Steering Committee

Meeting Minutes – 8/13/02, 7:05 PM

Those Present:  Ken Smith, Chris Tadema-Wielandt, Dick King and Jay Fowler.  Phil Standel and Stu Marckoon also were present for the entire meeting (other study committee members began arriving at 7:20 for the 7:30 subcommittee meetings).


·        The minutes from the July 9 meeting were reviewed.  Chris moved to accept them as written, Dick seconded the motion and all were in favor.

·        Ken reported on his July 18 status review meeting with the Selectmen.  He noted that Jo Cooper was unable to attend the meeting.  The draft outline of the final report was discussed with emphasis placed on the study goals and objectives to be sure they were consistent with what the selectmen were expecting.  While they agreed with the goals and objectives, Glen repeated several times that they don’t want us to get bogged down in too much detail.  Ken provided assurances that we do not intend to do so and that much of the outline is geared to being able to respond to questions that we’d expect from them, the budget committee and the town meeting.  Ken also advised them that the Study Committee may send out a questionnaire to residents this fall.  Based on the reception given the recent well survey, Glen wanted to be sure that the selectmen have the opportunity to review the questionnaire before it is sent out.  Ken assured them that such a review was planned.

·        Dick reported that, among other things, the Facilities Subcommittee is still searching for an appropriate parcel of land.  Chris Luck is willing to consider selling the Town a small parcel with the stipulation that it be used only for a fire station in the event that the school needs to expand onto the existing fire station site.  Dick also indicated that a 13 acre parcel of land  located off Walker Road would be available (owned by Robert Budwine).  Jay advised that the property includes some gravel areas and significant wet areas and may be within the aquifer.  Ken suggested that we need to reach some conclusions as to general land availability and price.  For example, as a worst case scenario, we can price in the 39 acre Forest Pinkham parcel that is offered at $149K.  The subcommittee will continue to discuss these and other agenda items following the Steering Committee meeting.

·        Jay reported that the Transportation Subcommittee has been looking at the number and types of equipment required.  Their preliminary suggestion is to have two large trucks with plows and sanders, a 1 ton with plow and sander and a loader/backhoe combination.  They estimate the cost new to be about $250K.  Although Facilities is looking at the building and salt storage shed, Ken indicated that Transportation needs to provide the criteria to them.  Jay believes that the salt storage building needs to be capable of storing at least 3,000 cy of material and Dick agreed.  Based on the costs incurred on similar building elsewhere, Jay estimates that the salt shed will cost about $150K.  Stu agreed to provide a copy of the State’s regulations for salt storage to the Facilities and Transportation Subcommittees.  Action: Stu.  Transportation also will look at the size and layout of the public works garage, the maintenance tools/equipment needs and overall personnel requirements and provide all of this information to Facilities Action: Transportation Subcommittee.

·        Jay asked whether or not the subcommittee should be looking at school buses.  Stu expressed his belief that the subcommittee should be looking at the cost of the presently contracted services and comparing it to possible alternatives.  It was mentioned that the Town did provide this service at one time and that it may be an appropriate function of a public works department.  Action: Transportation Subcommittee.

·        Stu asked if anyone had talked with Hancock and Trenton regarding possible regionalization of the various public works functions.  Although some information has been obtained from these communities, there hasn’t been any discussion with them regarding regionalization.  Ken indicated that this needs to be done after we have a better feel of our own needs. 

·        Ken reported that the Solid Waste Subcommittee is still gathering information regarding what other towns are doing, especially as related to curbside collection by either contract or municipal forces.  The committee also has looked at a few alternatives for possible further consideration and additional alternatives will be considered tonight.  The committee’s objective is to leave tonight’s meeting with no more than two or three alternatives that will be compared to the existing practices for possible inclusion in the public works department analysis that will appear in the final report.

·        Ken indicated that it is important for each of the subcommittees to screen the alternatives that they have considered to date to eliminate the ones that are not practical from costs and/or “political/regulatory” perspectives (e.g., locating a public works complex in a residentially zoned area, on the aquifer or in wetland areas).  Then the remaining ones can be considered in greater depth.

Next Steering Committee Meeting:  Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 PM (the Subcommittees will meet at 7:30 PM)

Respectfully submitted,

Ken Smith