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County board hears good financial news for a change

By Staff | Oct 21, 2012

Faribault County commissioners approved some good news about garbage.

At the Tuesday County Board meeting, Prairieland Solid Waste requested approval to adjust solid waste management fees.

Billeye Rabbe, coordinator of Prairieland Solid Waste, told the commissioners that they are able to reduce the fees for the next year.

“The fees were at $115 for each business and $47 a household per year,”?Rabbe says.

With the adjustments the new fees will be $69 per business per year and $28 per household per year.

Commissioners discussed possibilities of where that money could be alloted.

“The money stays in the county through these waste fees which is good,”?Commissioner Tom Loveall says. “A?future concept to keep in mind would be rural collection, but for now it’s a good idea to retain some of these funds.”

Currently, profits from the waste fee goes toward running Prairieland and to fund the operation of the solid waste program in the county.

Rabbe also gave updates about the sites in Winnebago and Wells.

“Wells has been very widely used,”?she says. “We have hauled out about six semi-loads of electronics and appliances.”

The two sites accept garbage, computers, televisions, refrigerators, microwaves and other similar appliances.

The collection areas in Wells and Winnebago are not free collection.

“It just gives people living in rural areas around the county an option,”?Rabbe adds.

Commissioner Tom Warmka added that it would be nice to see the addition of more locations in the future.

“We need these rural options,”?he says. “It would be nice to eventually go up to four sites.”

Rabbe informed the board that it sounded like Kiester was receptive to the idea of adding an electronics and appliance collection site similar to Wells and Winnebago.

She plans to attend a future City Council meeting in Kiester to address the topic.

Brenda Ripley discussed transit fees in the county, something that had been discussed previously by the board of commissioners.

Prairie Express Transit is currently looking at adjusting the cost of transportation. It is $3 one way and $6 roundtrip for all in county rides. The cost is $6 one way if a rider is picked up outside the county and is dropped off in Faribault County.

“We are discussing the idea of doubling those prices,”?Ripley says.

Commissioner Greg Young suggested an idea that is being used by other transit systems in different counties.

“Some counties will transport library books or prescriptions,”?he says. “It might be something to look into.”

The board tabled the discussion and will revisit it at the first board meeting in November when Bonita Zimmer, transit program coordinator, will be present.

In other business;

Michele Stindtman of the Soil and Water Conservation District discussed the progress of the Planning and Zoning and Board of Adjustments.

Due to the change in board structure, changes will have to be made to the current statutes.

“As I?was reviewing some of the statutes I realize now would be a good time to get them up to compliance by Jan. 1,” Stindtman says.

A request of $15,580 from Prairieland Solid Waste Board put up a red flag for some of the commissioners.

The county had budgeted $233,000 to Prairieland this year.

“I know they are in a transitional phase right now,”?Loveall says. “But, it is something we should be concerned about.”

He feels that next year’s budget for Prairieland is what they should be concerned about. By that time he thinks the group should be saving money.