To the editor:
As I left the the town council meeting that was to have discussed the transfer station, a woman from the audience approached me, smiled, then said that “You didn’t …
To the editor:
As I left the the town council meeting that was to have discussed the transfer station, a woman from the audience approached me, smiled, then said that “You didn’t think we could get this many people out.”
I responded that the day that I was intimidated by a couple hundred people showing up at a meeting was a day that I would leave government. As I walked to my car I thought that wasn’t necessary and perhaps I am getting too tired to be in politics. Then I realized I would have said the same thing when I was 30.
I am convinced that the folks who want to preserve the transfer station are not particularly good at math. They insist that they have numbers when it is clear that more than 5,000 of the town have private trash pickup and approximately 2,000 use the transfer station. Legitimately the question might be, are those interests in conflict?
I believe that they are for several reasons: One is that while the folks who use the transfer station believe that they pay for it in full, that is not true. There is both the town’s collecting all the fees and processing all of the stickers and the fact that the location of the transfer station is town land, for which we receive no taxes and no rent.
There’s no question that if we were able to have one private hauler for the entire town, there would be tremendous savings and ecological advantage. Very simply, a truck that goes down one road and picks up all of the trash on that road nets less expense than a truck that goes down that road and only picks up some of the trash and another vehicle has to pick up the rest. The cost of fuel, personnel and vehicle is essentially divided by the number of people you actually are able to service.
The town could, if negotiating on behalf of all of its inhabitants, obtain significant savings on the trash hauling. There are some who seem to be arguing that this would be an additional burden somehow. Let us understand that the hauling of trash from our town is an expense in which everyone participates, one way or the other. Closing the transfer station would only shift the burden, not create a burden, and in fact the town with community purchasing power would be able to obtain a better price.
Finally, the transfer station is not a monument; it does not deserve protection. It was, in fact, an emergency stopgap measure taken when the state closed the town dump in Island Park to preserve the estuary. While I was not in town at the time, I’m pretty soon there was no parade, no champagne bottle over the building, and no speeches at the opening of the transfer station.
254 Park Ave.
Chuck Levesque is a member of the Portsmouth Town Council.