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  • Last modified 92 days ago (Jan. 18, 2018)

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Not skimping on trash

Commissioners choose $4.6 million option

Commissioners shun three cheaper options for most costly

Staff writer

County commissioners aren’t skimping on trash, choosing a $4.6 million transfer station Tuesday over three less expensive options for reasons of safety and efficiency.

Commissioner Kent Becker admitted sticker shock at the building’s projected price tag, but said that when the cost breakouts were explained to him, he understood.

Bruce Boettcher, of BG Consultants, showed commissioners four potential designs and price estimates for each. Boettcher showed two 100-by-80-foot designs with 12-foot and 17-foot depths.

Ultimately, commissioners selected the most expensive design for reasons of safety, efficiency, and functionality. Not that it was an easy decision.

“All in all it would be a Cadillac compared with what we have today,” commissioner Randy Dallke said. “This is a bare-bones design. We don’t even have any heating designed in it except in the office.”

Becker sought clarification from Boettcher.

“In your opinion, are we building a Cadillac of a transfer station or are we building a transfer station that’s functional and safe?” Becker asked.

“This is the safest design for the public,” Boettcher said.

Dallke said he thinks the safety of the working area will be better than the existing transfer station.

Earthwork with imported fill is expected to cost $797,700. The 10,000 square foot, two-story building itself is the next highest component at $650,000.

Boettcher said he expected the facility to be operational for 40 years.

Boettcher also said part of educating the public needs to be emphasizing that they don’t want people on the floor of the station.

County resident Mike Beneke said he had a $2.3 million mortgage on a building at his farm and didn’t consider the project price excessive. He did, however, suggest commissioners make sure vehicles entering the transfer station can drive through it.

“Any time you put something in reverse, you’re asking for disaster,” Beneke said.

County clerk Tina Spencer said she has a little trailer that she sometimes pulls but does not back up.

“My point exactly,” Beneke said.

Commissioners voted unanimously for the $4.6 million design. Now the proposal can move to the stage of town hall meetings.

Last month, commissioners discussed funding the project with a sales tax that would replace one used to build a jail. That tax expires July 1.

Approval would require an election that must be held by March 20 and the votes canvassed by March 26, Spencer said. The state would need to be notified that the jail tax would end and a new tax begin by April 1.

Last modified Jan. 18, 2018

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