CHINA — A security system, including cameras, motion sensors and heat monitors, will be installed at the transfer station and town garage after several break-ins.

That’s what selectman unanimously agreed during a meeting Monday, after being urged to do so by Paul MacDonald, a selectmen and recycling coordinator. Selectmen voted that the cost of the system should not exceed $5,200, plus a monthly monitoring fee.

MacDonald said after the meeting that there have been several break-ins at the location in recent years, including one earlier this month. “Each time it costs about $1,000 when you repair the damages,” MacDonald said. “We have over $1 million in assets there. If we don’t protect our assets, we’re making a big mistake.”

He said the security system will probably be installed in the next month or so.

Selectmen made no progress on other matters, despite expert help. The two major issues debated were the proposed transfer station planning committee and plans to improve recreational opportunities in Thurston Park.

The experts wanted to know the selectmen’s goals and priorities before they offered advice. Selectmen said they were looking for advice to help set goals and priorities.

The hour before the meeting and part of the meeting were spent discussing transfer station issues with resident Susan Cottle, who organized and analyzed last summer’s survey of residents’ opinions, and transfer station employees Elwin Higgins, Kevin Rhoades and Mary Kay Adams.

The only consensus was that recycling should be encouraged. No decisions were made on how to encourage it, although a majority of selectmen appear to favor making cardboard recycling mandatory.

The results were a long list of issues, disagreement about priorities among board members and a decision to repeat the process at 6 p.m. April 9, before the next selectmen’s meeting.

Thurston Park II Committee Chairman William Seekins and foresters Tim Basham of China and Jason Tyler of Palermo were invited to offer advice on a proposed timber harvest in the park, which is a 387-acre mostly-wooded piece of town property in northeastern China.

The harvest is to be based on a 2007 forestry plan, and the main goal is to make some money to help improve the access road to the park. Basham and Tyler pointed out that in five years, both the trees and the value of harvested wood have changed significantly. Both said it would be reasonable to expect loggers to improve an access road to get to an area to be cut. But Tyler doubted the proposed cut in the park would generate enough money to tempt anyone to bid on the work.

Basham advised selectmen to get more support from residents before touching a tree, referring to a time when several vocal residents wanted the area left wild.

Seekins, Tyler and Basham will inspect the park.

The final question left unresolved Monday was Planning Board Chairman Ronald Breton’s request to have an ordinance section regulating home occupations on the June local ballot. Selectmen postponed a decision until April 9.


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