Vote Yes on Zoning

To the Editor:

While my wife was looking at social media postings in the past week or two regarding the possibility of a massive dump in Dalton (in the area traditionally known for generations as Alder Brook Swamp) and the upcoming special town meeting she read out loud part of something a local woman a posted. What it basically said, in part, was it’s all these people from away trying to tell us what to do. So wait a minute, is that the people who visited here and saw the quiet country roads, beautiful hills, the clean water of our streams and rivers the great state parks, the White Mountains , clean air and the bright stars in our night sky? They saw the value of a quite rural way of life and chose to come here to build their life, invest their hard earned dollars get house , some land and put their blood sweat and tears into their homes and communities! Maybe they came as retirees or young folks starting a family and raising their children here. They are supposedly the bad guys????

Well here’s something to think about, Casella, you know who they are, the big time corporate garbage guys they are from away and so is the overwhelming majority of their garbage. By away I do mean all the millions of tons of garbage they have been bringing to the North Country for years that is not from Dalton or the surrounding communities. 2018 reporting for Casella/North Country Environmental Services site on Trudeau Rd in Bethlehem NH to the NH DES show 232,000 tons from NH and 121,000 tons or approximately 34% from out of state.

You can check this out for yourselves-www.des.nh.gov/onestop/index.htm. Current operations for the NCES facility is listed under, Facility name: NCES Lined Landfill Stage 4, 5. Street Address: 581 Trudeau Rd. Bethlehem. SW Facility Permit# (DES-SW-03-002). Facility Id: 0002831.

So here in Dalton do you put your faith in your fellow town’s people or a large for profit Corporation from away or any corporation for that matter? A no vote severely hinders the right of self-government by the people and the ability to establish thoughtful and measured systems of control for potential corporate projects such as this to keep them in a way that fits the desires of the people of Dalton or possibly banning them within town limits. On July 30th a no vote essentially gets you the landfill project without local controls. Here’s something to think about, landfills take residential waste, commercial waste, municipal waste, building debris, contaminated soils, sewer treatment sludge and who knows what else goes into the garbage pile! What about this as a possibility, the no vote has its way and we find ourselves with the first of how many sites after expansion requests. Now profit being important we find Dalton on the receiving end of a large portion of the greater Boston areas garbage and human waste, what a lovely thought and who can say it will not happen!

Local reporting says that the taxpayers in Bethlehem have spent around 1.5 million dollars of taxpayer money to defend the town against lawsuits from the landfill companies. Does Dalton have a finical plan in hand to deal with this type of potential expense? Bethlehem is a good town, nice areas and good hardworking folks, you do not hear much about Bethlehem being an inexpensive place to live mostly you hear that it is a bit costly. Do you think a landfill is a golden egg? A festering wound would be a better description!

A yes vote on July 30th gives the towns people short term protection in the form of temporary emergency zoning protections from projects such as or similar to the potential landfill. Then we as residents of the town have until next March to bring forward thoughtful reasonable ideas that suit the needs and will of the people of Dalton that will help us continue with the excellent quality of life that we now enjoy. There is nothing too loose with a yes vote on the 30th, we still need to vote for a permanent solution at the March town meeting but in the meantime a yes vote puts our faith in our friends, families and neighbors.

Government of the people, for the people and by the people!

Gregory Odell

Dalton, New Hampshire

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