WINDHAM SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT (WSWMD)
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
MINUTES OF JANUARY 10, 2019
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Michelle Cherrier, Chair, Dummerston; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; David Jones, Brookline; Lester Dunklee, Dummerston; Sheila Morse, Guilford; Lewis Sumner, Halifax; Dan Toomey, Putney; James Damato, Readsboro; Emily Vergobbe, Vernon; Nancy Meinhard, Wardsboro; and Merrill Mundell, Wilmington
BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Peter Elwell, Brattleboro; Daniel Baliotti, Dover; Kevin Stine, Dover; Cara Cheyette, Halifax; Andy Coyne, Jamaica; Judy Flower, Jamaica; Tony Gordon, Marlboro; Stillman Vonderhorst, Marlboro; Shannon Meckle, Newfane; Mike Fitzpatrick, Newfane; Robert Matte, Readsboro; Kent Young, Stratton; Irvin Stowell, Townshend; Russ Hodgkins, Westminster; and Tom Consolino, Wilmington
WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Bob Spencer, Executive Director; Athena Lee Bradley, Programs Manager; Vicki Hayes; Office Manager/Bookkeeper; Dale Bessette, Transfer Station and Compost Facility Operator; and Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk
OTHERS PRESENT: None.
Note: At 6:55 PM the teleconference line was opened. It closed at 7:20 PM with no participants.
Ms. Cherrier called meeting to order at 7:00 PM
1. Changes and/or Additions to Agenda: Mr. Spencer requested the board add an agenda item to discuss contracting with Northeast Recycling council (NERC) to take over a USDA funded community compost development project.
Ms. Cherrier moved to add this agenda item. Mr. Damato seconded, and the motion carried unanimously with 11 votes.
2. Approval of Minutes – December 13, 2018:
Mr. Damato moved to approve the minutes of December 13, 2018 as presented. Ms. Meinhard seconded, and the motion carried with nine votes. Mr. Jones and Ms. Vergobbe abstained.
3. Approval of Check Register – December 2018: The board discussed the various disbursements listed on the check register including payments for ongoing monitoring of the solar array site and for utilities.
Ms. Meinhard moved to approve the Check Register of December 2018, as presented. Mr. Sumner seconded, and the motion carried unanimously with 11 votes.
4. Approval of Financial Report – December 2018: Mr. Mundell summarized the Finance Committee’s review of the financial report, and the board discussed various line items. Ms. Meinhard asked about solar revenue, which Ms. Hayes explained a portion was used against the outstanding legal fees incurred earlier in the solar project. Mr. Moreland recalled a question from the Finance Committee meeting about employee insurance benefits. At Ms. Cherrier’s request, Ms. Hayes will email the board with a breakdown of health benefit expenses seen in this report.
Mr. Damato moved to approve the Financial Report of December 2018, as presented. Mr. Mundell seconded, and the motion carried unanimously with 11 votes.
5. Discuss a Contracting Agreement with NERC to Take Over USDA Funded Community Composting Development Project: This contract would enable Ms. Bradley to continue work she was doing at NERC developing seven community compost sites in rural communities, as well as additional community composting resources for residents of the 6 states included in the project. Mr. Spencer would also work on this project. Mr. Mundell questioned how this project might impact organics sources for the WSWMD Organics Recycling Program. Mr. Moreland and Mr. Damato expressed concern regarding how the contract might interfere with employees’ responsibilities at WSWMD. Mr. Jones asked what the specific monetary and resource benefits this project would bring the district. Ms. Bradley and Mr. Spencer acknowledged that while the resources developed could be brought within the district, the specific focus of the project was mostly focused on the greater regional community. Ms. Morse thanked Mr. Spencer and Ms. Bradley for presenting this opportunity, agreeing with Mr. Moreland that the opportunity was not in line with the needs and aims of the district. Ms. Bradley urged the board to consider community composting in the future for its benefits to rural communities. No motion was made, and the discussion concluded.
6. Discuss Future Direction of WSWMD Organics Recycling Program, and the Portion of the ANR Compost Infrastructure Grant Award ($410,518) to be Accepted, and Matched at 60% Cost Share: Board members discussed various factors impacting their personal and representative perspectives on the current mission and operations of WSWMD, and on goals for the future direction of the WSWMD Organics Recycling Program (ORP). They further considered different possibilities for specific actions to take towards achieving these goals. Mr. Spencer shared incoming organics volumes and a business plan for the ORP. The board discussed the expected schedule for repaying towns for the use of solar revenue that would otherwise be used to reduce assessment, considering the difference in timelines depending on which equipment is purchased.
Mr. Mundell moved that WSWMD re-apply for the ANR Compost Infrastructure Grant for 40% the purchase cost of a trommel screen, the other 60% to be matched by the district. Ms. Meinhard seconded, and the motion carried unanimously with 11 votes.
7. Status of Excess 4 kWh of Solar Energy Available: Mr. Spencer reviewed the situation of SSH finding an excess of unclaimed solar energy. Ms. Morse said that Guilford may be interested and that the issue is on their agenda.
8. Status of Renewable Energy Credits: SSH has applied to sell RECs in the Massachusetts renewable energy credit market. This will include 2 quarters from the current fiscal year, as well as next year.
9. Consider Need for February 14, 2019 Special Meeting:
Mr. Damato moved to have a special meeting on February 14, 2019. Ms. Cherrier seconded. The motion carried with nine votes in favor, two opposed.
Mr. Spencer will try to find a presenter on flow control ordinances for this meeting.
10. Programs Manager Report: Ms. Bradley reported on her first weeks at WSWMD, learning her way around the office, and food scraps outreach. She will be in touch with supervisors to survey educational goals for each member town. There was a site visit at Hermit Thrush as they begin composting. She has begun working on the HHW SWIP report due next week. Ms. Cherrier requested that contact information on the website be updated, and Ms. Bradley explained those updates will likely occur as we migrate to a new District website program.
11. Executive Director Report: Mr. Spencer reported on the recent staffing changes. WSWMD will be receiving the annual SWIP grant at the same higher rate received last year. Last month annual reports and the FY20 budget were sent to all towns for annual reports and budget preparations. Vermont DEC notified WSWMD that the SWIP has been officially amended for the removal of Whitingham. Lastly, Mr. Spencer reported on an increase to our single-stream recycling fees. Mr. Damato asked about other options for recycling contracts, and about the status of the glass diversion. Mr. Bessette reported that two full boxes of glass have gone out, and the box is currently ¾ full.
12. Committee Reports (if any): None.
13. Executive Session (if needed): None.
14. Other Business as Legally Allowed: Mr. Damato asked about the possibility of encouraging ANR to mandate dual-stream recycling, Mr. Spencer explained that it would be a legislative issue.
15. Adjournment: Mr. Damato moved to adjourn, Ms. Cherrier seconded, and the meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.
Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk