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Council has trash-talking session

By Staff | Aug 23, 2008

Maher wants these Guckeen recycle bins back in Blue Earth.

Why isn’t there a recycling drop-off center in Blue Earth?

Councilman Dick Maher wanted some answers at last Monday’s council work session.

He says there was a cart for recycle items at the Faribault County Fairgrounds until three months ago.

“Waste Management took it out of the fairgrounds and moved it to the Derby Cafe in Guckeen,” Maher says. “On the last day it was here the supervisor handed out 70 flyers saying it was going to Guckeen.”

Maher says he remembers the council being asked to find a site in the city and nothing being done about it.

He calls it a shame that 70 visitors to Blue Earth are no longer coming here, but going to Guckeen instead.

Faribault County Commis-sioner Barb Steier agrees with Maher. She and commissioner Butch Erichsrud were at the city meeting.

“The drop site is for the resi-dents of Blue Earth City Township and Jo Daviess Township residents,” Steier explains. “Blue Earth is the only city in the county that does not have a recycle station.”

Council members first thought that the city might have lost out on an $11,000 SCORE (Governor’s Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment) payment in 2007 because of the recycling center being moved out of town.

However, Steier says the payment from the county (which handles the SCORE grant monies) was not made because the reporting form from the city was late and incomplete.

Waste Management District Manager Rick Roemer, also at Monday’s meeting, agrees.

“The city gets its SCORE money because there is a curbside recycling program in the city, not because there was a township drop site here,” he explains.

City Administrator Kathy Bailey confirms records show an $11,000 payment received in 2006, but none in 2007.

Roemer says the station was mainly for the use of rural residents. City recyclers who miss the twice a month pickup could also use it, but if too many do, it would fill up, he points out.

Steier would like to see a station back in Blue Earth.

“I worked with Ben (former City Administrator Ben Martig) trying to find a good site,” Steier says. “But we never found one.”

She says a site needs to be well lighted, easily accessible, and monitored by city or county staff.

Maher also wants a recycling center back in Blue Earth.

“If the council is in favor, I want to explore it, find a spot for it,” he says.

Mayor Rob Hammond asked the council if any had objections with proceeding on finding a site, and none did. He instructed Bailey to work with the staff and find a suitable location.

The council got a look at another version of the all-terrain vehicle ordinance revisions on Monday.

City Attorney David Frundt says he needs direction from the council on how high they want the administrative fines to be.

“I suggest not going over $120,” Frundt says. “Any higher and they could become court fines.”

The difference is the city gets to keep all of the administrative fine money, but only gets a small portion of court fines, Frundt explains.

The council authorized the fine to be at the $120 level, but added they want it to be $120 for each offense, such as speeding or failure to get a permit.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord wants the fine for riding in the city parks to be higher than the $120, but Frundt advises against it.

“We could have the permit revoked in cases like that,” Frundt suggests.

One other new item in the ordinance was having permitted riders have a flag on their ATV for easier identification.

Councilman Rick Scholtes suggested different colors for each year so the authorities know if it is a current permit.