SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — Residents on Tuesday night unanimously reversed an earlier decision to go with Fiberight after debating the pros and cons of the town’s waste disposal options.
Twenty residents gathered for a special town meeting to also vote to authorize the town to enter into a 20-year contract with ecomaine in Portland.
At their regular town meeting in March, South Thomaston residents supported sending wastes to Fiberight. The town is part of a cooperative with neighbors Thomaston and Owls Head, however, and both those communities later voted to contract with ecomaine.
Former Selectman John Spear who had supported going with Fiberight at the annual March town meeting said Tuesday the town now should contract with ecomaine.
“I think it’s ludicrous to think we could have our own transfer station,” Spear said.
Other residents also voiced concerns whether Fiberight’s waste facility in Hampden would be built and what would happen if the plant was not constructed.
Last week, the Hampden Planning Board granted the Municipal Review Committee and its partner Fiberight LLC permission to construct a $69 million state-of-the-art waste-to-energy plant. The Department of Environmental Protection recently issued the three state permits needed for the proposed waste processing plant in Hampden, marking what officials termed a “milestone” in the development of the project.
Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington has been the primary waste processor for nearly 190 Maine communities, including South Thomaston, but its ability to continue operating at an affordable cost will be greatly affected when its contract to sell electricity at rates above market prices expires in 2018.