Austin looking at options for waste station; City losing money in lease deals

Published 10:39 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The city of Austin is looking at options for its waste transfer station.

The Austin City Council discussed the city’s station during a meeting Monday as the city is losing revenue on leasing it out to other companies.

Waste Management, which has leased the city’s waste transfer station for the past 15 years, has told the city it will no longer continue its previous lease as tonnage through the transfer station has decreased from 1,200 to 900 tons per month.

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Waste Management did resubmit a bid to lease the facility, but at a much lower rate. The city normally receives about $60,000 a year from the company, yet the bid amount was only for $6,000.

The city is discussing ways to use the station in part for single-sort recycling with Mower County, but there are no firm plans yet, according to Public Works Director Steven Lang. The county is researching a switch to single-sort recycling, which would mean the county would pick up one larger recycling bin instead of several separate bins.

In other news, the council:

—Approved a change to Northland Restaurant Group’s tree mitigation plan for a new Hardees restaurant along Fourth Street Northwest. Northland wants to take out five trees from the area instead of three, as city statute only allows for 30 percent of the trees in an area to be removed. Northland plans to plant four trees to make up for the extra two removed, and will increase the shrubbery in the area.

Northland is also working with a southern Minnesota artist who is taking the wood off the property.

Construction on Hardees is underway, and company officials previously said the work could take about 90 days.

—Awarded a bid to repair the Austin Fire Department’s roof to Restoration Services Inc., which proposed fixing the roof and a few alternative projects for about $169,000.