Board of Health gets another Transfer Station update

On Tuesday night, Public Health Director Andrew Petty provided the Board of Health with an updated timeline on the Transfer Station project. It has an expected completion date of May 2024.

In order for the town to begin bidding for the project, Petty said that it needs to receive a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection permit by Sept. 29. From there, it is planning to award bids by Nov. 3.

“In a perfect situation, foundations are installed and that will allow construction to proceed through the winter,” Petty said.

Publication of at least 60% of the design drawings, specifications, and consultant design development were all due from the architect on Wednesday.

Project Manager Jerry Smith is scheduled to meet with Town Planner Rebecca Curran Cutting on Thursday to discuss which documents need to be presented before the Planning Board.

Smith said that he thinks getting the Planning Board’s approval will be critical.

With the Planning Board meeting once a month, that gives the Board of Health only two chances to get onto the agenda, which Board of Health member Helaine Hazlett expressed concern over.

“If we don’t have all the documents before (its) next meeting, we have to wait 30 days, which will put this out 30 days,” she said.

Smith said he won’t know until his meeting with Cutting how much the Planning Board will require, which could influence how much the timeline of the project shifts.

Permitting is currently being conducted and so far, no barriers or setbacks have been reported in that process. Petty said if there is any “slippage” in the permitting process, then discussions would need to be held on where the project could go from there.

“Obviously that’s when we’re going to start to have some serious conversations about when do we really want this to go out to bid or when do we really want construction to start,” Petty said.

In other meeting news, Petty said that the leaf-blower fine approved at Town Meeting this year likely wont go into effect until next season. The fine needed to be sent to the attorney general for approval, who has 90 days to review it. He said that it was likely that the attorney would take the full 90 days, which would be after the time period of the proposed ban set to span from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Petty also announced that bathing beach testing is getting underway in order to determine if Marblehead’s beaches can be open for swimming.