OXFORD — Residents voted at a special town meeting Thursday evening to buy a waste compactor for $40,400 and a stainless steel transfer trailer for $99,500.

Atlantic Recycling Equipment of Rollinsford, New Hampshire, will provide the compactor and Hale Trailer Brake and Wheel of Portland will provide the commercial stainless steel trailer.

Oxford will be the first community in the state to purchase this type of trailer, which is expected to last several years longer than the unit it replaces.

After the meeting, selectmen held their regular session and heard from two residents about the transfer station taking demolition materials from other towns, a practice which has now stopped.

“This is black and white,” Selectman Sharon Jackson. “Oxford Transfer Station is for Oxford residents only and for no others. Period. Waste from other towns needs to go to their town. It’s not a gray issue.”

A discussion on transfer station fees was tabled, and Selectman Ed Knightly was instructed to gather more data from neighboring communities on all accepted materials. Once the fee schedules are analyzed the board will hold a workshop so residents can participate in the process of setting fees.

In another waste issue, the board unanimously approved a request by Zhenya Shevchenko, wastewater treatment facility superintendent, for a study on treated sludge. Recent tests showed that two substances exceed current allowances and can no longer be used for agricultural practices, he said.

Oxford Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Zhenya Schevchenko addresses selectmen at their meeting Thursday night. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat photo

Schevchenko proposed hiring Woodard & Curran, an environmental consulting firm in Portland, to do the study. The cost is $15,000 and through a grant the state will cover 25% of it. Once the study is complete, the town will issue requests for proposals from environmental engineers to build an alternative treatment program and equipment.

“Grants will be available for the construction of a new process,” Schevchenko told the board. “But to qualify for the grants we have to have the research study done.”

Funds to cover the town’s share of the study are available in the department budget.

The state will also provide grants to help pay for a new program, but with the condition that the study be conducted and completed by Jan. 1, 2020.

The facility has the capacity to hold treated sludge for up to a year while changes are made.

Public Works Foreman Jim Bennett presented an update on the purchase of a new excavator. He collected five quotes ranging from $136,000 to 166,000. Considering other recent expenses the town had faced, Bennett said he would put the purchase in the department’s 2020 budget and hold off until buying one until next year.

The board also discussed a plan to add a resource officer’s position to Oxford Elementary School. SAD 17 would pay for half of the expense. The officer would be at the school seven hours a day. The board approved a motion to determine what the cost for the position would be.

In his report to the board, Town Manager Butch Asselin said he was researching the possibilities of Revision Energy leasing town property for a solar farm.

Asselin also told the Board that with the difficulties of hiring a new transfer station manager, Road Foreman Jim Bennett had agreed to take on the duties for a trial period.


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