Brattleboro supports assessment change at Windham Solid Waste Management District


BRATTLEBORO >> The price for Windham Solid Waste Management District services drove the Select Board to request that the district explore how assessments for each member town are developed.

Currently, the figure is based on population. On Tuesday, the Select Board approved of supporting a change that would be a 50/50 split between population and grand list.

The Brattleboro board inspired the WSWMD Board of Supervisors to create a committee to look at the prospect. Select Board members felt they were being billed too high as they provide curbside recycling and trash pickup to residents in addition to the district's services.

After reviewing several options, Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland recommended that Brattleboro representatives — who have six votes, the most on the Board of Supervisors — support the "50/50 population/grand list" assessment model for the district. The topic will come up at the next Board of Supervisors meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m.

Since the district was formed in 1988, the assessment formula has remained the same. The district's charter allows for revisions to be made to the calculation.

According to a document comparing assessments for members of the district using fiscal year 2017, Brattleboro would be billed about $107,700 based on the population/grand-list model rather than the $147,217 it paid using the population calculation. That's nearly $40,000 of savings.

But Select Board and Board of Supervisors member David Schoales warned that the impact could drive other towns to leave the district.

"I don't think we should anticipate a huge savings," he said.

Dover would see a sharp increase, going up about $22,500 from $13,736 to $36,251. Stratton's would jump from about $2,600 to nearly $25,400. Wilmington's assessment would be about $9,400 higher. Vernon's bill would increase by about $3,000, and Halifax and Jamaica would be paying about $2,000 more.

Westminster's savings would be in the neighborhood of about $10,750. Putney's assessment would be reduced about $9,000 and Guilford's would go down $6,435. Dummerston would see its bill drop by $3,390.

Assessments for other towns in the 19-member district would increase or decrease by about $1,000 each.

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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