WINDHAM SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT (WSWMD)
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
MINUTES OF OCTOBER 10, 2019
SUPERVISORS PRESENT: Michelle Cherrier, Chair, Dummerston; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; Lewis Sumner, Halifax; Greg Meulemans, Jamaica; Dan Toomey, Putney; Stillman Vonderhorst, Marlboro; James Damato, Readsboro; Irvin Stowell, Townshend; Russ Hodgkins, Westminster; and Nancy Meinhard, Wardsboro
SUPERVISORS ABSENT: Peter Elwell, Brattleboro; David Jones, Brookline; Daniel Balliotti, Dover; Kevin Stine, Dover; Michael Becker, Guilford; Cheryl Franklin, Guilford; Cara Cheyette, Halifax;; Doris Knechtel, Newfane; Mike Fitzpatrick, Newfane; Kent Young, Stratton; Christopher Parker, Vernon; Vernon; and Merrill Mundell, Wilmington
WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Bob Spencer, Executive Director, Vicki Hayes, Office Manager/Bookkeeper; Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk
OTHERS PRESENT: Wendy Levy, Brattleboro; Trevor Mance, Shaftsbury, VT and Cheshire, MA Division Manager, Casella Waste; Kilian Flynn, Market Area Manager, Casella Waste; Abraham Noe-Hayes, Research Director, Rich Earth Institute; John Hatton, Chair- Board of Directors, REI
Note: The teleconference line was opened at 7:00 PM and closed at 7:25 PM.
Ms. Cherrier called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM.
- Changes and/or Additions to Agenda: Cherrier moved the original item #7, regarding roll-off containers loaned to member towns to #3, and #6, regarding the BOE lease and property appraisal, to #4.
- Presentation by Trevor Mance of TAM about Acquisition of TAM by Casella Waste: Cherrier welcomed Mr. Mance and Mr. Flynn from Casella waste. Mr. Mance explained the two primary factors in his decision to sell TAM: disposal capacity and recycling markets. Mr. Mance and Mr. Flynn discussed with the board their perspective on current trends in the recycling market. Mr. Mance stated his belief that the district has great opportunity to provide education and processing for specialty recycling like film plastic, noting WSWMD’s role at the forefront of organics processing. Mr. Spencer asked if Casella had any plans to open an organics facility and Mr. Flynn responded that their plan is to build and develop current operations, not start new ones. Ms. Cherrier thanked Mr. Flynn and Mr. Mance for their time. Mr. Mance thanked the board and towns for their trust and business.
- Status of Roll-Off Containers Loaned to Member Towns: Spencer reviewed the status of the loaned roll-off containers, two of which were recently decommissioned. While initially assigned to specific towns, in practice these containers rotate through the participating towns. As these are the first containers to be decommissioned since loaning to the towns, there is not a precedent for whether the cost of replacing these containers should be paid by the town where they were decommissioned, collectively by the participating towns, or by the district. Mr. Vonderhorst suggested a subcommittee of the towns meet to decide. Mr. Damato suggested a letter be sent to the affected towns inviting such a collaboration. Ms. Meinhard noted that the district functions as a municipality responsible for all its members and stated her concern that disposing of these boxes could be further burden on outlying towns already negatively impacted by the MRF closure. The board decided to continue this conversation at a later date.
- Consider Sky Solar Offer to Sell BOE Lease to WSWMD and Review Appraisal of BOE Property: Spencer reviewed the BOE asset appraisal, which came in at $265,000. Ms. Meinhard asked to clarify the specific assets of the lease, which covers improvements upon land owned by WSWMD. Mr. Spencer believes that ownership of the building and concrete pad would revert to the district at lease end. The appraisal included the land, which is already WSWMD property and thus not a part of lease. It also did not consider the impact of the lease terms on its value. Mr. Spencer will consult our attorney and the appraiser on these concerns. Mr. Noe-Hayes and Mr. Hatton shared background on the goals and work of Rich Earth Institute, who rent space from Sky Solar in the building, and are interested in renting the entire building. Their research is on human urine reclamation, reducing nutrient pollution in wastewater and producing an organic fertilizer. Funding comes from University of Michigan and Long Island Sound Future Fund.
- Approval of Minutes – September 12, 2019:
Mr. Sumner moved to approve the draft minutes as presented. Ms. Meinhard seconded, and the minutes were approved. (9 votes) Mr. Damato abstained.
- Approval of Check Register – September 2019:
Mr. Mundell moved to approve the September check register. Mr. Toomey seconded, and the register was approved unanimously. (10 votes)
- Approval of Financial Report – September 2019: Moreland reviewed the finance committee’s discussion noting that WSWMD is 25% through year, with 33% of anticipated revenue earned and 27% of anticipated expenditures.
Mr. Damato moved to approve the September financial report. Mr. Hodgkins seconded, and the financial report was approved unanimously. (10 votes)
- Resignation of Minnie Bennett as District Clerk Effective October 15, 2019: Bennett thanked the board for the opportunity to learn and engage with WSWMD’s mission and the board thanked Ms. Bennett for her service.
- Executive Session (if needed):
- Next Meeting: The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be November 14, 2019.
- Other Business as Legally Allowed:
Mr. Damato moved to adjourn. Mr. Vonderhorst seconded, and the meeting adjourned at 8:38 PM.
Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk