Garbage disposal decision facing Franklin voters

FRANKLIN — The major issue facing voters at Town Meeting Saturday, March 26, is where to dispose of their garbage beginning in 2018.

Bob Cossette, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the board had not yet arrived at a decision.

“We discussed it and had the MRC (Municipal Review Committee) people out here to speak about it, but we chose to turn it over to the Town Meeting and let them decide what to do,” Cossette said.

In other business, residents will be approving a new municipal budget, which does not include school funding.

The 68-article warrant is generally routine items voted on each year.

However, it also includes a question of whether to support an alternative waste disposal site endorsed by the MRC.

The 187-member MRC, which represents towns and cities in eastern, northern and central Maine, is urging its members to approve a new trash-to-biogas plant to be built in Hampden by Fiberight.

The MRC would foot the tab for buying the property and installing the infrastructure — $5 million.

Fiberight, with investors, would build and operate the plant.

The MRC now trucks its refuse to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington, which burns most of it to generate electricity.

However, the economic model that has favored that operation — higher than market rate prices for electricity that were mandated by federal law — expire in 2018.

MRC has said the “tipping fees,” the cost per ton for disposing of garbage, would be too expensive at the Orrington plant beginning in 2018.

The majority owners of the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. maintain that they can operate at set and affordable tipping fees.

Elections will be held on Friday, March 25, from 12:05 to 6 p.m. The Town Meeting will be held at noon the following day at the Franklin Community Center.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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