Capital Planning: Seeking feedback on desired “capital improvements”; Looking at waste disposal

Above: A committee is asking community members to weigh in on what capital improvements should be studied. (image from Town website)

This week, I received two requests to share information with readers about work being done by the Capital Planning Committee. So, I’m combining them.

The Capital Planning Committee is charged with analyzing the Town’s capital infrastructure needs and expenses short and long term. One example of that is their look at the Town’s future needs for solid waste disposal through, or outside of, the Transfer Station. (Scroll down for more on that.)

Now, they are asking residents to share ideas on additional capital improvements they should be studying.

Feedback sought

The committee has posted what they are calling a survey. But (other than your identifying information), it only asks one question. The open ended survey asks for your “Feedback for Consideration”:

Capital Planning Committee – Initial Survey
The Capital Planning Committee was formed by the Board of Selectmen in March 2020 with a primary goal of updating the 10 year capital plan of the town. We would appreciate any input or ideas from members of the Southborough community of what capital improvements they would like to see considered for the Town of Southborough. The Committee is already looking at all current town-owned facilities to understand what improvements or renovations need to be made during this time period, so would especially appreciate items for consideration outside of this population. We have also reviewed the survey results from the Master Plan Committee.

Any idea or input will be vetted based on financial viability weighed against the community need. This form is open ended with the intent of running additional more targeted surveys in the future.

Please feel free to watch our updates to the Board of Selectmen or attend any of our open public meetings (currently being held via Zoom) to follow our progress.

This survey will close on September 13, 2020.

Thank you for your time!

To offer your two cents, click here.

Solid Waste Disposal/Transfer Station

In recent years, the Board of Selectmen has debated how to fund the Transfer Station going forward – through taxes or fees. (Currently, it’s a combination of both.) Impacting the discussions has been a concern that the Town might need to invest soon in replacing the “hopper” used for solid waste disposal. And some have urged looking at whether switching to curbside pickup might be a better option.

This spring, members of the Capital Planning Committee and Advisory asked resident (and former Advisory Member) John Butler to volunteer to analyze the Town’s situation and options related to waste disposal. He updated me:

Solid Waste Disposal Analysis
(click to open pdf)

The study took a few months and was greatly assisted by Karen Galligan, the DPW chief. The first full report on the topic was delivered on Monday to the Capital Planning Committee

The committee plans to discuss it further at a future meeting. Butler may also be making an abbreviated presentation to the Board of Selectmen later this month. 

In the meantime, Butler encouraged me to share Monday’s presentation and video with readers. You can read the slides here. [Note: The presentation makes frequent reference to MSW. That stands for Municipal Solid Waste.]

You can also view Butler’s presentation and subsequent discussion with the committee here.

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