READFIELD — The town is getting video surveillance systems at both the Town Office and the transfer station, following a recommendation months ago by the town’s Solid Waste and Recycling Committee and a 3-2 vote Monday by selectmen.

Town Manager Eric Dyer said the systems, which cost about $500 each, will be installed in the next week or so by a Readfield firm, Restaurant & Retail: Operating Systems.

It will include a camera with a closed-circuit television system and digital video recording system for the Town Office, with the system able to store two weeks’ worth of data.

The Readfield-Wayne Transfer Station on North Road will have only the camera with the digital recording system.

“It’s a safety issue for our employees in the office, because they can’t see who comes through the door,” said Christine Sammons, vice chairwoman of the board, who voted in favor of having the security system. “At the transfer station, it’s also a safety issue. When it gets busy, the workers can’t always see who’s putting what into the different bins. This will help control the cost of things being put in bins and not being paid for.”

For instance, Sammons said, a sofa might turn up in the demolition bin without being logged in by one of the workers.

“Now they can look to see who put it in there,” she said.

Dyer said other items could be added later.

“My approach is to start small and see what the needs are,” he said.

Dyer said the system is a management tool to address a number of issues that might arise with the public, staff safety and financial items.

“It’s a lot more cost-effective than hiring additional staff,” he said, referring particularly to the transfer station.

He said the town had used some different approaches to unauthorized items turning up at the transfer station, but they were not as successful as he hoped they would be.

Dyer said the new system should serve as “a deterrent for people who have the couch fall off the back of the truck.”

In April, the town raised fees for certain items that are accepted at the transfer station. The disposal fee for a sofa without a recliner or bed in it is $20, according to the updated fee schedule which is posted on the town’s website at

Selectboard Chairman Bruce Bourgoine, who voted against installing the systems, said Wednesday that now that it’s been approved by the board, he will support the initiative.

“I’m not against security systems,” he said. “I am concerned about filming employees and wanted to be sure they were OK with it.”

In fact, he said, those who work at the Town Office appear to favor the camera system.

“My vote was to raise concerns about individual civil liberties,” he said. “I’m just always concerned with the creep that can happen in the long run.”

Dyer, who is also the transfer station manager, said signs notifying people about the security systems will be posted at both locations.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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