WATERVILLE — City councilors Tuesday night will consider appointing a solid waste committee to explore options for disposing of the city’s waste after its contract with Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington ends in March 2018.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center and will be preceded by an executive session at 6:30 p.m. to discuss a personnel matter and to consult legal counsel about an unrelated issue.

City Manager Michael Roy said Monday that the city is one of 187 municipalities represented by the Municipal Review Committee, which represents all members of PERC, or all charter municipalities. The review committee is developing options for communities that include continuing to dispose of trash at PERC after its contract expires in 2018. For Waterville, that likely would mean paying double the disposal fee the city now pays — $60 per ton, according to Roy.

“The MRC is developing a project that would convert waste to a biofuel, and there may be, as part of that plan, a processing-type facility in central Maine that our waste would go to first for sorting before it ends up in the facility in Hampden,” Roy said. “A facility might get built here that would be connected to the MRC plan.”

A third option would be to take the city’s waste to a landfill and a fourth option would be to take the waste to another waste-to-energy plant, Roy said.

He said there are three such plants in the state: PERC, a plant in the Auburn area and one at ecomaine in South Portland. Ecomaine currently takes recyclables that Waterville residents place at the curb.

Members of the city’s solid waste committee would look at all aspects of Waterville’s solid waste collection and disposal practices and make recommendations to the council about what the city should do about solid waste in the future, Roy said. The committee’s work would start this year.

Proposed committee members are Council Chairman Fred Stubbert, D-Ward 1, and councilors John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, and Dana Bushee, D-Ward 6, as well as former mayor and City Council Chairman Dana Sennett, former councilor Erik Thomas, and residents Stu Silverstein and Nick Champagne. Roy, City Engineer Greg Brown and Public Works Director Mark Turner would be ex-officio members, or nonvoting members of the committee.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors will consider authorizing the issuance of $4.5 million in revenue obligation securities for a Thomas College dormitory construction project that was completed last year with no liability to the city if Thomas does not meets its obligations to pay back the loan. The city basically lends its name to the borrowing.

The council also will consider increasing fees for the municipal outdoor pool on North Street. A memo to the mayor and councilors from Parks and Recreation Director Matt Skehan, dated May 13, says the proposal to increase fees is an effort to bring pool revenues up to match expenses.

Under the proposed increases, a family season pass for residents with up to four people in a household would go from $30 to $40. For daily admission rates, children 17 and under go from $2 to $3 for residents and $4 to $5 for non-residents; adults 18 and over go from $3 to $4 for residents and non-residents stay at $7. There would also be increases in fees for swimming lessons.

The higher fees would provide the city with about $10,000 additional revenue if visitor numbers are typical, according to Skehan.

“It is the hope of the department that the added revenue will help the facility ‘break even,'” according to the memo. “Members from the staff and Recreation Committee were careful when considering which rates to raise. The city recognizes that the outdoor pool is truly a community resource and should always be accessible and affordable.”

The council also will consider approving the purchase of $8,500 worth of equipment for maintaining Pine Grove Cemetery. The equipment includes a commercial mower for $6,000, a push mower for $500, a leaf blower for $1,000 and weed whackers for $800.

Councilors also will consider selling 12 Glidden St. to an abutter for $6,300. The city acquired the lot for nonpayment of taxes and razed a building on it.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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