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County OKs $1.76m deal to build new transfer station

Lease purchase agreement would require $120,000 from county’s funds

Staff writer

After more than three years’ discussion, construction of a new $1.875 million solid waste transfer station is finally in sight.

County commissioners voted Monday to enter a lease purchase agreement with Central National Bank for $1.755 million, with the remaining $120,000 to come from county funds.

County reports show that from 2011 to 2018, the transfer station made a net profit of $532,548.

Commissioner Dianne Novak proposed shaving off $120,000 from the originally-proposed $1.875 million lease purchase agreement. Novak had earlier said she wanted to find a way to pay the cost of a transfer station without borrowing money.

Commissioners reached a compromise after commissioner Kent Becker said the county needed to maintain a certain amount of reserves, and commissioner Randy Dallke said improving the county’s roads is important.

The existing transfer station will remain in use while a new building is constructed east of where the transfer station now stands.

The old station will be torn down and the new 75- by 80-foot building extended near the site of the old one.

Commissioners awarded the construction contract to Nelson-Fowles Construction. Company president Cody Nelson said no date is set to begin work, but the company won’t wait any longer than it has to.

“We’re going to try to get going as soon as possible,” Nelson said.

After the contract was awarded, Dallke said he’d like the commission to rethink the county’s recycling program. Marion County takes a load of recyclables out of the county one day a week.

“Right now we’re not getting paid, and right now we’re short on people,” Dallke said.

Brandy Ankenman, interim transfer station director, said a new full-time employee was hired last week.

“We can do it,” Ankenman said.

Ankenman and commissioners disagreed on the number of employees who need to be on the transfer station floor.

Ankenman said she thinks there need to be two people for the sake of safety, but Dallke said other stations he visited had only one person working on the floor.

County engineer Brice Goebel said even if one employee works on the floor, a second needs to be available for breaks, vacations, and the like.

Commissioner Dave Crofoot suggested advertising for another full time employee.

Last modified Jan. 16, 2020

 

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