Mountain Alliance Advisory Committee Meeting of June 14, 2017
Randolph Town Hall Conference Room A
Attending: Mel Adams Randolph Town Manager, Tim Caulfield Braintree representative, Jeffrey Kimmel Brookfield representative, Kim Crosby Casella Environmental Compliance Manager. Northfield not in attendance.
Alliance manager, Mel Adams (Randolph Town Manager), called the meeting to order at 6:10 pm. A quorum being present, the business of the agenda was conducted.
- Casella management contract. Adams explained the Operating Agreement concluded in March 2017 between Casella Waste Management (CWM) and the Town of Randolph, owner of the transfer station and composting area used by three of the member towns. The Northfield transfer station is independently operated by the Town of Northfield. For purposes of explaining how and where the Alliance services are provided, Mr. Adams also noted that a Landlord Subordination Agreement was established in 2015 creating a lease with CWM for their operation of the Randolph transfer station. The CWM Operating Agreement describes operations of the Randolph transfer station for benefit of the Alliance members and consistent with requirements of Act 148, the conduct of household hazardous waste collections, and a payment by CWM to the Alliance for funding services. The annual CWM payment at the date of the Agreement in 2017 and until 2025 is $19,000 per year.
- Alliance funds management. Adams provided a proposed budget describing estimated costs and supporting revenues for annual operations of the Alliance. Maintenance costs identified are those exclusively for operations and maintenance of the Randolph transfer station, Northfield costs not being considered. Administrative costs include Alliance funds management, grants applications, advertising and coordination for HHW, and the SWIP.
- The proposed budget is indicated on the attachment is summarized below:
Randolph recycling and compost area maintenance $6,000
Alliance management and HHW advertising $6,000
Contractor staging costs for 4 HHW days $6,730
Average cost of waste disposal x four events $25,000
TOTAL estimated annual Alliance costs $43,730
(Updated after 6/14 meeting. New worksheet in advance of 7/12 meeting $44,120 )
Membership maint. & admin. assessments $12,000
Northfield HHW assessment $6,000
Annual CWM payment to Alliance $19,000
Annual DEC HHW grant $7,800
TOTAL estimated annual Alliance revenues $44,800
(Updated after 6/14 meeting. New worksheet in advance of 7/12 meeting $44,600 )
- With the recognition that operations for the Mountain Alliance have moved beyond the informality of the former Tri-town arrangement, the committee began to consider:
- how and whether the Alliance should be independently incorporated (rather than as an extension of the Town of Randolph),
- how funds should be managed to ensure they are not co-mingled with any community funds,
- what the nature of the committee/board should be and how financial transactions should be approved. This has become a challenge because part of the funding is to the Alliance from CWM and part is through Randolph in the form of a HHW grant. Which Board – Alliance or Town of Randolph – can approve a warrant for payment?
- Whether application for HHW and pesticide or other grants can be made by the Alliance or must be made by Randolph as lead town. Can the Alliance be a sub-recipient for a DEC grant?
- In response to the above,
- The Alliance will seek advice from counsel (Paul Gillies) about appropriate charter or incorporation.
- Moretown Alliance will be consulted as a model for organization and fiscal management/oversight.
- Bylaws will need consideration as well as appointment of officers and authority for signing checks.
- A separate checking account has been created at Northfield Savings Bank in the name of the Mountain Alliance.
- An external audit for the Alliance will be provided by auditors to the Town of Randolph when the Town’s annual audit is conducted.
- DEC will be consulted about the grant application process.
- Administrative fees for membership. As three of the members receive services at the Randolph transfer station, it is suggested that costs for that facility are pro-rated among these towns. Costs for maintenance and operations in Northfield are not listed as they are borne solely by Northfield. Alliance Administrative costs are suggested as pro-rated among all members based upon population. Finally, Northfield would be assessed a fee for HHW services added as a result of its joining the Alliance.
The proposal suggests that certain of these costs are shared among the members in the following fashion which are reflected in item #2 Alliance revenues:
Randolph Braintree Brookfield Northfield Total
Randolph X-fer maint. $3,900 $1,020 $1,080 By/for Nfld $6,000
Alliance admin $2,100 $540 $600 $2,760 $6,000
HHW charges ______ ______ ______ $6,000 $6,000
TOTAL member fees $6,000 $1,560 $1,680 $8,760 $18,000
(Updated after 6/14 meeting. $5,650 $1,470 $1,580 $8,300 $17,000
New worksheet in advance of 7/12 meeting)
Representatives suggested that member fees might be assessed by towns through the budget process and tax collections or might be collected via an addition to the disposal fee. As Northfield operates independently of any assessment for the Randolph transfer station, the member discussion largely focused on the possibility of an additional charge by CWM for return periodically to the Alliance on behalf of member towns. Another option noted might be an annual user sticker or ticket fee. The intention of either the bag or sticker fee would be to assess users of the program in lieu of taxing the member town at large. These are subject to further discussion at the next committee meeting scheduled for July.
- SWIP update. Kim Crosby provided updates on various activities occurring in response to the terms of the Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP) which is largely implemented by CWM on behalf of the Alliance.
- As a result of CWM transferring the Alliance fee to the operations fund, there was some confusion about the Clean Harbors invoice for HHW services in May. CWM will continue to receive and pay for HHW management, then invoice the Alliance for reimbursement.
- A problem was reported at the HHW collection in Northfield when a CEG organization was not charged as required for deposit of hazardous waste. More rigorous regulation of the HHW process is necessary with CEG notifying the Alliance and paying in advance of the collection day as required.
- Collecting data from Northfield for Earthwaste operations isn’t as smooth and complete as it needs to be. There doesn’t appear to be reporting, as required, for leaf waste, tires, fluorescent tubes, propane bottles, food scraps.
- At least one hauler has been reported as charging customers for recycling materials which is not permitted under Act 148. Alliance management will meet with the hauler to discuss fees and the Variable Rate Pricing Ordinance approved and implemented by member towns.
- Mischarging for garbage and recycling suggests that the transfer station might not be receiving payment as necessary from commercial haulers in order to defer the management and transport of recycled materials. One option to ensure payment could be a hauler’s fee that would ensure appropriate payment for commodities.
- The requirement for haulers to offer food waste collection services has been changed from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.As of July 1, 2017, transfer stations will be required to accept food scraps in a designated area. Since transfer stations and haulers charge fees for this service, back yard composting is encouraged. Composting bins are available for purchase at the Randolph Transfer Station
- Crosby noted that an option exists for towns to request a solid waste small hauler exemption and that the Alliance might consider this on behalf of its clients and vendors.
- Information about Alliance programs and waste management in general is available on the Alliance website at mtalliance.org.
- Other business. In order to consider legal formation of the Alliance, development of by-laws, financial management, internal controls, and member assessments the committee will meet again July 12, 2017 at 6 pm, Room A Randolph Town Hall.
Additional meetings are scheduled August 9 and November 8 following the HHW collections.
- Motion was made to adjourn by Tim Caulfield, seconded by Jeff Kimmel and approved 3-0. The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 pm.
Melvin E. Adams
Mountain Alliance Administrator