DIXFIELD — Selectmen on Monday unanimously joined with other River Valley towns in support of a resolution calling for fair trade practices which would benefit the local paper mill.
They also reviewed two contracts for use of the town garage and Harlow Park and Marble Park by Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10.
NewPage employee Ron Hemingway appeared before the board to ask for their support for a resolution that says China and Indonesia are dumping cheap paper on the market, which hurts U.S. mills.
The resolution calls for enforcing U.S. trade laws and for taking steps, such as attaching tariffs to imported paper, so that the market will be on a level playing field. The document says that environmental, compensation and other regulations are not equal in the two eastern countries to those in the United States.
The boards of Mexico and Rumford signed the resolution last week.
The proposed contract for use of the town garage calls for increasing the rent from $12,000 to $15,000 a year for the district, as well as requiring payment of half the utilities. The school district uses the town garage for repair and maintenance of its buses. Public works foreman David Phair said the proposed changes would net the town an additional $10,000 annually.
The proposed contract for use of Harlow Park and Marble Park spells out the district’s responsibility for the maintenance of the fields, such as mowing. The town will assume the responsibility for capital improvements and repairs.
Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said the responsibilities for the parks are generally adhered to. The agreement more specifically describes them. The parks are used by the school for sporting events and practices.
If approved by both parties, the contracts will be valid through June 30, 2015.
In other matters, the board tabled indefinitely any action on the removal of the pines along Pine Street at the rear of Greenwood Cemetery. A survey showed that all but one of them are many years away from maturity and harvesting.
Selectmen also approved a new smoking policy that bans smoking within 20 feet of a doorway or other air intake means to a municipal building. Employees may smoke in their vehicles when they are on town business as long as they travel alone.
At the end of the meeting, the board met in closed session to continue negotiations with the union that represents the employees of the public works department. Skibitsky said the union must now decide whether to accept the town’s offer or go to mediation.