BARRE TOWN — Those at the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District have told local officials they want to take possession of a lot in the Wilson Industrial Park for a household hazardous waste facility by Oct. 1 in order to start construction in 2022.
At the Select Board’s regular meeting Tuesday night, the board heard from Lisa Liotta, the district’s general manager; Fred Thumm, the town’s representative on the district’s board and that board’s chair; and Brenna Toman, the district’s operations manager. The trio were there to talk about a household hazardous waste facility the district wants to build in the industrial park that would replace some of the five annual household hazardous waste collection events the district puts on. One such event was held in Barre Town last month which saw 150 vehicles drop off waste in 4 hours.
If the district obtains the land and builds the facility, those at the district have said they eventually want to move all operations there and would add on to the campus as funding is obtained.
The district has offered $250,000 for the lot, which the town would need to subdivide to create. It would be near the old SB Electronics building at the end of Parker Road and would create a connection with Bolster Road and Parker Road.
The board was given a draft “host town agreement” Friday where expectations from both sides are laid out, but those expectations will be negotiated. Board Chair Paul White said Tuesday the board had only had the draft agreement for a few days so officials would need more time to go over it.
Liotta told the board in order to stay on the district’s construction timeline, the district would need to take ownership of the lot by Oct. 1.
Board member Norma Malone expressed concern about negotiating a real estate sale in public, saying much of the conversation about the purchase thus far has taken place in executive session. Town Manager Carl Rogers said board members could use the public portion of the meeting to ask questions of those at the district for background.
White said he didn’t see any harm in publicly discussing the district’s plan and what impact the campus could have on the town.
Board member Bob Nelson wanted to know how many employees would be on the campus once its complete and all district operations are moved there. Liotta said the district currently has 13 full-time employees and one part-time employee.
“We don’t anticipate any real increase in staff,” she said.
Nelson asked about truck traffic at the campus.
Liotta said the district’s Additional Recycling Collection Center, currently housed in the old Times Argus building, receives about 500,000 pounds of material per year. She said much of that material is moved with the district’s own box truck, but the district does fill a tractor-trailer twice a year with electronic waste.
Malone said the town plan has specific requirements for solid waste facilities and she wanted to know how this facility would comport with that plan. Liotta said that’s something the district would like to negotiate with the board. There was some discussion about this facility possibly not falling under those requirements because White said it’s more of a transfer station and Thumm said it won’t be a dump, but Malone made the point that waste would be stored there.
No action was taken Tuesday by the Select Board. White said discussions between board members will continue and the board still needs to formally respond to the district’s offer for the lot.
The district will hold a public meeting to provide information about the facility at 6 p.m. June 30 at the town’s municipal building on Websterville Road.