BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Michelle Cherrier, Chair, Dummerston; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; Kevin Stine, Dover; Lester Dunklee, Dummerston; Sheila Morse, Guilford; Lewis Sumner, Halifax; Dan Toomey, Putney; James Damato, Readsboro; Irvin Stowell, Townshend; Russ Hodgkins, Westminster; Nancy Meinhard, Wardsboro; and Merrill Mundell, Wilmington

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Peter Elwell, Brattleboro; David Jones, Brookline; Daniel Baliotti, 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; Emily Vergobbe, Vernon; and Tom Consolino, Wilmington

WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Bob Spencer, Executive Director; Dale Bessette and Phil Baker, Transfer Station and Compost Facility Operators; Kristen Benoit, Programs Manager; and Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk

OTHERS PRESENT: Athena Lee Bradley, incoming Programs Manager; Frank Ruffolo, Sky Solar Holdings

Ms. Cherrier called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

1. Changes and/or Additions to Agenda: Added item as #2, Staff departures; as Item #14, Committee reports.

2. Staff Departures: Ms. Cherrier spoke to the district’s gratitude for retiring Transfer Station and Facility Operator Phil Baker, thanking him for his many years of service through the life of the district. Ms. Cherrier expressed the district’s gratitude for all of Ms. Benoit’s work, including implementation strategies for Act 148 compliance, developing WSWMD’s SWIP, and writing ANR reports. Ms. Benoit will be the new Assistant Director of Public Works for the town of Carrboro, NC. The board acknowledged the loss of two committed employees and institutional memory keepers.

3. Frank Ruffolo, Sky Solar Holdings: Update on Solar Project and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs): Mr. Ruffolo reported on the financial audit of the solar facility. There have been 2 cycles of billing and crediting from Green Mountain Power. SSH will communicate with the towns about the potential reallocation of 4 kw due to administrative error. Mr. Ruffolo provided an overview of how Renewable Energy Credits work and briefed the board on the potential for a commitment with a Vermont-based REC buyer, with the possibility of $100,000 realized in FY2020, plus Q3 and Q4 operations of the current year. At Ms. Meinhard’s request, Mr. Ruffolo summaized solar production rates thus far. Mr. Damato asked about areas for expansion, and Mr. Ruffolo noted the opportunity for the addition of energy storage systems, which would benefit not only the district but be favorably received by Green Mountain Power. There are some contractors continuing site work and ongoing maintenance.

4. Approval of Minutes – November 8, 2018:

Motion made, seconded and carried, with two abstentions, to approve minutes as presented.

5. Approval of Check Register – November 2018:

Motion to accept the check register as offered, seconded and carried with one abstention.

6. Approval of Financial Report – November 2018: The district received the awaited $17,500 USDA check which was a grant award for purchase of the new loader this summer, and also received the first lease payment of $25,000 from SSH. Ms. Morse asked about differences between line items in the budget, and line items in the financial statement. Mr. Spencer and Ms. Benoit explained how the Board had previously requested items be consolidated to better depict the big picture. Breakdowns by cost center are available to the board by request.

Motion made, seconded and carried to approve as offered the financial reports for November.

7. Consider Approval of FY 2020 Budget: The board discussed various line items of the proposed budget: salaries and benefits, loans, capital expense and utilities.

Motion made to approve the proposed FY 2020 Budget. Motion Seconded and carried with no abstentions.

Motion made, seconded and carried to amend the previous motion to include language stating $931,455 expenditures, $753,525 revenue, and $64,880 capital budgeting, with an assessment to be divided amongst the member towns, of $242,810.

8. Consider Approval of Amended SWIP:

Motion made, seconded and carried to approve the amendment of the SWIP, removing the Town of Whitingham.

9. Consider Approval of Updated Policy and Personnel Handbook: Mr. Toomey and Mr. Spencer reviewed the process for developing the updated Policy and Personnel Handbook and described changes since the last distributed copy. At Ms. Morse’s request, the performance review process was discussed. The board expressed their gratitude for Mr. Toomey and the committee’s hard work. Mr. Mundell requested that there be readily accessible hard copies of the handbook.

Motion made, seconded, and carried to approve the updated Policy and Personnel Handbook.

10. Discuss Resignation of Programs Manager: WSWMD advertised for the Programs Manager position, interviewed several applicants and made and offer to one of those applicants. Mr. Spencer introduced Athena Lee Bradley as incoming Programs Manager. Ms. Bradley has been in the solid waste management field for more than 25 years, with a specialty in assisting rural and small communities in implementing recycling, reuse and organics/food scraps management. Mr. Damato spoke to the growth of responsibilities and critical importance of the Programs Manager position. Ms. Bradley said she was delighted to be joining WSWMD starting part-time January 2.

11. Discuss ANR Compost Infrastructure Grant Award ($410,518): Mr. Spencer informed the board of the specifics of the ANR grant received for a 1) a trommel screen, 2) a mixer, 3) a covered, aerated static pile compost system, and 4) a food waste de-packaging machine. The compost system and de-packager were included with the potential for SSH’s anaerobic digester proposal. Mr. Moreland requested that profit and loss statements for the composting cost center be reviewed by the board prior to further investment in infrastructure to ensure non-participating member communities are not being unduly burdened. Mr. Spencer has been working on a business plan for the organics program, available upon request. Mr. Damato asked about re-allocating grant funds towards other projects should SSH not continue with the digester.

12. Executive Director Report: Mr. Spencer updated the board on new developments in the most recent burglary incident and improvements to building security. Recent tours of WSWMD facilities include one by attendees of the Solid Waste Association of North America meeting (hosted by the district) at the SIT campus, as well as Windham Regional Commission’s energy committee. Mr. Spencer noted the receipt of the anticipated USDA grant payment of $17,500 and the first SSH payment. Lastly, Mr. Spencer reviewed the annual report which has been sent to all member towns to use in their annual reports..

13. Programs Manager Report: Ms. Benoit reported on year-end expenses and revenue from the 2018 HHW collections in Jamaica, Readsboro, Westminster, and Brattleboro. The total expenses was ~$36,000, with a SWIP grant of ~$39,500, leaving a $795 surplus after mercury bulb and syringe collection expenses. Book collection with Roundabout Books is up and running, with the first pick-up two weeks ago. Nine cubic yards of hardcovers, soft covers and DVDs were hauled to RB in Greenfield. These are being diverted from recycling, saving money. Glass diversion continues to be advantageous, with the 30 cubic yard rolloff filling approximately monthly. Ms. Benoit pointed out that this year is the first that the draft budget was made available on the first page of the website. The transition process is underway preparing for Ms. Benoit’s departure and Ms. Bradley beginning. Lastly, Ms. Benoit expressed her gratitude to the board for their support during her 10 years at WSWMD

14. Committee Reports: Discussed openings on each committee due to board member departures.

15. Executive Session (if needed): None.

16. Other Business as Legally Allowed: Mr. Damato asked if there was any update on the surface rights owned on a portion of 3 acres of WSWMD property by late landfill gas system founder, Lawrence “Stub” Thomas. Mr. Spencer said there had been no inquiries.

17. Adjournment:

Motion made to adjourn at 8:40 pm.

Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk