Selectmen Planning Single-Stream Pilot Program

By By Vicky Mishcon Andover Board of Selectmen

By Vicky Mishcon
Andover Board of Selectmen

September has been a month for wrapping up changes in the Town Office, moving forward with plans for the Transfer Station, and exploring new ideas in communication.

One of the final changes we’ll be making, as required by the New Hampshire Department of Labor (DoL), is to install glass panels on top of the counters in the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office and to replace the half door with a door about a foot or two higher. This will fulfill the DoL security requirements.

We have removed the emergency generator from the Town Hall basement to a temporary home at the school, and we are required to place it in a small storage shed on a concrete pad outside the Town Hall. The best location is to the left of the Town Offices entrance, where a power hook up is available. Because of budget constraints, this will probably be done after January 1.

Accounting has been brought up to date in Quickbooks, thanks to the diligent work of Tatjana Donovan and Marj Roy. This has been a lengthy process, but it will provide us with detailed accounts and easy access to contract and payroll information, as well as department budgets.

Marj has been interviewing candidates for the clerk/secretary position this week.

Single Stream Recycling

The Board is eager to move forward with Single Stream Recycling (SSR), and we are looking into local contractors who would be able to provide transportation and containers for solid waste and recycling. There are many other towns in the area that transport their recycling to a collection site in New Hampshire, where it is then picked up and transported to the EcoMaine Single Stream Recycling Facility in Maine.

Our plan is to set up a one-year pilot program with a local company that would provide containers and transportation. During that first year, we would be able to determine the rate of increase in recycling, the size of containers needed, and how many trips are required per week.

The set-up at the Transfer Station would be very similar to what it is now, with the exception that all recyclables would go into a single container. (No more sorting recyclables at home!) The containers would be in the same location that our current paper and glass containers are in. Residents would drop off all their recyclables in one of those containers (the other would be an overflow back-up) and then place their trash in the hopper as they do now.

There should be no extra cost to the taxpayer for this first pilot year. Any future changes needed to improve efficiency or safety would be phased in gradually. Look for the SSR pilot to start sometime this winter or spring.

Town Web Site

An idea we have recently been exploring is to change the way the Town communicates with its citizens. Presently, Comcast provides the Town with a little over $10,000 per year, which has been used to produce Community Access Cable Channel 8 for the town. Only people with Comcast Cable are able to access Channel 8, and we’re guessing that, because of the growth of satellite dish installations, this is probably less than half of our residents. Viewership is spotty at best.

We are wondering if we would be better served by using this money to finally upgrade the Town Web site ( – it’s barely functional at this point – and have all the programs put on the Web site instead. More people in town have access to the Internet than to cable TV, and the Web reaches our summer residents when they’re home for the winter, our year-round residents when they’re traveling, and our students when they’re away at school.

We could even, at some point, use the Web to provide live streaming of Town Meeting, School District Meeting, and other events.

Switching from a cable channel to a Web channel would be a way of increasing outreach to our citizens, while at the same time making much-needed improvements to our Web site, all by using funds already in the budget. Of course the Board would have to look into licensing restrictions and the Comcast contract to see if our ideas are feasible.