Bourne Selectmen Seek to Halt Regional Transfer Station Contract Negotiations

Bourne Town Hall

BOURNE – The Board of Selectmen in Bourne recently voted to request its Upper Cape Regional Transfer Station board of managers’ representative vote to delay contract negotiations with a company seeking to run the facility.

Selectmen are looking for Daniel Barrett, the general manager of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility, to vote to put negotiations on hold while an ongoing feasibility study is completed for a proposed rail trail connection project.

The project being studied would extend the Shining Sea Bikeway from North Falmouth to the Cape Cod Canal.

The board of managers for the regional transfer station is in discussions with Cavossa Disposal Corporation of East Falmouth. The board would like to keep the rail line intact for a possible method of transporting trash off Cape.

Barrett previously said it’s better to have a rail line intact as a negotiating tool.

The board voted 4-1 in favor of sending a statement to Barrett asking him to vote to delay.

“In applying your judgement and expertise in decisions that affect the town and the entire Upper Cape region’s waste disposal requirements, the board wishes that the town will maintain the best option of having a bike trail (currently under consideration) that would connect the north end of the Shining Sea Bike Trail to the approximate area of the southern section of the Cape Cod Canal service road,” the statement reads. “This would mean voting to delay a rail option to any successful private contractor that the UCRTS Board of Managers selects.”

Selectman David Pickard cast the only vote against sending the statement to Barrett.

“You do not need to take a vote on this proposed position statement,” Pickard said. “I suggest you let it go right here, right now.”

Pickard said Barrett does not have the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the town of Bourne.

“By charter, the town administrator is the only person allowed to negotiate contracts for the town and there are specific requirements that must be met,” Pickard said. “If a contract exceeds three years the administrator must then get the approval of the board of selectmen.”

Pickard said he researched the home rule charters of the other three towns involved in the UCRTS and all boards of selectmen have a similar policy role to Bourne and town managers and administrators are the only ones authorized to negotiate contracts.

“None of the board of managers may sign a contract for their respective community,” Pickard said.

The current contract being discussed is for five years, according to Pickard, and would ultimately need to be approved by the Board of Selectmen.

Selectman Michael Blanton said it is the role of the board to set policy, set goals and to instruct the town’s representatives on how to move forward as a community.

“We would be derelict in our duty as elected representatives from the citizenry of this town not to let Mr. Barrett know what we think he should be considering as he goes to make decisions in our best interest,” Blanton said.

Blanton said it is important for the board of managers of the UCRTS to make recommendations to the boards of selectmen from the four towns.

“They are going to be privy to conversations that we cannot personally attend,” Blanton said.

He added that the board should also entertain the recommendations of interested parties in the community who would like to see projects move in a different direction from the recommendations of the UCRTS.

“We need to consolidate all of those opinions and figure out which is the best interest for the town and direct our representatives to move accordingly,” Blanton said.


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