FAYETTE — Local voters approved a plan that should bring them into full partnership with Readfield and Wayne in the Readfield Transfer Station.

The almost unanimous voice vote came Monday night at a special town meeting at Fayette Central School. It was the only business and dealt with in about 50 minutes by the 106 voters attending. While a couple of people said “no,” the moderator, Sen. Thomas Saviello R-Wilton, whose legislative district includes Fayette, said he was not in doubt as to the result.

Fayette has been a customer of the transfer station since July 2016, and the plan is to begin the partnership agreement July 1, 2017.

Fayette Town Manager Mark Robinson previously had said the Fayette Board of Selectmen would like to have Fayette residents’ approval for the agreement sooner than annual Town Meeting, set for 9 a.m. June 17, to give the other communities advance notice when they prepare their budgets.

The other two towns will vote separately on the agreement later.

The five selectmen, responding to a request from a resident, each said why they supported the plan.

Jon Beekman, chairman of the Fayette selectmen, said the town approached the two other communities about becoming a partner.

“We will be buying in to 27 percent of the total cost” of the transfer station, he told fellow residents. Beekman said the committee considered “every conceivable option” before deciding this was best.

Selectwoman Lacy Badeau said she was against the partnership proposal initially until she learned that the transfer station would take white goods and other bulky waste.

“If it was just trash and recyclables, we’d be all set,” she said. “Unfortunately, it’s all the other waste that kind of sealed it for me.”

Selectman Berndt Graf said, “If it doesn’t work, after three years we can get out and find something else.”

“We’ve done a lot of trash talk over the years,” said Selectman Joseph Young, reminding residents they could dispose of their own trash and recyclables and other items at the transfer station. “To me it’s a no-brainer.”

Selectwoman Nancy Cronin said, “There weren’t a lot of options and the price was the best.”

Several residents praised the board and the solid waste committee members for their work on the agreement.

Fayette had two prior public sessions on the proposal.

On Monday night, hand-printed notes standing on an easel showed the fiscal 2016-17 trash cost for the town as $40,000; the fiscal 2017-18 cost stood at $68,500.

The notes also indicated the agreement would mean an $18 increase in tax for a $100,000 property. Fayette’s current property tax rate is $15.50 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.

If all towns approve the arrangement, Fayette residents no longer would need to hire a private hauler because they themselves could take the trash to the transfer station, which is in Readfield. However, they still could use registered private haulers.

Robinson said Monday night that Fayette residents would obtain transfer station stickers free at the Town Office.

The town has been a customer of the Readfield-Wayne Transfer Station since July 1, 2016, paying about $40,000 in disposal and access fees to the station. However, residents could not take their own trash and recyclables there.

Fayette previously paid the town of Jay $39,000 in annual tipping and disposal fees, but then Jay announced it was closing its transfer station to outsiders.

The 461 residences in town contract for $25 per month to have their trash picked up by one of three private haulers: Archie’s, of Mexico; J & A Disposal, of Jay; and Fran Trask, of Manchester. However, selectmen said they decided to divide the cost of the agreement among 1,558 tax bills that are sent out.

Eric Dyer, who manages the transfer station as part of his role as Readfield town manager, said previously that the multi-year agreement would allow the three towns, rather than two, to share the cost of operating the facility.

“It will lower costs and bring more stability to the system, which is important,” Dyer said, adding that he looks forward to a multi-year agreement. “Long-term, everybody should save money.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 

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