FREETOWN — Voters will decide on key changes to the town's trash and recycling collection during Monday's Special Town Meeting.
Articles 3 and 4 deal with changes made to the town's contract with Republic Services. With the global collapse of the recycling market and cities and towns scrambling to figure out how this will affect them in the long run, companies like Republic Services and ABC Disposal have taken on additional expenses pertaining to transportation, storage, and processing, just to maintain agreements with municipalities and break even.
Republic Services and the town have improved relations over the past year and the town has signed a three-year contract. Article 3 is a bill for $11,638.13 from FY18 due to Republic abruptly taking over the recycling contract for the town when the previous contractor, We Care Environmental, closed. Article 4 is to increase the budget for curbside pickup of trash and recycling $60,000.
The Special Town Meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 in the elementary school auditorium, 43 Bullock Road. Twenty-four articles are on the warrant. Here are a few articles to pay attention to:
Article 5 — $25,000 to hire a contractor to grind and shred a massive brush pile that has slowly accumulated at the town’s Transfer Station since March. Normally the town handles it in house, but this year’s storm season, along with delays in addressing its decimation, have made it a size that is beyond the town’s resources.
Article 6 — $12,000 to purchase a new auto lift for the Highway Department, to replace the 30+ year old lift for the town that recently failed inspection.
Article 11 — Voting to accept Nick Drive, Cody Drive, Ethan Circle, and Rylee Circle as public roadways. A development is being proposed which connects with these streets, and in order for these streets to be regularly maintained, they have to be accepted as public roads, as well as meet certain conditions pertaining to drainage, access, and utility access. “The benefit also is the roads can be plowed. When they’re private, they can’t be touched,” explained David DeManche, Town Administrator.
Article 13 — Roughly $30,000 is needed in order for Town Departments and staff to meet OSHA requirements, which will be required by law to be met by February 2019. According to DeManche, examples of this include equipment like colored vests, ear guards, protective glasses, and gloves for the Highway Department, as well as training and workshops for all staff on OSHA regulations. “All towns are dealing with it. A lot of what we need to do is get people training,” he said.
Article 15 — $8,750 for enlarging or redesigning the archways of the Fire Department’s Station 1. Currently, no fire trucks or emergency transportation can fit inside Station 1 because the building was erected in the 1940’s, at a time when these vehicles were smaller. Having little to no emergency vehicles at Station 1 means a slowing down of response time, which continues to pose a risk in that area.
Article 22 — Amending the Zoning By-Laws to allow truck stops with special permit for the Science and Technology Overlay District, also known as Freetown’s portion of Innovation Way, which connects with Fall River and includes the Amazon Warehouse.
To see the full warrant, click here.