PERU – With winter looming on the horizon, the town is working feverishly to close its former dump site on Pleasant Street.

“We need to get that closed,” stressed Chairman James Pulsifer at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting. An estimated $12,000 is required to close the dump.

Selectmen discussed the account the money should be drawn from. Treasurer Vera Parent noted that the town has only $286 left for this fiscal year for the dump closure.

Options include taking funds from the miscellaneous account, or going before voters to request money be taken from surplus. Either way, said Pulsifer, the dump must be closed soon.

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d just as soon overdraw that account and see how we are in the spring,” he said. “I think we need to get it done, get DEP (the state Department of Environmental Protection) off our back.”

The consensus of the board was to finish cleaning up the dump site, close it, and have the account remain in the red until a decision is reached on how to pay for the work.

Fire Chief William Hussey discussed a problem the fire department is having with regard to worker’s compensation coverage. Under the Maine Municipal Association’s plan, firefighters are only covered for an accident at work if they are on a fire call.

“The only way we’re covered right now is if the tone goes off,” he said. “If we were working on the station cleaning or anything, we wouldn’t be covered.”

Hussey added that he had researched different insurance plans with Dixfield fire chief and insurance agent Scott Dennett and discovered several companies that provided insurance coverage beyond what MMA worker’s compensation would handle. If the town were to go to a plan that filled the coverage gap, Hussey pointed out that he would like to see the cost of it come out of the miscellaneous account instead of the fire department’s budget.

“I’d like to see this researched a little further,” said Pulsifer.

Selectmen noted there have been some problems with erosion at a camp owned by Anthony and Sharon George on Greenwoods Road due to an excess of fill that had been put in by the firm working on the property.

“There are some legitimate issues there,” said Pulsifer. “Their biggest problem was with the people who did the work.”

He added that he had talked with Code Enforcement Officer John Plumley regarding working with abutting property owners, as well as the Georges, about the fill and possible solutions.

The town is facing a considerably higher cost per ton for salt this year, $78.60 per ton as opposed to the $59.54 charged per ton last year. According to correspondence from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, salt is in short supply.

Higher fuel costs, noted Road Commissioner Joe Roach, have also contributed to the cost increase. The short supply and higher fuel costs are forcing towns to consider rationing the amount of salt they use.

There are some old, faded signs by the old post office and also on East Shore Road that were apparently “no parking” signs at one time. Roach asked the board if they could be removed.

Selectmen gave him the go-ahead on the sign removal.

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