The Board of Selectmen approved keeping the same basic permit fee structure for Transfer Station stickers this year. There will be a few changes and improvements to fees and collection.
Selectmen have yet to vote on the FY17 rules, possible fees for disposing of large items, and fine structure. Though, one requested change by a resident appears to be dismissed: resident access to scrap metal. (It could be revisited when the rules are voted on. But it didn’t get support Tuesday night.)
The Town Clerk’s office will be handling the payments for permits for the first time this year. The office will accept payments in person without any penalty fees, and they will accept credit cards.
Clerk Jim Hegarty told selectmen that residents will no longer need to bring in paperwork for their cars. Instead, anyone who is on the Town census will be able to buy a permit. If they aren’t on the census, they will be given papers to change that.
As for new residents, Hegarty recommended a pro-rating of $20 per month.
That rate would apply to non-seniors. Selectmen again approved free permits to Southborough residents aged 65+. Other residents will continue to pay $200 per household, allowing permits for two vehicles. That rate is only until September 15th. After that, there will be an additional $50 per household.
For a recycling-only permit, the cost remains at $75.
Referring to a letter from a resident, Selectman Paul Cimino asked Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan to explain the scrap metal situation.
Galligan explained that in the past staff had retrieved items on resident request. That led to misinformed accusations that the staff was picking out the best items for themselves. And residents fined for entering the area defended they were following the example of staff they had seen in there.
Because of those issues, staff are no longer allowed to retrieve items, even when requested. She confirmed for Cimino that residents can leave reusable metal items in the Swap Shop. That seemed to satisfy Cimino and no other selectmen weighed in on the issue.
Selectmen Dan Kolenda asked Galligan to look into another suggestion. He said that Advisory member Sam Stivers asked about stickers that can be placed on the inside of windshields. The request is based on the problem of paint coming off when stickers are removed from front bumpers. It can be an issue for trading cars in.
Galligan said residents can stick them to windshields but aren’t allowed to tape them to the inside. They need to be permanently affixed to avoid people passing them around.
Kolenda asked her to find out how much it would cost to get some stickers with adhesive on the reverse side for this year or to do it for next year.
Fine structures were approved as under BOS control by Town Meeting. But the board is waiting to hear back from Attorney General’s office on the legality of the bylaw.
The Public Works Planning Board requested selectmen approve a fee schedule for collecting refrigerators, mattresses, couches, sleeper sofas and televisions. Chair Desiree Aselbekian said that currently residents can throw couches in the hopper, increasing the Town’s costs. She believed that DPW staff could accept credit card payments on site.
Kolenda suggested holding off to another meeting to discuss other rules based on Tuesday night’s time constraints. Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf said the Town needs to look into an Enterprise Budget for the Transfer Station. She didn’t think it made sense for selectmen to spend time on the same issues every year.
Chair John Rooney stated that he still believed the fee structure doesn’t do enough to discourage waste. But he refrained from making his case again as a full house waited to hear other agenda items.
(Most of the audience were there for the Deerfoot and Flagg Road safety presentation. I’ll post about that tomorrow. In the meantime, I can tell you that no decisions were made on that this week. And you can read about residents’ concerns in Southborough Wicked Local’s article.)