets, narrowed the choices and made suggests for improvement. The two finished designs will be put up on the town website, www.wakefieldnh.com, for resident feedback. The posting will also encourage others with design ideas to contribute them. Brenner, who was commissioned to do the design, will be paid regardless of what design is ultimately chosen.

Other business

The board held a joint meeting with the Middleton Board of Selectmen to discuss the boundary line dispute both towns have with John Fournier. Please see the separate story in this issue.

Selectmen signed an agreement with N.H. Fish & Game, allowing town trucks to turn around at the end of Marsh Lane.

The board signed a deed for the tax-acquired property at Map 182, Lot 14 (58 Wentworth Road) that was redeemed for a payment of $18,000.

Approval was given for a special event on Sept. 13 to Wakefield Projects Inc. to use the Opera House balcony for no more than 49 people, provided conditions set by Fire Chief Todd Nason are met.

Selectmen approved allowing the Water Department to do water line replacement work on Summer Street and Taylor Way without requiring bonds in addition to that held by the water precinct.

The board approved renewing the state driveway permit for Access Road in Union as part of the Dunkin Donuts project going in there.

Also approved was a renewal of the Cartographics contract for another year. Selectmen Chair Ken Paul commented that CAI does a good job and the online access to Wakefield maps is a great convenience.

The town was notified that the N.H. Department of Transportation will be upgrading yellow warning signs on state roads in town, that the Highway Block Grant for the current year was $117,166, and that Michelle Clark is the town's new contact at the Department of Revenue Administration.

Dawson Libby will have his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sept. 7 at St. Anthony's Church, and a selectman will attend.

Williams reported that two more people have requested waivers on ambulance bills for March and April. Selectmen Edwards and Paul asked that applicants who could not pay the full bill be asked to pay something to help support the ambulance service.

Wakefield selectmen will not be holding a second meeting in August. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall meeting room.

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