Norway selectmen mull solid waste future

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NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen may meet with its Paris counterparts to see if there is any interest in alternative ways to provide a solid waste program to its residents.

Late last month, all seven members of the Norway-Paris Solid Waste Board of Directors were removed by a unanimous vote of selectmen in both towns. The boards also unanimously approved a resolution to establish a temporary method of running the operation until new appointments are made. Both boards agreed that the directors adopted bylaws that were inconsistent with the interlocal agreement adopted by both towns.

“Miscommunication grew into mistrust and polarization happened,” said Norway Town Manager David Holt, who along with Paris Town Manager Phil Tarr are overseeing the solid waste operation after the entire board was removed.

Holt told Norway selectmen at its Thursday meeting that there are different ways the towns can approach the solid waste program in the future. They include having one town contract with another to oversee the operation, having more of a shared program and other methods.

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Holt said there could even be an opportunity to work with Oxford County recycling, which leases space on the site and whose contract must be renewed in June.

Selectman Bruce Cook, who previously sat on the Norway-Paris Solid Waste board, said one concern he has is that it will be a tough transition for any new board to oversee the solid waste operation if the members are all new. He suggested that the two town managers stay on board for at least several months after the new appointments to ensure an smooth transition.

Selectman Irene Millett said the current employees are a “big plus” to helping the new board in the future.

“It is a huge learning curve,” she said of the new board’s work.

Cook has suggested that the boards explore all the options, including bringing the recycling and solid waste programs together.

Oxford County Recycling includes 18 Oxford County towns, but towns such Bethel, Woodstock and Greenwood are now looking into going to a single stream disposal, said Selectman Warren Sessions, who also works as general manager at the county recycling plant.

Holt said he will talk to Tarr to try to draft some of the ideas for the two boards to discuss.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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