Transfer Station Committee Cuts Over $7 million From Project
Engineering firms help Board of Health re-design a project for Town Meeting.
A special Board of Health subcommittee has cut more than $7 million out of the cost of building a new trash transfer station and landfill capping project.
Some issues that will impact the final cost of the project will depend on what the Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection decides is best for the local environment. The DEP has state jurisdiction over the project. The Conservation Commission must also sign off on some issues. Health Director Wayne Atteridge is scheduled to meet soon with the Conservation Commission.
Once criticized as a “Taj Mahal” project, the transfer station and landfill capping project was approved for $22 million at last year's Town Meeting. But in a pro-austerity mood last June, the voters by a margin of almost 2,000 votes rejected the project. The Board of Health went back to the drawing board to redesign the station in hopes of getting a more affordable project approved this year.
The transfer station building subcommittee, facing a deadline to redesign the project for a new vote at the Town Meeting this spring, has cut the costs to between $14 and $15 million, Attridge said.
The Health Board has not yet voted to accept the subcommittee's recommendations. And the re-design must also be approved by the Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen before it is presented at Town Meeting.
Among the cost-saving measures is to replace the proposed custom-designed transfer station for a prefabricated building. The building would also be moved to keep from having to build an expensive concrete wall.
The subcommittee hired a second engineering firm, Geosyntec Consultants of Acton, to review the proposed estimate by the primary engineering design firm, SEA Consultants. The two firms, assisted by engineers on the subcommittee, have offered several innovative proposals to reduce costs.