The Board of Health reviewed the design of the new Transfer Station layout and approved it following a presentation by Director of Public Health Andrew Petty Tuesday night .
During the presentation, Petty went over a number of changes to the current construction of the station, especially to the flow of traffic, the scale house, and the swap shop.
With the new design, residents will be entering the station from Green Street, while commercial vehicles will be entering and exiting from Woodfin Terrace.
To avoid traffic buildup on Green Street and help provide a more eco-friendly traffic pattern before the station officially opens in the morning, a gate will be installed, allowing vehicles to enter to the top of the hill. This will act as a waiting area for those who are waiting for the station to officially open, Petty explained to the board.
“We want to prevent the queuing up on Green Street or right in front of Arnold Terrace,” said Petty. “By opening the gates at 7 a.m., they would be queuing up in our facility.”
There will also be bollards separating commercial traffic from residential traffic, as well as a caution light controlled by an attendant that will notify residents of approaching traffic. Concerns about the light being operated by an attendant were raised by board member Helaine Hazlett.
Hazlett asked Petty if it would be better for the light to be fully automated to eliminate any human error. Petty replied that it would be added to a list of items that could be up for reconsideration, despite the design passing.
The scale house will be undergoing renovations such as the addition of an intercom system to communicate with drivers, a new scale operations room and office, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathrooms, a shower area in case of hazardous spills or waste, a breakroom, and an air-source heat pump.
Along with the intercom system, multiple transaction windows will be installed that will allow for attendants and residents to have a personal interaction, which board member Joanne Miller was pleased to hear.
“From my time up there, it just seems like a really friendly environment,” said Miller.
Petty agreed, saying that although new technology will be added to the station, they don’t want to get rid of the face-to-face interactions that many get when they enter the station.
“That personal interaction is I think what people really appreciate,” Petty said. “I think that’s something that we don’t necessarily want to lose.”
The swap shed, which allows residents to drop off usable items for other residents to take free of charge, is also being reconstructed. Petty noted that the plan is to turn the building, which would allow residents and attendants to have more space when opening doors and bringing materials in and out of the building, as well as create more parking.
Solar panels will be installed on all buildings, and Petty noted the panels will not make the buildings solar dependent, but solar ready.
With the project finally taking the next step after years of deliberation, Miller said she was pleased with the overall design, and that it was time for the station to have some changes made.
“It really is such an outstanding facility that our town, I think, agrees is very lucky to have. There were just some really important changes that needed to be made,” Miller said. “I know it’s been a goal of the team that’s been working on it for a long time, and there’s a great deal of interest in finishing this project because it’s been ongoing for a long time. The time is now.”
Now that the design layout has been passed, the board as well as the design team will reconvene to discuss how the project will stay within the budget already set for the Transfer Station remodeling.