Hearing set _on tipping fees in Merrimack
MERRIMACK – After years of debate by residents, seemingly countless hours of discussion by town officials and several contentious town meeting votes, the pieces of the trash disposal puzzle are falling into place.
A $1.5 million transfer station being built on Lawrence Road is nearing completion, and the Board of Selectmen on Thursday approved two contracts, one for the company that will haul trash out of town, the other for the company that will receive the trash.
Tuesday night, the next puzzle piece will be examined: A public hearing will be held on tipping fees, the charge for disposing solid waste. The hearing will be held as part of the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, which begins 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Courtroom.
Selectmen on Thursday estimated those tipping fees at about $88 a ton for municipal solid waste.
The trash puzzle must be put together because the town’s landfill is closing at the end of this year, as mandated by the state.
On Thursday, selectmen awarded a contract to WeCare Transportation LLC, based in Jordan, N.Y. The company will be responsible for removing municipal solid waste and construction and demolition waste from the transfer station to a site outside of town.
The work to load the waste will be done by WeCare and not the town, which selectmen said will save the town some manpower costs.
The base cost is $243,762.85, with the following provisions:
n $14.53 per ton for hauling municipal waste 50 miles one-way.
n 12 cents per ton for any addition or decrease per one-way mile in hauling distance. That is, if the distance the municipal waste will be hauled is less than 50 miles, the town will be credited with 12 cents per mile. For distances of greater than 50 miles, the town will be charged an additional 12 cents per mile.
n $20.18 per ton for hauling construction and demolition waste 50 miles one-way.
n 17 cents per ton for an any addition or decrease per one-way mile in hauling distance. That is, if the distance the construction and demolition waste will be hauled is less than 50 miles, the town will be credited with 17 cents per mile. For distances of greater than 50 miles, the town will be charged an additional 17 cents per mile.
n Beginning Dec. 14, 2004, and for each year after, the increase in fees will be calculated based on a formula using the Consumer Price Index-Urban. The fee adjustments will be half of the increase of CIP-U for the Boston area for the month of September immediately preceding the contract year.
Selectmen on Thursday also awarded a contract to Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprises (TREE) of Rochester for receiving the waste. The facility is 50 miles from the transfer station, according to driving distances listed in an Internet map search.
The cost of the contract is $52 per ton, beginning this Dec. 14 and ending Dec. 14, 2004. For each year after, the cost per ton will rise 3 percent.
“I think what we built into the contracts are some flexible measures that are in the best interest of the community, and which sets us up for long-term contracts,” Public Works Director Ed Chase told selectmen, who voted, 4-0, to authorize Town Manager Dean Shankle to sign them on behalf of town.
Selectmen’s Chairman Dick Hinch was out of the Town Hall Courtroom when the vote was taken.