AUGUSTA — A proposal to fill a position overseeing operations at Hatch Hill landfill, vacant since the former director was promoted to public works director in 2011, goes to city councilors for a vote Thursday.

Lesley Jones, who was promoted from that position to director of public works in 2011, said she has continued to oversee the regional landfill’s operation along with her expanded duties as leader of the entire public works department, but it has gotten to the point she can no longer keep up.

In response to her concerns and suggestion that it’s time to hire someone dedicated to overseeing the increasingly complex operations of the landfill used by residents of Augusta and several surrounding municipalities, city councilors have proposed to reinstate the position. They’re scheduled to vote on the move at their meeting Thursday.

The position is expected to pay in the range of $62,317 to $77,875, according to Ralph St. Pierre, finance director and assistant city manager.

The position would be funded by revenues that Hatch Hill takes in, which City Manager William Bridgeo said would provide adequate funding to pay for the position for the foreseeable future, which he said is clearly needed.

Jones, who has overseen Hatch Hill landfill for more than 30 years, said that oversight, since she’s been promoted to public works director, has had to compete with all her other duties. She said that with the help of consultants they’ve managed to keep the landfill in compliance with environmental regulations, but the demands of the job have put her in a position of not being able to do the quality of work she wants and the city should receive.


Running the landfill has become increasingly complex, in part due to the addition of a new system that takes methane gas created by rotting garbage in the landfill and converts it into electricity which helps lower the city’s electricity costs, and Jones noted the facility has also seen a large turnover in staff.

She also said with the currently-in-use section of the landfill expected to reach capacity sometime around 2030, the city will need to start looking at what its residents will do with their solid waste in the future soon because that could be a time-consuming process.

Bridgeo said the search for a candidate to take on the job would be New England-wide. A good candidate for it, he said, would be someone who has had a management position at another landfill.

Councilors, at their 7 p.m. meeting Thursday, are also scheduled to consider two zoning-related changes.

One change would eliminate the city’s definition and regulations for specialized medical clinics, which currently generally apply to facilities such as medical marijuana providers and methadone clinics. The elimination of those rules would leave those types of uses to be regulated under the city’s existing medical clinics rules, which also govern multiple-doctor doctor’s offices and other medical clinics.

Matt Nazar, development director, said the city now has separate rules regulating medical marijuana-related facilities. And he said federal law bans municipalities from regulating methadone clinics, which help drug addicts get off opiates such as heroin using medication, differently than other medical clinics.


“This would put methadone clinics into the same definition, so they’d be treated the same as other medical clinics,” Nazar said of the change, which was recommended by the Planning Board following public hearings. “It cleans up some unintended inconsistencies in the regulations.”

Another zoning related change going to councilors for consideration Thursday would be a proposal to create a contract zone for a property at 2459 North Belfast Avenue to allow a would-be business owner, Corey Wilson, to open an all-terrain vehicle sales and repair business in an existing warehouse on the property.

Because Wilson is a former city councilor, Bridgeo noted in his weekly report to city councilors, it is important to avoid any appearance of favorable treatment to Wilson.

Councilors are also scheduled to:

• Consider authorizing Bridgeo to agree the city will plow snow from Cedar Court and Fieldstone Drive in accordance with the city’s Private Road with Public Easement Maintenance Standards approved in 2005.

• Consider a medical marijuana business license application from MJ Healing Herbs.

• Consider authorizing Bridgeo to apply for several different public-safety-related grants.

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