Transfer Station Examines Usage, Improvements

by Tom Walogorsky | Staff Writer

The Town Transfer Station is an often-discussed issue in Pawling. Officials offered reassurance recently that there are no plans to close the station and that they are, in fact, in the process of evaluating changes in policy and upgrades to the facility.

Spearheaded by Town Councilman Phil DeRosa and Transfer Station Manager John Daly, this investigation covers every aspect of the operation. Mr. DeRosa and Mr. Daly are confident that they can implement changes in policy that will not only make the operation more efficient, but also more economically viable.

The station opened in 1976 and was the first of its kind in Dutchess County. Over the years, it has evolved to meet the needs of Pawling residents, including obtaining a special container for collecting and disposing of old television sets and large electronics. The station aims to develop further, specifically to address issues that have come to the attention of town officials.

A cursory investigation conducted by part-time attendants revealed that the Transfer Station had 1,753 visitors over a three-and-a-half-week period earlier this month. Of that number, 57 visitors did not possess proper permits, and another 48 possessed permits but did not display them properly. Currently, the station has one full-time employee, and one part-time attendant. The Town is in the process of interviewing and hiring two more attendants and is also pursuing the idea of posting uniformed Town constables at the station. This will help to monitor activity and ensure that all visitors are in accordance with regulations. “Our goal is to make it fair and equitable,” said Councilman DeRosa. Anyone wishing to obtain a permit can do so for a fee of $330 at the clerk’s office in Town Hall. Permits should be displayed properly in the rear passenger-side window of the vehicle. Permits will be distributed one per household, with additional vehicle permits available for a fee of $15.

Officials also urge visitors to adhere to the specifications for disposing of brush at the station. There has been a noticeable build up of brush and yard waste recently, some of which extends beyond regulations. Brush may be dumped only if it is no larger than 8 feet in length, and 3 inches in diameter. If these issues are not addressed, the station may be forced to discontinue the collection of brush to offset removal costs.

The Transfer Station is also addressing the issue of aging equipment in need of repairs. This includes replacing electrical components for the compactor, which has not been upgraded since 1988. Officials are still accepting repair bids, but cost of the components could be as much as $25,000. The Town is also investigating options to purchase a new truck for use at the facility to replace the current work truck, which is over 20 years old. The current vehicle is serviced by the Highway Department mechanic, and the Town is looking to purchase a Mack Rolloff with Hoist as a replacement.

Town officials say they are committed to the efficient operation of the Transfer station and to enforcing regulations and making the necessary upgrades. “It’s a great service for the community, and we will make the improvements that need to be made,” said Mr. DeRosa.