Nobleboro-Jefferson Transfer Station Agent Dick Spear presented a 2013 budget that included expenses totaling $547,290. Anticipated revenues from the towns total $430,000.
The breakdown of costs to each participating town is: Bremen – up 1.4 percent to $45,150; Damariscotta – up 3.8 percent to $124,270; Jefferson – down 5 percent to $96,320; Newcastle – up 3.8 percent to $101,480; and, Nobleboro – down 4 percent to $62,780.
Spear said he used 2010 census figures to determine each town’s percentage of the population that uses the facility. He said he did not anticipate a change in the formula for the next few years.
Other revenue is expected to come from fees charged for the disposal of metals, brush, tire and demolition debris.
Spear also shared the budget for 2012 that showed revenues from the towns served by the transfer station as follows: Bremen – $44,290; Damariscotta – $108,790; Jefferson – $101,910; Newcastle – $101,480 and Nobleboro – $65,360.
The budget showed a 2012 year-end balance of $192,994.
Spear said the board liked to keep approximately $100,000 in fund balance to be available for large infrastructure projects.
“We’re trying not to fluctuate,” he said.
The 2013 budget received the board’s unanimous approval.
Spear said the transfer station tries to accomplish one major project each year.
He said he would like to put demolition debris under cover and that Nichols has a plan to build a new office. He said Nichols had to take paint home last winter to prevent its freezing.
Spear said the board is considering hiring a service to take over billing to contractors who bring demolition debris to the transfer station, a job currently done by Nobleboro Town Office staff.
There was discussion about the merits of billing for services versus having contractors pay at the time that they deliver debris to the transfer station.
Nichols expects to leave his post at the end of 2013. Spear said a new manager should have administrative skills.
Board member and Jefferson Selectman Robert Clark said it would be good to have someone who could generate a billing slip at the time that debris is brought to the facility.
Spear said Penobscot Energy Recovery Company (PERC) in Orrington is not considering any contracts to purchase and dispose of trash that go beyond 2018. Spear is chairman of the Nobleboro Board of Selectmen.
The Nobleboro-Jefferson Transfer Station is owned by the towns of Nobleboro and Jefferson and also takes solid waste from Bremen, Damariscotta and Newcastle.
“Wednesday I went up to PERC and talked to them,” Spear said. “They had offered us a deal to extend with them.”
He said a contract minimum limit of at least 4000 tons of waste per year for the Nobleboro-Jefferson facility has been reduced to 3500 tons.
“I told him we never have produced 4000 since we’ve been shipping to you,” Spear said.
He recommended extending the contract with PERC until 2017.
“As we get closer to 2018 it’s going to be a scramble as to who gets what contracts,” Spear said. He said the Maine Energy Recovery Company (MERC) in Biddeford is only acting as a transfer station.
The city of Biddeford announced in June that it would purchase the MERC plant for $6.6 million and shutter the facility that some have called a major roadblock to development.
A June 28 story in the Portland Press Herald newspaper said MERC can be demolished within a year of the Nov. 15 closing date. The agreement called for the trash-to-energy facility to cease operations by the end of 2012 and to demolish all but the main exhaust stack within a year of the agreement, with costs being paid by Maine Energy.
Spear said there are very few landfills left in the state.
Board Chairman and Jefferson Selectman Jim Hilton made a motion to extend the transfer station’s contract with PERC until 2017, with the new minimum tonnage requirement.
The motion received unanimous approval.
Newcastle Town Administrator David Bolling asked the board to clarify a section of that town’s contract with the transfer station, that relates to Nobleboro’s voting privileges. That section states that “Newcastle shall have one representative to participate in the council’s quarterly meetings and will have one vote on the day-to-day operational decisions.”
Board member and Jefferson Selectman Jim Hilton said that passage was meant to refer only to the quarterly meetings and would have to be rewritten to reflect that fact.
“We usually go by consensus, anyhow,” Spear said.
Bremen Selectman Hank Nevins asked the board to consider changing the transfer station’s recycling service provider. He said he looked into a company called EcoMaine, a nonprofit based in Portland that handles recycling for more that 40 Maine communities. Nevins told the Bremen Board of Selectmen at their Dec. 20 meeting that he thinks Lincoln County taxpayers could save money on recycling by ending its contract the Wiscasset Transfer Station and entering into one with EcoMaine.
Spear told Nevins and the board that he had checked with EcoMaine and that they are not currently accepting new accounts.
Nevins said it was hard to get a breakdown of the recycling budget from the Lincoln County Commissioners and that makes it difficult to compare available recycling services.
The board re-elected its current slate of officers. In addition to chairman Jim Hilton and station agent Dick Spear, the officers are vice chairman Greg Johnston and secretary Al Lewis.
The next meeting of the Nobleboro-Jefferson Transfer Station Board of Directors is Mon., Apr. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Jefferson Town Office.