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My Turn: Hopkinton, Webster plan may mean environmental damage

Attention Hopkinton and Contoocook residents: Are you aware of the potential changes at the transfer station that are actively being pursued by the towns of Hopkinton and Webster?

The Hopkinton and Webster selectmen have applied for a permit modification with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to change our transfer station into a facility that “may receive and transfer solid wastes from any towns, businesses and/or individuals as permitted by the Hopkinton and Webster boards of selectman as defined in the duly enacted Refuse Disposal Ordinance for the towns of Hopkinton and Webster.”

The Hopkinton selectmen did this without seeking input from the public and without asking the town to vote on the proposed permit change.

I disagree with their actions and am asking them to bring it to a public vote.

The impacts of this permit modification are far reaching:

∎ Greater potential for environmental damage;

∎ Greater damage to town roads due to heavy tonnage;

∎ Greater danger to pedestrians, motorists and cyclists due to increased large commercial vehicle traffic, especially on the back roads;

∎ Noise pollution on town roads;

∎ Exhaust pollution on town roads;

∎ Trash and debris on town roads;

∎ Potential loss of service to residents;

∎ An increase in the municipal budget to accommodate increased staffing and equipment needs at the transfer station.

For example: Deer Meadow Brook, which borders the transfer station, feeds the Contoocook River which, in turn, supplements Concord’s drinking water. That waterway, along with others, can potentially be inundated with unsecured trash and debris falling and blowing off onto the roadways and surrounding areas.

The selectmen say they are doing this to increase revenue. Does Hopkinton, which has repeatedly shown a conservationist’s view in caring and maintaining its open spaces and conservation land, want to endanger its people, views, waterways and natural areas to take in other towns’ wastes?

The Hopkinton and Webster selectmen are having an informational meeting at the Hopkinton Town Hall, on Monday at 6 p.m. This effort should be stopped! Please join in and become informed; this permit change has the potential to affect each and every resident in our small town. It is not something that should be done without the majority approval of the voters.

Please contact me if you wish to be involved at

(Gary Rondeau lives in Contoocook.)

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