Selectmen to discuss Transfer Station fees and zoning board issues tonight

In the past week there have been two main topics sparking conversation on the blog: the cost of a Transfer Station sticker and the makeup of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Both of those topics are on the agenda for tonight’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

First up for the board is whether to raise the cost of a Transfer Station sticker. The selectmen last week agreed they want to research long-term solutions like privatization to help close the $250K deficit in Southborough’s annual trash disposal budget, but they differed on how much to increase the cost of a Transfer Station sticker in the short-term.

The board deferred its decision on Transfer Station rates until this week so they could collect additional information. In particular, they wanted to research creating an enterprise or revolving fund so any additional revenue generated by increased sticker costs could be used to directly offset the DPW budget instead of going into the town’s general fund.

The proposal to increase Transfer Station rates inspired much discussion on the blog, from whether the town should be in the trash removal business, to how to encourage recycling as a way to reduce disposal costs. Selectman John Rooney joined the conversation. You can read his first comment in the thread here (then scroll down for others).

Once selectmen resolve the Transfer Station issue, they’ll turn their attention to the Zoning Board of Appeals. A handful of developers and residents voiced complaints about the board — and in particular Chairman Sam Stivers who is up for reappointment — at last week’s meeting. Selectmen decided they wanted to discuss the issues with the entire ZBA before deciding how to proceed.

On the blog, many of you expressed support for Stivers and a conservative approach by the ZBA.

Selectmen tonight will also interview four residents who have expressed interest in joining the ZBA. Because ZBA members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen, selectmen can make any membership decisions they deem appropriate, from keeping the board intact to starting from scratch, an option Rooney (for one) has said he would consider.

Tonight’s selectmen meeting has an early 5:00 pm start. You can see the full agenda here. The meeting takes place in the Hearing Room on the second floor of the Town House. It’s open to the public.

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