Nutfield News • April 15, 2010
Council Waives Competitive Bid to Extend Solid Waste Contract
The town council has voted
to waive a provision in the Town Charter that demands contracts go out to competitive bid, and has instead decided to extend the contract for solid waste disposal for five years with Maine Energy Recovery Company (MERC). The decision to extend the contract will save the town $235,000 over seven years, according to Public Works Director Mike Fowler, who presented the option to the council at its April 6 meeting. The current contract is set
to expire on Dec. 30, 2011, and the company approached Fowler with the extension. Currently, the town sends approximately 9,000 tons of trash to the MERC facility in Biddeford, Maine each year. The current contract cost is $61.54 per ton, which is adjust- ed annually by the previous calendar year Consumer Price Index (CPI), not to exceed 5 percent. There is also a second contract, according to Fowler, for trash hauling, which is cur- rently $301 per load or about $15 per ton, based on an aver- age 20-ton load. If the town signed the extension, it would get a cost
rollback to $59 per ton for the remainder of 2010 and 2011, which would save $2.54 per ton and would also lower the CPI increases because they would be based on a lower per- ton price. Such a change would save the town $21,000 in 2010 and $33,931 in 2011. MERC’s parent company
is Casella, which, as part of the contract extension, would process and transport the town’s cardboard, newspaper and other recyclables for two years. The town already uses Casella for its commingled material at a rate of $35 per ton. In the new offer, that price would go down to $25 per ton.
Fowler said the town has
had a positive relationship with MERC since 2001. He said he has done a review of other towns and found many of these municipalities are envious of the deals Derry gets. For exam- ple, Fowler said Windham pays $65 per ton. Fowler said the contract
extension, which would run to 2016, would also lower CPI increases from a maximum of 5 percent to a maximum of 4 percent, and would reduce the guaranteed yearly tonnage from 9,000 to 8,000, which Fowler believes the town would be able to meet without having to pay fees for unused
tonnage as it tries to recycle more.
Section 9.10 of the Town Charter states that “Require- ments for bids may be waived in specific instances by a two- thirds vote by the Town Council.” Fowler requested such a waiv- er.
Councilor Kevin Coyle
asked why the town couldn’t put the contract out to bid first, and then find out whether this was the best contract. Coyle asked about the competitors and Joanie Cornetta, recycling coordinator, said there were three or four competitors she could think of. Coyle said he’d hate to go against competitive
bidding for a $50,000 sweeten- er.
Fowler said more would be
saved because by using Casella to transport cardboard, news- paper and commingled materi- als, the town would decrease fuel costs and capital costs to replace open trailers. Three of the six town trailers are current- ly used for recycling, and accepting the offer would allow the town to use only three or four trailers for trash hauling instead of six. The council voted 6-0-1,
with Coyle abstaining,to waive the provision in the town char- ter and to extend the contract with MERC.
Energy Committee to Take Part in Town Clean-up
The Energy and En- vironmental Advisory Com- mittee (EEAC) was estab- lished to help the town improve its use of clean energy. On April 17, the committee will go out and try to make the town clean. As part of Derry Clean
Up Day, the EEAC will meet at 8 a.m. in Abbott Court and will pick up trash and clean three municipal parking lots. From Abbott Court they will travel to Wall Street, ending at the parking lot near the Masonic Temple.
Once they’ve completed
their clean-up, the group is hoping to do a walk through the Derry Public Library and make suggestions on small
renovations the library can make to become more ener- gy efficient. The walk-through is a
result of a request from library director Cheryl Lynch. Lynch e-mailed EEAC chair Tom Minnon and wrote, “The new portion of the Derry Public Library is now 20 years old and is showing her age... I would like us to become as energy efficient as possible as well as have as green a re-do as possible.”
The EEAC has already successfully made similar recommendations to the Taylor Library, which were voted on and accepted by its Board of Trustees.
Members of the EEAC
will be volunteering a few hours on an upcoming weekend to put some of
those recommendations at the Taylor Library into action. Members will seal the joints in the ductwork, and weather strip and insu- late the front and attic door. The committee has an
opening, following the res- ignation of Garon Kach- anian for family reasons. Kachanian was also a mem- ber of the legislative sub- committee, which has a goal to review energy related bills in Concord (currently there are seven) and then, as a subcommittee, make rec- ommendations as to whether the EEAC should support, reject or be indifferent to the bills. Subcommittee mem- ber Mark Broussard has sug- gested working alongside a Derry delegation liaison. Minnon noted that he is interested in holding a meet
in Derry for the Junior Solar Sprint competition. This is a race where middle school students must design a small car powered by a motor and a solar panel and carrying an empty soda can to the finish line. The winners of the
Derry race would go on to a regional meet in Mass- achusetts in mid-June. The members of the
EEAC were in favor of the idea at last week’s meeting, but Ernie Woodside said they should look into liabili-
ty issues. The committee also dis-
cussed changing its meeting schedule to one meeting per month during June, July and August. A decision will be made depending on the workload of the committee.
Band-O-Rama Set for April 19 at Pinkerton Academy Gym
Band-O-Rama will take place at the Pinkerton Academy gym on Monday, April 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This town-wide event is sure to be a favorite with parents of children in band programs throughout the school dis- trict.
The purpose of the con- cert is to showcase the instru- mental music program at all levels in Derry schools and to spark student interest in becoming involved in band or continuing on to the next
level in coming years. “All of our fifth grade band students from all five elementary schools will com- bine to make a large band of about 150 musicians,” said Derry Cooperative School District band director John Donne of the concert. “In addition, both West Running Brook and Gilbert H. Hood Middle School bands will participate, as will the Pinkerton Academy band.” “This will be an outstand- ing and enjoyable evening of instrumental music, and promises to be a night to remember for students and
parents,” added Ernest P. Barka Elementary Principal Daniel LaFleur. “Everyone is welcome.”
South Range Elementary School music teacher Chris Gantner is eager to show off the school’s band program. “We are a fifth grade band numbering 52 members,” Gantner said. “Our total South Range School fifth grade class size is 67, so this means that we have 78 per- cent of the school’s fifth graders in band this year. Several of our talented fifth grade crew play more than one instrument.”
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