Fryeburg Town Manager notes

FRYEBURG — Town Manager Sharon Jackson reports the following items of interest regarding the start-up of the zero sort program, the budget process, information on the status of the Red Iron Bridge, public hearings on the downtown plan, seeking the oldest citizen in town and a warning to motorists about reasons their vehicles could be towed:

Zero Sort Program — Town Manager Jackson said the “Zero Sort” trial program at the transfer station began on Dec. 15, and there has been “a very good response to throwing everything in one container.” The town is now ready to introduce the new “punch cards” that will eliminate the handling of checks and cash at the transfer station. As of Monday, Feb. 21, residents will no longer pay for disposal fees at the transfer station. Punch cards can be purchased at the town office for $10, $25 or $55. When ready to throw out an old couch, chair, TV, tires or other items that require a fee, bring the item to the transfer station along with the punch card and the attendant will punch out the $1, $2 or $5 dot to pay for the disposal. Each card denomination has a different color and all cards are numbered. Residents will need the punch card to buy bags at the transfer station. Another location will be designated to purchase punch cards on the weekend.

The next big change the town is planning to make is eliminating the $1 bags, according to Jackson. She said this will allow townspeople to purchase bags at stores for a lot less money. Jackson said this change will require a vote by the legislative body of the town, because citizens voted to have the bags. If voters support this, the town manager said the new transfer station sticker will be introduced and will become effective on July 1, 2011. The sticker will have the resident’s license plate number on it and it will be in effect from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 and will cost $20. This will be the cost to dispose of trash that doesn’t require a fee to dispose of it, Jackson said.

Budget process — The budget process is starting and the goal is to have the town report ready 30 days prior to the June annual town meeting. The selectmen voted to have capped money articles on the warrant again this year, Jackson stated. The town meeting will be held over two nights, on June 15 and 16, at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center at Fryeburg Academy.

Red Iron Bridge — Town Manager Jackson said the bridge maintenance engineer from the Maine Department of Transportation contacted her last week to report on the progress with the Red Iron Bridge. They have evaluated the beams and steel pier, leaving only the deck to complete.

Dog registration fees — The last day for Fryeburg residents to register their dogs without paying a late fee will be Jan. 31. Beginning on Feb. 1, it will cost an additional $25 late fee.

Downtown Plan — Wright-Pierce was chosen to work with the Planning Committee to put together a downtown plan. The committee has started working with Wright-Pierce and will soon be scheduling public hearings to solicit information about the project.

Oldest Citizen in Fryeburg — Town officials are looking to find the “Oldest Citizen in Fryeburg” to present him or her with the “Boston Post Cane.” In 1909, the publisher of the Boston Post newspaper sent selectmen in 700 New England towns a gold-headed ebony cane to be presented to the oldest male citizen of the town, according to Jackson. It wasn’t until 1930 that women were eligible to receive the cane. Please call Theresa Shaw at the town office, if you know who the person might be.

Plowing mishaps and parking bans — It’s that time of year when the plows are keeping the roads clear, the town manager said. She said the town apologizes to anyone who might find that their mailbox has been hit by a town plow or if the force of the plowed snow pushed the mailbox to one side. If you find your mailbox has been hit, please call Public Works Director Gary Whitten or Jackson and they will do what they can to put it back in place.

Don’t forget the parking ban. Vehicles cannot be parked on any public street between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or they will be towed. One more thing to remember when plowing or shoveling snow, Jackson said, is that it is unlawful to place snow in a public way because this can create a hazardous situation. Drive safely.

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