By Michael Howell
At its August 22 meeting, the Stevensville Town Council approved, on a 3 to 1 vote, placement of a drop box for disposal of prescription drugs at the town hall. The action was taken at the recommendation of Stevensville Police Chief James Marble.
Marble explained that research has shown that prescription drugs are showing up in well water across the state and the nation, some of it presumably from being disposed of in septic and sewer systems. He said that a grant was available to establish a prescription drug drop box in the community but it must be done by local law enforcement. Marble said that although pharmacies sell prescription drugs they are not allowed by law to take them back. Thus the need for a drop box handled by law enforcement.
Councilor Desera Towle expressed a concern that having a box potentially containing a lot of narcotics might make the town hall a target for drug-related theft. Marble stated that Selway Corporation had volunteered to make the box. He said it would be out of steel and be bolted and strapped in place. He said constant video surveillance would also be used, making it highly unlikely that the box would be considered a target for theft.
Towle cast the only dissenting vote.
The Council also heard from Donny Ramer of PCI about the paving project on Park Street. The company replacing the water line was contracted only to re-pave over the trench that was dug to replace the water line, but the council is considering expanding the project to include more paving and possibly some curb and sidewalk work as well as signs and striping. The school, which is installing curbs (including bulb-outs) and gutters as part of its construction project, also offered to do the striping and crosswalks. Some council members balked at the offer. Councilor Dan Mullan thought the town should do it since it is the town’s responsibility.
Ramer told the council that the paving project alone was estimated to cost about $42,000 while the option including curbs and other work would approach about $64,000. The matter was tabled for future consideration when the full design plans of the school have been made available.
The Council also heard from Darwin Ernst, who owns rental property in town, about his desire to build a fence on his rental property at 200 Mission Street so that kids could play safely in the yard and he could maintain the lawn. He wants to place the fence by the sidewalk, in line with other fences and structures on the block.
The problem, he told the council, is the town’s set back regulations that require the fence to be 25 feet back from the right of way of the street. He said his research showed that all the fences and many of the structures along the street were in violation of the setback and that the rules would prohibit him from having a functional fence on his property. Ernst suggested the town should reconsider its setback regulations considering that all the structures in that block of 2nd street were encroaching on the 80-foot right of way.
Town Planner Ben Longbottom cautioned the council that it could not simply allow the fence since it would be in violation of the town’s ordinance about the matter. The matter was tabled until the council could get a legal opinion about the issue.
The Council also heard from Water Supervisor George Thomas about several leaks in the town’s 8-inch water line running down Middle Burnt Fork Road following the recent county paving project. Thomas said that the town’s 8-inch main coming from the reservoir up Middle Burnt Fork Road began leaking in about five places following the paving project. He said it was most likely caused by the vibrating compactor machine loosening the joints in the pipe.
As a result the 8-inch main has been shut off and the town is using the remaining 10-inch line that also runs down Middle Burnt Fork Road. It was noted that the town’s plans called for the eventual decommissioning of the 8-inch main. Shutting it down now is a bit premature, according to Thomas.
One concern voiced was the lack of sufficient flow to handle a major fire event involving multiple structures. Road Supervisor Ed Sutherlin said that the 8-inch line could be turned on for a major fire event and then turned off again afterwards. It would involve some loss of water from the leaks during the event but should provide enough flow to combat a major fire.
In other business the Town Council:
• approved a request from SHS Principal Brian Gum to hold the Stevensville School Homecoming parade and bonfire;
• approved a request from Brandon Dewey to hold a 9/11 Memorial commemoration;
• approved reimbursing Mark Adams $685 for landscaping work he had done following the removal by the town of trees located on his property;
• approved Town Clerk Sue Gibson’s attendance to a training workshop for Clerks of Limited Jurisdiction.