Goshen to vote on town trash pick-up

GOSHEN — Next Tuesday, Aug. 24, those who turn out to cast primary election votes in Goshen also will find four town-related items on the ballot.
The first item is a proposal to change the town’s trash pick-up arrangement. Currently, the town makes arrangements with an outside contractor to deal with trash pick-up, but in recent months it has run across difficulties enforcing rules on what can and can’t get picked up.
Jim Hayes, the road foreman, is currently performing the duties of trash contractor, after the selectboard discovered that Tom Kerr, the former trash contractor, was operating without liability insurance, which the town requires. The selectboard formally terminated Kerr’s contract in July.
Selectman David Gale said that a switch to town trash pick-up would result in a similar cost for the town as employing an independent contractor had, and that it would still be cheaper than contracting out with a larger company like Casella Waste Management.
It would also resolve recurring issues with insurance for independent contractors, as the town already has liability insurance for its road crew.
Gale said the switch to town pick-up may necessitate the purchase of a new truck, since Hayes uses the very large town truck, and that truck carries the town’s road sander throughout the winter.
Still, Gale thinks there is a good likelihood the town will vote to change its trash pick-up.
“This is a pretty little town, and its main advantage is its environment,” he said. He added that if the town did not provide trash pick-up, it would be easier for people to simply leave trash in their yards and on the roads to avoid dumping fees at the transfer station.
Also on the ballot is an item that would allow the town to hire an outside auditor to look over its books.
Gale said the town hoped to get a partial audit annually from now on in order to catch any errors, which he said would likely cost about $1,500 each year.
The town will also vote on the purchase of a grader for approximately $6,000. Gale said that the town currently contracts Ripton to use its road grader. Especially after storms, though, this causes scheduling difficulties, since Goshen must wait until the roads in Ripton have been re-graded.
Gale said that at the election in March the selectboard took a nonbinding survey of the town on whether to buy a $16,000 grader or a different one for $6,000 — most voters opted for the more expensive used road grader for $16,000. Selectmen had favored the $6,000 model.
Finally, Goshen voters will also decide whether to change the job of constable from an appointed position to an elected one.
Gale said there has been discussion about the possible change because the position of constable is a two-year appointment, and if the town were to change constables every two years, it would mean that each new person would have to start constable training from scratch.
“If you have somebody go through the training every time and they have to pay for it, it gets expensive,” said Gale.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].

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