By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Now that the voters have approved a request to fund a new Fire Station, town officials are “shooting for a fairly aggressive schedule” Town Manager Jim Malloy told the Board of Selectmen at its Oct. 23 meeting.
Voters at the Oct. 15 Special Town Meeting (STM) approved $11.2 million ($10,008,000 to be borrowed and $1.2 million from free cash) for a new station. The final decision did not come easily or quickly however; Malloy noted that the notion of a new fire station had been discussed at 10 prior Town Meetings.
At the Oct. 23 board meeting, the selectmen approved $600,000 for an architect's contract to be awarded to Jacunski Humes. The hope, Malloy noted, is to have the project be put out to bid in the spring of 2013 and for construction to start next summer.
At the STM voters had questioned why the final design had not yet been created before the voters were asked to approve funds. Officials at that time noted that they felt it wiser not to commit potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on a design plan for a project that may then never get approved. They also added that there will be ample opportunities for residents to weigh in on a final design.
In other business, Malloy told the board that he would like to discuss at a future meeting the possibility of the town utilizing a new system for collecting solid household trash and recyclable items.
Currently residents must purchase a dump sticker so that they may then drop off trash and recycling at a transfer station run by E.L. Harvey and Sons on Hopkinton Road.
Malloy is proposing that the town research a “pay as you throw” program. Residents would purchase special bags for disposing of solid non-recyclable trash which would then be put into large-wheeled containers. Items that can be recycled would be put into special bins. Both types would then be picked up curb-side by a waste-management company. This type of program is currently done successfully in the neighboring towns of Grafton, Shrewsbury and Upton, Malloy noted.
Utilizing this type of program would save the town and taxpayers money, he added.
Malloy, who lives in Grafton, said the “pay as you throw” method is very easy to use.
“It also forces recycling at a much higher rate,” he said.
The board agreed to form an ad-hoc committee to study the idea further.