BRANDON — The town is in talks with a Select Board member to take over the operation of the transfer station.
Town Manager David Atherton told the board at Monday’s meeting that come Sept. 1, Earth Waste and Metal will no longer operate the transfer station at 61 Corona St.
“I did reach out to a couple of local businesses that had sparked some interest in this last time,” Atherton said. “One of them just couldn’t take it on, their curb service has gotten too big, but the Wymans have had some interest in running the transfer station.”
Selectman Tracy Wyman, owner of Wyman Timber Harvesting, recused himself from the discussion.
Earth Waste and Metal, which has an office in Rutland City, has run the transfer station for several years. Its contract with the town was last renewed in 2017, but there have been ongoing issues between the company and town, mainly that the contract between them is vague with regard to each party’s responsibilities on infrastructure upkeep. The company has said the scales at the station don’t function, making it difficult to do business. Earlier in the year, the company asked the town to waive its lease payments because of this, and for a few months withheld those payments. After that was sorted out, the town entered into talks with Earth Waste to reexamine the contract.
The board’s liaison for these talks was Selectman Tim Guiles.
“I want it to be understood, it’s a harmonious parting,” he said.
Board Chairman Seth Hopkins said the company was willing to talk to the town and make changes.
Guiles said that during the negotiating process with Earth Waste, it became clear the recycling industry is going through changes, “... and after we negotiated some, we realized that they couldn’t make it work with the numbers.”
“I met with Tracy last week just to discuss, it’s really kind of just the beginning stages,” Atherton said. “I don’t think we’re going to have an issue with having something in place once Earth Waste pulls out.”
Guiles said he’d like to see the town explore its options with the transfer station.
“I think this is great, that Tracy Wyman has brought forth this option for us,” he said. “I would love to still have some more conversation about what’s the right mix. Just in the short amount of time that I heard about some of the moving pieces, it started to occur to me that there might be public-private partnership of how this might happen, where the town would still be involved, but we need a trucker to move things. I’m not suggesting that’s the solution, but I just think there’s more discussion that might come with what’s the long-term right answer for Brandon.”
Atherton said in a Wednesday interview he has yet to meet with Guiles and Wyman, but expects to early next week. He said the transfer station will be operational come Sept. 1, but he doesn’t yet know what a long-term contract will look like or when he’ll present a draft to the Select Board for approval.
A call to Earth Waste and Metal wasn’t returned on Wednesday.