Chester board OKs old waste district fund disbursement

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

With board chair Arne Jonynas under the weather and members Dan Cote and Heather Chase traveling, the July 19 Chester Select Board could have been canceled for lack of a quorum. But using a speaker phone  — which is allowed by the state law that permits members to attend by electronic means — Chase stepped in remotely as vice chair and ran a brief and fast-paced meeting.

Attending by phone, vice chair Heather Chase completed the quorum and ran the meeting. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Most of the items on the short agenda – including approval of minutes and the quarterly review of financials — were postponed to the Aug. 2 meeting when the full board will be present.

In the meantime, Chase, and board members Ben Whelan and Lee Gustafson approved a one-time entertainment permit for a Country Girl Diner event held last Saturday.

Derek Suursoo, Chester’s representative to the Southern Windsor/Windam Solid Waste District, said the district board will vote on July 27 on whether to disburse a $379,193 capital reserve fund set aside when the New Hampshire/Vermont Solid Waste District was broken up in 2006.

According to Suursoo, the disbursement would bring $30,764 to Chester, which the board could set aside or use for whatever it sees fit. Suursoo said he would rather keep the contingency fund together, but the towns that have transfer stations — including Springfield — are strapped for cash and want to tap into this money.

According to Suursoo, those towns have the votes to prevail. Suursoo told the board he could make good arguments for a yes or a no vote.

After some discussion, the Select Board voted to direct Suursoo to vote yes. It also decided it would  take up the question of what to do with the money at a later date when a full board is present.

Board members thanked Suursoo for his work on solid waste issues. “Oddly enough,” replied Suursoo, “trash is enjoyable.”

The next meeting of the Chester Select Board will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 at Town Hall, 556 Elm St.

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