Selectmen Face Quandary Over Transfer Station Construction

CHESTER – The board of selectmen is still looking at ways to make sure the operators of the transfer station do not have to climb ladders to clean snow from the roof and trailers because of a roof that is too short
While voters at Town Meeting approved $57,000 to build a sturdy extension of the roof, that work has not come to fruition and at the board’s Nov. 20 meeting, chair Steph Landau presented an alternative solution and a separate purchase for the transfer station.

Landau was operating under the assumption that money from the warrant article approved for the roof extension could also be used for other building needs at the station, but was later disabused of that idea by selectman Jack Cannon.
Currently snow loads from the roof over the recycling trailers would fall into the trailers if not for temporary plywood floors laid over the exposed portion of the trailer. These have to be cleaned during snow events, either by someone climbing up a ladder or by shoveling while standing on them, not an ideal situation, according to both transfer station operators and the selectmen. Water and snow have to be kept out of the trailers to make sure the town gets the most for its recycling dollar.
Prior to voter approval of the $57,000, an engineered plan for roof extension was created.
At last week’s meeting, Landau proposed an awning to solve the problem of snow in the trailers. He said he had approached a couple of awning companies and found the price would be much reduced from the original plan.
Then Landau proposed using the leftover funds to buy a Quonset style hut for the area in which equipment would be stored.
The hut, according to Landau would be 30 feet by 30 feet at a height of 15 feet and would cost about $13,000. That building would store the station’s new skid steer tractor and its attachments, the golf cart and the aluminum trailer.
“I think this would be a solution,” said Landau, adding that his suggested projects would suffice for the warrant article’s intention, and would construct a new building and potentially return money to the town.
Cannon, however, was skeptical that such a move would be allowed.
“I can’t see spending a dime for this out of the warrant article,” said Cannon. He noted that he thinks the design previously approved for the roof extension was the right one, but added that he wasn’t opposed to a storage structure on site.
Cannon said there was a long list of reasons why the roof extension may not happen this year, but should one of them be that the cost is prohibitive, he didn’t see an issue with going back to voters at Town Meeting, explaining why, and asking for more funds. He added that a temporary solution should be arrived at prior to the winter, however, to make sure transfer station operators were not shoveling the snow from ladders.
Cannon was clear that he was not amenable to using the warrant article’s funds on a temporary solution for the project, which an awning would offer.
The board made no decisions on the matter.
In other business:
• The board has increased the rate for medical details by the Chester Fire Department on the recommendation of fire chief Rich Antoine. Currently that rate is $35, but that doesn’t cover the town’s expenses.
Antoine suggested a $10 increase to take effect next year, to which the board agreed.
While Antoine conceded that the cost was still low compared to other towns, he noted that usually it was Chester residents using the service and thus he was comfortable charging only enough to cover expenses.
• Pending some final considerations, the town should have a new assistant town clerk in the town clerk/tax collector’s office. Town clerk Barbara Gagnon presented Carolyn DiPerri for the job.
Both Gagnon and DiPerri were pleased about the choice, indicating they will work well together. DiPerri will have to complete further training and for the time being will be called in on an as-needed basis. In the future Gagnon expects she will be on five days a week.
• The board also tentatively hired Dwight Larkin as a full-time member of the highway department. Road agent Mike Oleson presented Larkin, saying he had 26 years of experience with the Nashua highway department, had a commercial driver’s license and knew the equipment it was important to know. He was the second choice for the job the last time there was an opening.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.