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$10,000 will be spent to prepare plans for revised PRRF joint powers

Up to $10,000 will be spent on a consultant to update the joint powers operating agreement for the Perham Resource Recovery Facility.

The decision was made Sept. 24 at the County Coordinating Committee meeting at Perham City Hall.

The legal structure of the joint powers body has been one of the stumbling blocks to a possible expansion of the Perham solid waste incineration facility.

The committee includes representatives of all the parties involved in the incinerator, including Perham Mayor Kevin Keil and representatives from Wadena, Todd and Otter Tail Counties--all of which transport solid waste to the Perham site.

"Outdated" is how Wadena County commissioner Bill Stearns described the contract and operating agreement that governs the facility.

"The joint powers agreement needs to be cleaned up, dressed up and looking legal," said Stearns.

The facility was poised for a $9.8 million expansion, including a $2.8 million grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The expansion proposal appears dead, following the Otter Tail County Board's reaffirmed position that it does not support an expansion at this time. Wadena and Todd officials are also unsupportive of the expansion.

However, those same county officials believe that an updated joint powers agreement will establish a framework for the future of the facility--whether or not there is an expansion.

Last summer, Perham City Manager Kelcey Klemm submitted a list of recommendations for a new governing structure, which for the most part, fell on deaf ears.

Perham Mayor Kevin Keil, at the Sept. 24 meeting, was opposed to spending $10,000 for a consulting firm--when he felt that there was a solid starting point for discussion with Klemm's recommendations.

"Why spend $10,000 when we haven't really looked at what we already have in front of us?" asked Keil.

But the coordinating committee voted to proceed with the consulting firm.

City Manager Klemm and Otter Tail County Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan will set up the parameters for the consulting firm.