Oak Bluffs hauls new trash contract to New Bedford

— File photo by Mae Deary

Oak Bluffs selectmen have agreed to enter a 15-year agreement with the Greater New Bedford Refuse District to dispose of the town’s trash.

Oak Bluffs joins Tisbury in the agreement. Town administrator Bob Whritenour said the first years of the new contract will cost the town less than it currently pays to dispose of solid waste with SEMASS, a waste-to-energy facility in Rochester. He said New Bedford will charge $59 per ton for the first several years. SEMASS offered a price of $72 per ton for a future contract, according to Mr. Whritenour.

“The Greater New Bedford one is by far the most economical,” Mr. Whritenour said. He told selectmen, at their meeting Tuesday, that he expects SEMASS to signficantly increase prices for many towns when their current contracts run out in 2015. “Right now we’re looking down the barrel at some pretty serious increases in costs. What this does is stabilize costs.”

Highway department superintendent Richard Combra Jr. called the agreement a “no brainer.” He said he does not expect an increase in the current $5 per barrel sticker price for roadside pick-up.

“Based on the prices we’re going to be paying, there’s an opportunity to save money,” Mr. Combra said. “I don’t think we’re going to see any huge sticker increases in the next few years, but I don’t want to make any guarantees.”

Selectmen also made several decisions on traffic and parking at their regular Tuesday meeting.

At the recommendation of the roads and byways committee, selectman voted to extend parking ticketing hours to 8 pm. Currently ticketing ends at 6 pm on most streets.

Selectmen also voted to reverse implementation of diagonal parking on Tuckernuck Avenue, after hearing many complaints from residents.

They also voted to put a stop sign on Everett Avenue, at Winthrop Street.

Also Tuesday, selectmen accepted a bid of $6,000 to rent four tour bus parking spaces owned by the town. Island Transport was the only bidder for the spaces. No company bid on the single space available for 14-passenger tour vans. Selectmen voted to put that space out to bid again.

In other business, selectmen approved a new business permit for Richard Shepard, who intends to open a shoe store called “Foot Fetish,” at 55 Circuit Avenue this summer.

They also approved a new business permit for Tara Sykes, who plans a hot dog and sandwich shop on Oak Bluffs Harbor.