NORTHPORT — In what Town Administrator James Kossuth described as “a very productive meeting,” the Select Board Monday evening decided to institute a subscription-based composting program at the transfer station and took advantage of the station manager’s presence to discuss and act on disposal fees.

Davis Saltonstall and his business partner Tessa Rosenberry of ScrapDogs Community Compost have established programs with several transfer stations in the Midcoast and beyond. Their composting operation is designed to minimize waste sent to landfills by placing covered food waste collection bins at transfer stations and giving residents a plastic 5-gallon bucket with an EZ-Peel lid.

Residents collect their plant, animal, paper, dairy and cooked food waste, place the bucket in the drop-off container and pick up a clean bucket. Subscribers order compost through ScrapDogs’ website and can have it delivered to their homes or pick up buckets of the finished compost at a separate container at the transfer station.

A subscription costs $10/month.

Kossuth said residents asked a number of questions, including whether the program attracts vermin (no, containers are sealed and picked up every week).

“The Select Board was really intrigued,” he said, “”and the transfer station supervisor was there and thought it sounded fine because it’s totally run by ScrapDogs — it doesn’t add anything extra to his work. And one of the beauties of it is that if people throw out less waste, they will be making fewer trips to the dump, dumping fewer bags, and because the town pays by the dumpster load, the town will see some savings as well. So it seems like a good plan to pursue further.”

The Select Board approved the arrangement, with some details still to be worked out. The timeline for introduction will be a few months because ScrapDog makes the bins from scratch, Kossuth said, “but they will start working on that.”

With transfer station Supervisor Tim Patten on hand for that discussion, the Select Board turned to discussion of trash bag stickers. They approved an increase to $3 per sticker from the current $2, effective July 1, to cover trash-hauling cost increases.

With the town’s recent renewal of a two-year contract for demo debris hauling, the price went up 30%, mostly because of fuel prices, Kossuth said, so the board needed to look at transfer station prices for bulk demo. “Those prices haven’t changed in 10 to 15 years,” he said.

To raise prices fairly, the board asked Kossuth to do some research to determine usage, costs to the town and revenue from users, which would then help the board “figure out how much we need to charge.” The transfer station currently charges a flat rate of $20 for a “pickup bed load of stuff” deposited in a dumpster, he said. New fees would be based on how much the town pays to haul away a full dumpster.

No members of the public were present to comment at public hearings on proposed changes to the town’s Building Permit and Shoreland Zoning ordinances. The Select Board approved the revisions to both for inclusion in the Warrant for the annual town meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 6, in the outdoor basketball court at Edna Drinkwater School.

An Animal Control ordinance was approved for inclusion on the Warrant a few weeks ago.

In other business, the Select Board approved bids for paving work, Kossuth said. One was for repaving roads “that need some TLC.” Another was for paving current gravel roads: Knight’s Pond Road from the end of existing pavement to the path to the cemetery, and Bluff Road from the end of the pavement to the top of the hill, about a half-mile.

“These are gravel roads that generally cause us nothing but hassle year-round,” he said, and so we’re hoping that pavement prices won’t be exorbitant … We budgeted for paving those stretches for fiscal 2023 and we just hope that the responses that come in don’t break the bank because we would like to get those done. But if it’s crazy expensive, we can wait.”

Board members also discussed whether to repaint crosswalks on Shore Road in Temple Heights. Based on a recommendation from Maine Department of Transportation, because there are no “safe pedestrian landings” at either end of the crosswalks, the town instead will install warning signs to drivers of pedestrian activity ahead.

In response to a request from some new local business owners for a traffic study on Route 1 from the Belfast line from Rocky Road and Cross Street, Kossuth said he spoke with DOT and arranged to borrow a flashing speed limit sign to obtain “some solid data” to see if people are speeding, and then if necessary “work with law enforcement to enforce the speed limit and hopefully prevent any incidents or crashes along that stretch.”

“There are new businesses that are opening,” he said, “and more stopping and turning and entering and exiting the highway could lead to trouble if we’re going too fast.”

Select Board members also got a preview of the town’s new website to be launched in a couple of weeks, Kossuth said, “and that’s exciting!”

Members also selected the Northport Broadband Internet Committee as the 2022 recipient of the Spirit of America Foundation Award, to be presented at town meeting June 6.