Solid waste fee increase proposed
Additional $500,000 in revenue would cost about $70 per household annually
OTTER TAIL COUNTY – The Otter Tail County Commissioners will be holding a public hearing to discuss increasing the solid waste fee.
During the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Solid Waste Department recommended a $70-to-$80 annual increase, which would bring in an additional $500,000 per year.
Commissioners were informed the increase is needed to balance the budget. The rising costs were attributed to required system maintenance due to aging infrastructure, the Henning transfer station (estimated to cost $3 million), landfill diversion efforts (estimated to cost $100,000 per year), final cover projects for a landfill (estimated to cost more than $1.5 million), remodeling smaller transfer stations (estimated at $1.2 million), and wage increases (about $60,000 per year for the entire department).
The public hearing was tentatively set for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. Should the increase pass, it would take effect in 2023.
Single-sort recycling committees approved
Otter Tail County commissioners approved an advisory committee to help plan for single-sort recycling throughout the county.
Chris McConn, the county’s solid waste director, explained the county received a $250,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to create the all-encompassing recycling program.
The county worked with a consultant, which recommended a steering committee be formed, followed by an advisory committee. The steering committee consisted of county personnel, whereas the advisory board involved representatives from cities throughout the county.
The advisory committee is set to meet several times during the next six months to discuss the project. The steering committee appointees were waiting on a few additions, but the initial list of names was approved by the commissioners.