Gray adopts new rule to improve Swap Shop behavior

The Gray Town Council has signed off on new rules for the town's Swap Shop, which has been temporarily closed. 

GRAY — The Town Council has signed off on a new policy for the Gray Swap Shop, which has been closed temporarily after what the town manager and recycling and solid waste director said was behavior there similar to Black Friday chaos.

The council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to adopt the policy developed by the Town’s Recycling Committee. The policy includes 11 different rules for Swap Shop behavior, and says that anyone violating the rules “will be asked to leave immediately.”

“Subsequent violations will be referred to the Town Manager/Town Council for further disciplinary action which may include suspension from use of the Swap Shop,” the policy states.

The new rules stipulate that people wishing to volunteer at the shop must submit a written application and be willing to submit to a full background check. Volunteers will be under the direct Supervision of Recycling and Solid Waste Director Randy Cookson.

Additionally, the town will assume no responsibility for items taken from the Swap Shop, and things being given or removed “shall be at no cost to the town of Gray.”

Transfer station staff will supervise Swap Shop use, which will be limited to residents and property owners of the town who display a valid transfer station permit.

“Use of the Swap Shop is limited to reasonable visits of no more than 30 minutes at a time, no more than twice a day,” the new rules continue. “Users shall be respectful and courteous not only to other users, but to transfer station staff as well.”

There are also prohibitions on items that can be left at the shop. Prohibited items include: those require a disposal fee at the transfer station, those that are not functional, and liquid wastes. Also, items are not allowed to be intentionally damaged at the shop.

Councilor Dan Maguire was the only member of the council not to vote for the new Swap Shop rules.

“I really don’t think we should have a Swap Shop,” Maguire said. “I think it’s a distraction for the [transfer station] employees.”

Maguire said that the issues surrounding behavior at the shop may have been a “warning sign of sorts,” but added that he does “appreciate the effort” behind the new rules.

Councilor Sandy Carter, who serves as the council liaison to the recycling committee, said that the committee did discuss the possibility of closing the shop but decided it was unfair to do so based on a few people who “couldn’t follow the rules.”

Cookson said in a previous interview that if the council signed off on the new rules this week, he didn’t anticipate the Swap Shop opening before Thanksgiving. He said the town would need time to review applications for potential volunteers before opening the shop again.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

The Gray Town Council has signed off on new rules for the town’s Swap Shop, which has been temporarily closed.