To the Editor:
I have had concerns about the location of the Bar Harbor Solid Waste Transfer Station for some years now. I talked with the previous town manager about this, but that didn’t seem to make a difference.
I realize that the location is convenient for those of us who live in the village, but I think there are several reasons that it would be better at a different spot.
- Public Safety. There are many cars and trucks, large and small, that use Ledgelawn Avenue, one of the busiest residential streets in town, to get to the station. This is especially a hazard for folks who drive and walk on Ledgelawn in the summer. I think a serious accident is just waiting to happen. We had a minor accident last fall while going to the station when we were sideswiped by a truck leaving the station; luckily there were no injuries and just minor damage to our car.
- Fairness. The residents who don’t live in the village have to drive into town in order to recycle and dump trash. Again I realize it is convenient for those of us who do, but those who live in Town Hill or Hulls Cove or at the head of the island have to deal with the traffic in town, especially in the summer.
- Nearness to residents and Cromwell Brook. I know some of the residents are not happy with the nearness of the station to their homes. The crew there does an okay job of keeping the trash and recyclable materials contained, but I certainly have seen materials blowing around in the vicinity, including downhill toward the brook. I am not sure if you have talked with Acadia National Park staff about the brook, but from my time on the Conservation Commission, I know there was concern that solid and liquid materials could make their way into the watershed there.
With these thoughts in mind, I think a much better location for the station would be on Crooked Road where it could be consolidated with the rest of the Public Works facilities. This would relieve the danger to public safety on Ledgelawn and other village streets that large trucks need to navigate. Also, it would be more central to all the residents of the town, even though it would be less convenient for those of us who do live in the village.
In the past when I had suggested this, the answer was that there was not enough room at the Crooked Road location, but when I go there to drop off leaves or drop off metal for recycling, it seems to me there would be sufficient space. Or if not, perhaps a purchase of a small section of adjacent land would be possible.
A couple of years ago, I talked with one of the residents on Strawberry Hill who stated he would be willing to purchase the land the station is presently located on and this may still be the case, which could offset the cost of additional land at the Public Works site if this was necessary.
I understand that the renovation of the present site is in the budgeting phase, and it may be difficult to change the direction of the town fathers at this point, but I think, for the reasons stated above, that this alternative site should be considered.
I would be interested in hearing from other members of our community who have similar concerns.