The Winthrop Town Council held a meeting on March 9, with roughly 16 members of the public in attendance. A dominant theme of the night was the town’s waste contract.
Town Manager Austin Faison agreed to extend the previous trash contract, which expired on June 30, 2020. But Council needs to approve a five-year contract.
Council would also need to approve the transfer of $506,163 from the General Stabilization Fund to cover the contract cost increase. The Town Manager’s office has been holding public meetings regarding the issue since January of this year.
At a joint meeting of the Finance Committee, Public Safety Committee and Rules & Ordinances Committee on Feb. 23, Faison presented a proposal for a solid waste fee in order to cover the contract cost going forward. This would prevent having to dip into town reserves.
A trash fee would encourage residents to recycle and compost more in order to reduce their personal household waste. It would cover the cost of trash removal, waste bins, educational campaigns and enforcement. The amount of the fee would depend on what portion of the contract cost the residents would be responsible for.
The transfer of funds and the proposed trash fee were both referred to the Finance Committee. The Town Manager’s full trash fee presentation can be viewed here.
Council Pres. Phil Boncore opened the meeting with a moment of silence for two Winthrop residents who recently passed away: George Sennot and Virginia Wallace.
The council president appointed Matthew Gorzkowicz to the Citizens Finance Committee.
The Miller Field Committee met on March 4 where it reported that the Miller Field redesign project was still within its budget. Fencing has been completed and lockers and cubbies installed. The courts have been demolished and asphalt will be removed in sections. Work will be ongoing into the spring, with a projected completion date of July 4.
Council voted to transfer 696,568.02 from Free Cash to the Capital Stabilization Fund, $447,047.10 from Free Cash to the General Stabilization Fund, and $48,510.48 from Free Cash to the Building Stabilization Fund. It supported National Grid’s installation proposals for Madison Ave. and Winthrop St., but denied its request for Bowdoin St. until it has made efforts to remove all double poles in town.
There are immediate openings on the Airport Hazards Committee; the Commission for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations; the Citizens Finance Committee; the Transportation Safety Advisory Committee and the Winthrop Planning Board.