THURSDAY, May 14, 2020





Members Present: Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; Michelle Cherrier, Dummerston (Chair); Greg Meulemans, Jamaica; Doris Knechtel, Newfane; Dan Toomey, Putney; Russell Hodgkins, Westminster; Merrill Mundell, Wilmington; Kevin Stine, Dover; Irvin Stowell, Townshend.

Members Absent: David Jones, Brookline; Michael Becker, Guilford; Lewis Sumner, Haliax; Stillman Vanderhorst, Marlboro; James Damato, Readsboro; Ricky Harrington, Somerset; Kent Young, Stratton; Sandra Rulewich, Vernon; Nancy Meinhard, Wardsboro.

WSWMD Staff Present: Athena Lee Bradley, Programs Manager; Vicki Hayes, Office Manager; Bob Spencer, Executive Director.

Others Present: Kim Nace, and Abe Noe-Hayes of Rich Earth Institute.



Chair Michelle Cherrier called the meeting to order at 7:15pm.

Ms. Cherrier welcomed attendees and announced the procedures for this meeting, which was held via teleconferencing and online conferencing.



Michelle asked for changes or additions to the agenda. She announced the resignation of Wendy Levy as District Clerk on May 7th, and the application of Vicki Hayes as replacement and appointment.

Michelle also added the completion of the Executive Board to the agenda.

Michelle also asked to move the lease assignment from BOE to Rich Earth to #2 on the agenda.

Consider Transfer of BOE Lease to Rich Earth Institute:


Michelle made a motion “The Windham Solid Waste Management District consents to the assignment by Brattleboro Organic Energy, LLC to Rich Earth Institute, Inc. of the Gas Purchase and Lease Agreement dated August 28, 2009 by and between the District and Brattleboro Organic Energy, LLC, as successor-in-interest to Brattleboro Carbon Harvest, LLC as amended to date.”   Doris seconded.


Kim and Abe discussed where they are in the process, with this approval the closing documents are in process of completion.  Next steps are for Bob and the Finance Committee to negotiate a new term and price for the lease.

Motion carried.



Approval of Minutes of April 9, 2020:    Kevin discussed the need for names of those making motions to be included in the minutes.  Russ agreed, stating that is the way Westminster does it.

There was agreement by the Board Members to include names going forward.

Russ made the motion to accept the minutes of April 9, 2020 as presented, Dan seconded.

Kevin and Irvin abstained from the vote, the motion carried.


Approval of Check Register- April 2020:

Merrill made the motion to accept the Check Register of April 2020, Michelle seconded.

 There was a question regarding SEP payments and timing by Irv.

Irv abstained from the vote, the motion carried.


Approval of Financial Statement- April 2020:

Merrill made a motion to accept the Financial Statement of April 2020, Michelle seconded.

There was minimal discussion regarding the results as this had been reviewed at the Finance Committee meeting.

Motion carried.


Covid-19 Impact on WSWMD Operations:

Bob discussed the spread sheet Vicki prepared showing the positive financial impact on revenues during this pandemic, primarily due to increased sales of compost. There was discussion of fuel and other operational cost decreases going forward.  Athena gave a summary of the staff level work, using PPE, sanitizing regularly and staggered office staffing.

Anita Grant was commended for her ongoing search for supplies to keep staff safe.

Green-Up Day is scheduled for May 30th, Athena said towns should be receiving their supplies, if there are any issues she would be happy to assist the towns.

Discuss Renewal of PILOT with Brattleboro:

There was discussion regarding the renewal and the plans the Finance Committee has in place for renewing the agreement. The Board confirmed extending the PILOT two more years at the same terms.


Confirm Budget Fee Increases for 2021:

There was discussion regarding the bagged compost fee and if the other pricing was in cubic yards.  The Board confirmed the increases.

Consider Revised Purchasing Policy:

Dan discussed the process and changes that were made.  There was further discussion regarding vendor selection and process.

Patrick made the motion to accept the revised Purchasing Policy, Merrill seconded.

Russ abstained, and the motion carried.


Consider New Commercial Motor Vehicle Policy:

Dan and Bob discussed an overview of the contents of the Policy, it was noted that the correct title is the CMV Drug and Alcohol Policy.  The District currently has one employee to which the Policy applies.

Patrick made the motion to accept the new policy, Merrill seconded.  Russ abstained, and the acceptance of the new policy carried.


Discuss Backyard Compost Demo Area:  

Athena discussed the plan for a demo area by the recycle bins and C.O.W display.  One of the bunkers will be cleared and the bins will be set up.  She is working with BCTV for workshops on composting and will be contacting Master Gardeners for tours and seminars.

Completion of the Executive Board:

Michelle reviewed the final members of the Executive Board with the elections of the Committee Chairs.  The Executive Board consists of the Chair, Michelle Cherrier; the Vice-Chair, Patrick Moreland; Finance Chair, Merrill Mundell; Policy and Personnel Chair, Dan Toomey.

Appointment of District Clerk:

A motion was made by Michelle to appoint Vicki Hayes as District Clerk, Seconded by Dan.

There being no objections, the motion carried.


Discuss Compost Facility Permit Amendment:

Bob presented an update on the cost to amend the state permit from a small facility to a medium size.  He developed three options from KAS, our engineers for the permit modification.  All are expensive, ranging from $176,000 to $342,000. For an open air facility, there would be annual costs of approximately $50,000 to dispose of leachate at the Brattleboro WWTP. Bob explained the use of retention basins and the increase to operating costs to remove the run-off.  If a building is installed over the primary composting pad there is no need for collecting leachate.

As the District only has one contract in place for food scraps and organics (Brattlerboro Curbside), we have no guarantee that we would continue receiving the commercial organics we now accept.

It is recognized that the Board currently has no appetite for additional borrowing and there are no grants available at this time.  Bob suggested we add the cost to our capital plan for review when the current loans for the loader and screener are paid off in two years.  In the meantime we may have to reduce the current volumes we accept as we are over our permit volume.  Bob will discuss with VT DEC. Vicki suggested we review the impact to the 2021 budget if the DEC requires a reduction in organic waste received.

Executive Session: None

Next Meeting:  June 11, 2020 at 7:00 P.M.

Other Business as Legally Allowed:

Athena discussed the SWIP revision, she will present the draft at the June meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 P.M.

Minutes Submitted by

Vicki Hayes

District Clerk