LIVERMORE FALLS — Three of five selectmen agreed Tuesday, May 19, to enter into a five-year contract with ecomaine to take the town’s single-sort recyclables.

Two selectmen were absent.

The town pays $15 a ton to ecomaine now, and the new agreement increases that to $95 a ton. However, it is less than the $115 a ton the town anticipated paying. The higher amount was in the proposed 2020-21 budget.

The contract has a clause that the cost could increase up to 7% each year. There is also a clause that if the company finds a way to get rid of recyclables at a better cost, the town could see a credit.

Single-sort recycling allows residents and businesses to mix all recyclable items together instead of sorting into separate containers for collection.

In another matter, Town Manager Stephen Gould asked selectmen if they had any objection to one staff member at the Town Office working Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other working Tuesday and Thursday. They will switch the next week.

Selectmen were OK with it.

It would stop staff from congregating at the counter to try and wait on people when they see a line outside, he said. There is not enough work for them to do at this time because of the COVID-19 situation. The number of people allowed at a time into the office and lobby is restricted, Gould said.

The plexiglass installed at the front counter and an added adjustment helped with a draft that was coming into the staff area when the lobby doors were opened.

A camera that sends a signal to notify staff in the back of the office when someone has entered the office also had to be relocated.

One problem is that staff cannot hear people. Gould said he ordered a speaker system Tuesday at a cost of $925.

The plexiglass will remain in place after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. It serves well to protect the staff, he said.

The reopening of the office on Monday went well, he said. The weekday hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and gives staff time to sanitize everything.

“We have had no real problems with anyone,” Gould said.

In other matters, selectmen will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday to review the warrant for the July 14 annual town meeting.  Selectmen will also discuss adding a warrant article that will allow the Police Department to roll over $15,000 to July 1 and use it to make final payment on a cruiser.  That would leave the $15,000 proposed in the 2020-21 budget to be set aside toward a new cruiser in the future. The oldest cruiser has 70,000 miles on it.

Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said money was saved in the current budget because of less trips to Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn and courts in Lewiston and Auburn. It also reflects less repairs needed on cruisers.

To participate in the teleconference meeting for a land line dial 560-0523 and 207-560-0523. Once answered, put in access code 408537.

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