FARMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen unanimously waived the town’s right of first refusal Tuesday, allowing Sandy River Recycling Association to market its building and property.

After the association formed in 1990, the town sold 2.94-acre parcel  next to the town’s landfill for $4,500, Town Manager Richard Davis said during the board meeting. The deed included a clause allowing the town to have first refusal for purchase of the land and any buildings on it, if the association dissolved.

The association built an 8,000-plus-square-foot building at the site to process recyclables collected from its 21 member towns.

Sandy River voted to dissolve as of June 30, Jo Josephson, an association representative, told the board.

“It’s hard work to close,” she said.

The land and building have been appraised. The association board is working with a realtor but before they can start marketing it, Josephson sought an answer as to whether the town was interested in purchasing the property or would act on its right to first refusal, she said. 

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If the town wasn’t interested, they would like to finalize the details and put it on the market by April 1, she added. The estimated marketing price is between $150,000 to $175,000, she said.

In addition, the machinery is being appraised for sale.

Board members questioned how the town could use the land and building but could not think of any reason the town would need it.

The property is close to routes 2 and 27 but is accessed by a road shared with the town transfer station. It has a good septic system and water is piped in from a well next to the transfer station, she said. 

The proximity to a closed landfill could be an issue, she added.

The association is owned by its members and governed by their representatives. When the association board voted to dissolve in December, Farmington was still a member. The town chose to leave the association in January.

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“Some part of the sale will come back to the town,” she said.

At the time of the vote, members will receive a proportionate share of what they’ve paid in for the past five years, she said.

Farmington is expected to receive about 25 percent of the amount realized from the sale of the association’s holdings. Potentially, the amount could be about $60,000, Davis said.

Sandy River Recycling Association formed in response to the state’s first Solid Waste Management Law in 1989, which encouraged recycling. It started in September 1990 and had 16 municipal members by November.

In 2006, the facility opened a food compost program complete with constructed pad. The first such licensed project of its kind in Maine, it used food waste from the University of Maine at Farmington and Franklin Memorial Hospital to produce compost that could be used on lawns and in gardens.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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