COVID-19 closes NG town facilities to ire of some residents

Town employees were potentially exposed to COVID-19, leading to the temporary closure of the transfer station and Public Works building. Not all residents were understanding, says Town Manager Brenda Fox-Howard.

| Emily Bader, Lakes Region Weekly |

NEW GLOUCESTER — Some residents’ angry responses to the “emergency closure” of the town’s transfer station and Public Works building last week after a close contact of a town employee testing positive for COVID-19 led to a stern rebuke from the town manager about the seriousness of the virus and a plea for patience and civility.

“In this day of social media, Twitter and instant responses, those avenues are not proper channels for communicating sensitive or complex situations, which is why it is called an ‘emergency’,” Town Manager Brenda Fox-Howard said in a Nov. 11 letter posted to the NGXchange, a local community blog, and linked on the town’s Facebook page.

Fox-Howard said that town employees were yelled at and “dirty diapers and household trash” were thrown at the transfer station gates.

On the town’s Facebook page, resident reactions to the closure ranged from annoyance to understanding.

“Where are we supposed to dump our trash?” Tara Trapasso Liptak wrote. “And if this is a longer-term closure, is the town going to provide a tax refund or reimburse us for having to get private trash pick-up until the transfer station reopens?”

“If we had a little more notice we could have planned more,” Dave Wroniak said.

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