FARMINGTON — Officials at the Sept. 27 Selectmen meeting decided more information was needed on a request to allow residents of Industry and New Sharon to use the town’s transfer station.

Farmington has an agreement with Strong, there are certain fees for different items and the Town of Strong is assessed a per capita fee, Town Manager Christian Waller said. Based on 2020 census figures there were 1,122 people in Strong with a fee of $4.64 for a total of $5,206.08 due to Farmington this year, according to a copy of the bill dated Jan. 6  and due by April 1.

Waller assumed there would be a similar pricing arrangement with Industry and New Sharon.

“It seems to make some sense as things are increasing in expenses, municipalities are stretched,” Waller said. “It could even be a potential way to make contracts for the recycling lease for the town more attractive due to the higher volume.”

Selectman Scott Landry said he had spoken with a New Sharon selectman. “He was going to take it to his board and discuss it,” he noted. “They didn’t formally ask us yet.”

“Is it worth it?” Selectman Byron Staples asked.


Industry has 1,000 residents; New Sharon about 1,500, Phillip Hutchins, Farmington director of recycling, said. “With $4.64 per capita, you are looking at $11,600 in potential budget increase to the town. Yes, it would be worth it.”

New Sharon has trash pick up at their homes, Hutchins said. If they were to eliminate that there may be some repercussions, he noted.

The New Sharon Selectman had come to the Farmington facility, was impressed with it, Landry said.

Hutchins said there would not be noticeable impact although there would be some extra work, extra wear and tear on the road. “In the end if the money is there, it will always reduce the tax burden for citizens, could offset maintenance costs and road repairs,” he said.

There have been no discussions with Archie’s – the current contractor, Hutchins said. “I don’t foresee that as being a problem,” he noted. “It’s not doubling the operations per se. I think it will be minimum.”

More containers for recyclables, more collections of recyclables may be needed, Landry noted. “A lot of the time those recyclable containers are full,” he said. “The increase in volume will have to be addressed.”


“I am willing to look at regional issues,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said. “I don’t want it to end up costing the town more. Where do we go from here?”

More research is needed on traffic patterns, extra vehicles coming in and out, the congestion, Staples said.

The matter will be studied, if those towns are interested in pursuing it, it can be brought to a future meeting, Waller said.

In other business Deb Probert spoke of her passion for cemetery preservation and requested $5,000 be put in the budget annually for it.

She got involved with cemetery preservation after retiring from her teaching position. Her father was a veteran, they spent a lot of time trying to find their ancestors.

“We always had a lot of respect for cemeteries,” Probert said.


Probert attended a four-day workshop on cleaning gravestones in 2014 where she met Albert Stehle. Stehle has since worked in Chesterville, Phillips, Strong and Wilton cemeteries restoring stones, she said.

The Dandy Crafters 4-H Club in Jay where Probert’s daughter had been a member did a community service project in Chesterville, The year before $5,000 had been put in the town’s budget for cemetery repair, revitalization, she said. Lois King, the club leader and 16 members came in and cleaned 16 stones, she said.

That project was the start of a dominoes effect, Probert said. Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish applied for a four day workshop like the one Probert had attended. “I became a member of the workshop committee,” she said. Folks from Eustis, Strong, Phillips, Vienna, Mt. Vernon, Vassalboro and South Portland attended, she noted. “All went home and started something in their towns,” Probert added.

Last year Probert taught Farmington DAR members how to clean gravestones in Center Burying Ground behind the courthouse.

Veterans’ gravestones must be cared for from May 1 to Sept. 30 every year, she said. “I find vet after vet with his lovely flag holder but the stone is in ill repair,” she noted. A stakeholders group similar to the committee that worked on the World War I Memorial Arch was recommended by Probert to continue cemetery restoration.

“My goal is to see something significant in Farmington,” she said.


Selectmen also approved a letter of support for a $5,000 fundraising effort to purchase a flagpole and flag for Fairview cemetery.

“This all started with [Probert] being in town,” Peter Beane said. The money would be raised and donated to the town, installation and maintenance done by Public Works, he noted. It would be nice to have a flag in the middle of the cemetery that could be seen from both roads, he added.

Pole height is to be determined, but at least 30 feet if not a bit higher, Beane said.

There will be solar lights on top, Deborah Daggett said.

Bunker asked about timing for the project, if it would be for next season.

“Yes, next season,” Daggett said. “It will take a little time to put it together.”


“It will be a little bit of added work for us,” Hutchins, who is also Public Works Director, said.

Selectmen also approved an application for Donnie’s Fried Chicken, owned and operated by James Spina of Shapleigh.

Don’s family – Spina’s friend from high school – owned a poultry place. “It was really good, I was always impressed with it,” Spina said. “I just want to try it out, see if it works and if it does continue on a couple weekends a month.”

The lunch wagon at 654 Farmington Falls Road will be open 2-10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Staples said he thought it was good to be open a little later in the evening. “There’s not many food choices, places open after 7 [p.m.], he added.

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