BETHEL — It took less than 45 minutes for residents to pass all 38 articles on the town warrant last Wednesday.

Only a few articles generated questions, with one coming from resident Lucy Abbott who asked town officials if they think the cost to operate the solid waste management program will continue to increase in the next couple of years ($495,411 to $557,097 in FY’ 22).

Town Manager Loretta Powers said one reason for the spike is that the transfer station has gotten an abundance of construction debris since COVID-19 due to many people building new homes and remodeling existing ones.

“We upped it because it’s costing us dearly to get rid of our trash,” Powers said.

Powers also said there is a limit of one pickup load of construction debris per day at the transfer station and that employees are doing their best to enforce it despite pushback from a few contractors. She added that there has been talks of charging for construction debris but discussion on the subject “has not gotten very far.”

Resident Jeff Parsons had questions on the capital improvement budget, which is up $235,126 from a year ago ($806,374 t0 $1,041,500). Under capital assets, Parsons wondered what Ambulance Lucas Devices are for ($36,000 for 2 devices) and also why the town is purchasing a PW Grader ($250,000).

Ambulance Director David Hanscom explained that the Lucas Devices are mechanical devices that help rescue teams perform chest compressions when someone is having cardiac arrest.

“They deliver more effective compressions than a person doing CPR would deliver, so that means better outcomes for patients,” Hanscom said. “The other piece for us is safety. If we decide to transport somebody in cardiac arrest to the hospital it is not very safe for us to be standing up in the back of an ambulance delivering chest compressions. The Lucas devices offers us a safer alternative.”

Public Works Director Scott Sumner answered Parsons’ question regarding the PW grader. Sumner said the towns current grader is going on 36 years and is in constant need of repairs.

“We’re upgrading to something a little more reliable,” Sumner said.

Sixty-seven people attended the meeting, which was held under a tent on the common.

Resident Dutch Dresser moderated the meeting.

 

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