Bellows Falls Trustees hear departments’ updates

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Tuesday, Dec. 22, the Bellows Falls Trustees heard updates from Wastewater, Highway, and Police departments.

Municipal Manager Scott Pickup was concerned about the equipment breakdowns and loss of productivity during the Dec. 17 storm that dumped over 20 inches of fresh snow. He explained he appreciated the effort of the staff on “outstanding work,” and his concerns were with equipment and operating procedures.

In reference to the sidewalk plow, Stefan Golec said he thought it was a “poor investment.” He suggested a tractor with a blower and a variety of options to use year-round as a better investment. Pickup agreed that he “was not happy” with equipment performance.

Bellows Falls Police Chief David Bemis updated the board on the Police Department’s Community Action Team. The group consists of Sergeant Mario Checchi, Corporal Michael Keefe, and Officer Ian Tuttle with a focus on narcotics, burglaries, and interaction with the community.

Village President Deborah Wright mentioned that there were no community members, and Bemis agreed.

Pickup updated the board on the Bellows Falls Wastewater Department, explaining that Chief Operator Rob Wheeler was out on medical leave. Pickup had a sample of the dried biosolid from the pilot dryer system overseen by Resource Management Incorporated and said it smelled like soil.

Pickup explained it had an 85% moisture reduction, and RMI would like to see 75-80%. Pickup said this batch was “too dry.”

Wade Masure smelled the sample and agreed it smelled like soil.

The contract with RMI ensures onsite modification and adjustments of the batches. Pickup said they were performing and was satisfied the work done was what they said they would do.

He explained, however, that he could not give 100% satisfaction yet because “ultimately we want the Class A certification.” With that certification, Pickup thinks folks will be interested in taking the dry material, but for now RMI would dispose of the initial product.

Pickup explained the last haul of sludge to Coventry was in November. The facility was now processing dry material only and they were on schedule.

The Bellows Falls Trustees’ next meeting is Jan. 12, 2021 at 6 p.m. in the Lower Theater of the Bellows Falls Opera House.

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