Highway super to be in charge of Knox transfer station

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff
A man throws trash into a bin at the Knox transfer station. Proposed operating procedures for the transfer station were discussed Wednesday night.

KNOX — The new standard operating procedures for the Knox transfer station — the town’s center for recycling and garbage disposal — will have its three attendants answering to the town’s deputy supervisor: Highway Superintendent Gary Salisbury.

At a special town board meeting Wednesday night, town attorney Javid Afzali reviewed a draft of the transfer station’s proposed operating procedures, and went over a section that “sets the chain of command”: the employees assigned as “attendants 2 and 3” will answer to “attendant 1,” who will answer to the town’s deputy supervisor, who will in turn answer to the town board. Afzali added that workers who are absent and sending in the alternate attendant must notify the deputy supervisor.

Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis asked why the document could not assign the commanding position to the town highway superintendent.

“I thought we were catering this because we wanted the highway superintendent to be in charge,” Lefkaditis said.

Afzali said that the highway superintendent cannot be in charge because the highway department operates under “different budgets, different authorities” than the other town departments.

Salisbury was appointed deputy supervisor in January. The position had been abolished the year prior in a 4-to-1 vote — two of the council members who were in favor have since been voted out of office — with Lefkaditis voting against it. Lefkaditis had nominated Salisbury for deputy superintendent that year but the other board members thought the post should go to someone on the town board.

Currently, Salisbury voiced support for new procedures to keep transfer-station workers in check, such as installing a time-clock like the one in the highway garage to mark hours worked by employees.

Salisbury also pointed out that there was a grill in a shed on the transfer-station property and asked why this was needed for workers since they have four-hour shifts; he noted that his highway workers don’t have a grill or cooking utensils despite working much longer hours.

Salisbury repeatedly objected to allowing residents to leave discarded items on the grounds of the transfer station for others to take. He said that the town would be liable if there were an accident or injury. He also said the practice is confusing since, at the same time, the town forbids residents to take items the town collects and sells for money such as metal and batteries.

“The way I see it, it’s a transfer station; it’s the end of the line,” said Salisbury.

Town board member Earl Barcomb suggested that discarded items of value be stored in the shed on the transfer-station property. Lefkaditis suggested coming back to these rules if there are any problems with people taking items. The town board may change procedures as it sees fit, as stated in the proposed code of conduct.

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