The following was written by Town Manager Anthony Wilson.
Belgrade’s Town government has felt lately like a Vin Diesel movie. The changes have been fast and furious!
The remaking of how we deliver public services continues. The Selectboard last night approved a plan to re-implement recycling at the Transfer Station and discussed how we might safely offer a summer day camp. So, it’s a good time to update you on all that’s happened, how it impacts you, and what you might expect next.
But first … thank you. Belgrade’s citizens have been, and remain, exceedingly patient and gracious with all of the precautionary steps we have taken. I wish I could tell you we will soon return to how you and we feel most comfortable interacting. But I’m convinced that’s not the case. Instead, we’re putting a premium on nimbleness so we can best and most safely serve our residents.
The good news is we will relaunch recycling at the Transfer Station on June 2. That service, however, will not look like it has. Because the Recycling Center can be a congested place, our chief concern is ensuring safe social distances as residents drop off recyclables.
To spread out the number of people at the Recycling Center over more days, we will accept recyclables only from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesdays. That is in addition to accepting recyclables and trash from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays, noon-5 p.m. Thursdays (starting May 28) and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
To keep people from congregating in front of the recycling windows, we will:
- Collect glass near the hopper.
- Collect cans with heavy metals near the hopper.
- Move the collection bin for plastics outside the Recycling Center beyond window 7. If you have bagged and stored your recyclables during this interim, please place those bags in the plastics bin. Our staff will sort them later.
- Open only every other window (1, 3, 5 and 7) at the Recycling Center for cardboard, paper, magazines and newspaper. To help citizens with social distancing, we will mark lines on the pavement 6 feet from each window and block the lane closest to the building.
- Erect signage and communicate all of this relentlessly via the Internet and our marquees.
The Selectboard continues to consider how the Recreation Department can safely offer a summer day camp that strikes a balance between offering families a needed service while ensuring youngsters’ safety. The Board asked us to gain some input from medical professionals. Thus far, our recommendation to the Board includes:
- Limiting participation to ensure adherence to the governor’s directive that public gatherings not exceed 50 people.
- Requiring families to register and reserve in advance which weeks they wish to use the camp. Priority would be given to Town residents and taxpayers, and to elementary school children. This will help us serve as many children as possible without topping the State’s 50-person threshold. Should we have available openings during a given week, we will accept drop-ins on those days.
- Requiring staff and children to wear face coverings.
- Limiting all activities to outside. Children will have designated spaces for bags and will be spaced as much as possible. On rainy days, children will be spaced throughout the Center for All Seasons.
- Canceling all field trips and guest speakers. No one from the public may visit and there will be no adult programming during camp hours.
- Closing the pool.
- Assigning children to the same group with the same counselors each day, with no mixing of groups.
- Forbidding children from bringing personal items to camp. Sharing of craft supplies will be limited. Frequently used surfaces and equipment will be disinfected after each use.
- Staggering drop-off and pick-up times. Parents must stay in their vehicles. Campers and staff will be screened as they arrive each morning. Staff and children will be directed to stay home if they do not feel well.
- Reinforcing frequent hand-washing and properly covering mouths when coughing and sneezing. Signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 will be posted inside and outside the building.
- Not hosting sailing camp this year.
If you have ideas that could help us safely provide this service, please contact me at 207-495-2258 or email@example.com. The Selectboard will again discuss and consider this when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/644641750.
As a reminder, face masks are required at the Town Office, which is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. We are serving no more than three citizens at a time – one at each customer service window. A fourth citizen may wait in the vestibule until a window opens. Others must wait outside. Once they have conducted their business, citizens exit through the side door to avoid crossing paths with others. We’ve also installed Plexiglas shields across our service windows.
The Belgrade Public Library isn’t open to the public, but we are offering no-touch, curbside pickup. Just call 207-495-3508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request titles. We’ll arrange a time for you to pick up your materials on the front porch of the Library at 124 Depot Road. Our staff is happy to offer recommendations based upon new arrivals, authors and/or genres.
We are evaluating these changes on an ongoing basis … as we consider other possibilities, including how to offer adult Recreation programming. If you have questions about any of this, let’s talk. Our team remains committed to serving you in the best and healthiest way we can.
Please stay safe, Belgrade.