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Weekend brush dump could return with fees.

Byline: Michael Kane

WEST BOYLSTON - The brush dump on Laurel Street could see the return of Saturday hours - albeit with a fee - as one idea the Board of Selectmen is likely to discuss at a public hearing on April 7.

Town Administrator Leon Gaumond Jr. said Saturday hours became the victim of budget cuts last year. However, a recent online survey in which a majority of the respondents said they would accept fees for weekend hours has led to a re-examination of the brush dumps operations.

"One of the things people seem to be interested in is to leave it open for free on the weekdays, but make it so people can go on the weekends for a nominal fee," Gaumond said. "So, people who cannot make it during the week have an option."

Gaumond said the town recently added an online survey to its Web site. The first poll dealt with the brush dump. The four options were: Close it; keep it open during weekday hours to fit the public works schedule, as it is now; free weekday service and re-open on weekends with a fee; and, none of those choices.

Gaumond said the total results were mixed, but free weekdays and a small fee for weekend service received the highest number of votes, about 39 percent of the near 70 respondents.

Last year, the town issued 69 free brush dump stickers. However, the number of users is higher because the stickers do not expire and stickers issued in prior years are still in use, Gaumond said.

Gaumond said his recommendation would be to go with the higher vote-getter in the survey, but the idea has not been discussed by the Board of Selectmen yet.

"The selectmen have not endorsed that idea, nor have they endorsed any idea," Gaumond said. "What they said is, we can't discuss this until we have a public hearing and hear what people have to say."

West Boylston bylaws require a public hearing before any governing board can institute a fee for service.

"I don't know what the end result is going to be but, because our cost is higher to operate it on weekends, one idea would be to establish a nominal fee to recoup some of those costs," Gaumond said.

The hearing is set to take place during the board's April 7 meeting at 7:45 p.m. Selectmen meet in conference room 1 of the town offices, 127 Hartwell St.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 18, 2010
Words:409
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