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Kandiyohi County to raise disposal fee at landfill for first time in 15 years

Curtis Hanson of Spicer, right, and his two sons, Justin, foreground left, and Chris, partially hidden at left, dump carpet and other material they removed from a home Tuesday at the Kandiyohi County Landfill near Spicer. Kandiyohi County plans to increase the disposal fee at the landfill for the first time in 15 years. The disposal fee will increase from $36 per ton to $39 per ton, an increase of about 8 percent. (Tribune photo by Gary Miller)

WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County plans to increase the disposal fee at the county landfill for the first time in 15 years.

The disposal fee will increase from $36 per ton to $39 per ton, an increase of about 8 percent.

The County Board voted Tuesday to increase the fee, which was set in 1996. The increase will be included in the renewal of the county's solid waste agreement with West Central Sanitation. The agreement was also approved Tuesday.

The county has agreements with Stevens County and Miller Sanitation, too. Those contracts have different expiration dates, but both agreed to a revision in their contracts.

Jeff Bredberg, county environmental services director, said the fee would go into effect in September. "That gives haulers a chance to notify their customers of the increase," he said.

Stevens County had asked to have its rate increase go into effect on Jan. 1, to coincide with other rate changes, and Bredberg recommended approving that.

The addition $3 per ton is expected to raise an additional $81,000 a year for the landfill, which is facing higher expenses, Bredberg said.

The county is investigating the extent of a plume of contaminated groundwater caused by toxic materials buried at the landfill in the 1970s. Decisions about cleanup will come after the investigation is complete.

The new fee for waste collected outside Kandiyohi County would increase to $39.50.

Those rates would be in effect until the end of 2013 when they would increase another $2, to $41 for waste from inside the county and $41.50 for waste collected outside the county.

The county places limits on the amount of out-of-county waste that can be brought to its landfill -- up to 3,500 tons per year for West Central Sanitation, 2,500 tons for Stevens County and 196 tons for Miller Sanitation.

In other business, the board voted to approve a five-year county tax abatement for the owner of the former Lake Lillian School. Owner Lowell Petterson said he is trying to find a good purpose for the building.

"It's a sweet building," he said, "but it's so hard to heat." High heating costs may have contributed to the failure of businesses that have operated in the building, he added.

Petterson said a five-year abatement of county taxes would help him save the building and make improvements. He said he hopes to develop a portion of the building into apartments and another part into a community center.

"I give you a lot of credit for moving forward with this," said Commissioner Harlan Madsen, who represents the Lake Lillian area.

The board approved five grants recommended by the Water Planning Task Force: $1,020 to Wakanda Watershed Group for water testing; $3,000 to the Green Lake Property Owners Association to help pay for chemical treatments of Eurasian water milfoil; $3,000 to the Lake Florida Improvement Association for monitoring for invasive species; $750 to Eagle Lake Association for water testing; and $3,000 for county shoreland protection work on Big Kandiyohi Lake.

The board also gave Bredberg permission to continue working on plans to demolish a house on tax-forfeited property in Raymond. Bredberg said the house has flaking lead-based paint which must be stabilized and it needs an asbestos study.

Because of the state government shutdown, he said, it has been difficult to get information from the state about handling any environmental hazards.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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