2013-02-14 / Top News

Linton City Council votes in favor of changing landfill sites and raises rates on garbage pick-up

The Linton City Council discussed the City’s garbage rates and collection procedure during its regular meeting on Feb. 4.

The City of Linton began collecting its own garbage in April 2010, and the commercial and residential garbage collected within the City limits was hauled and disposed of at the Bismarck Landfill.

During the City Council’s regular meeting in January, Linton City Foreman Robert Job informed the council that the Bismarck Landfill raised its tip fees from $33 per ton to $43 per ton. The council asked Job to gather more information on the cost to haul garbage to other landfills, and present that information to the council at its February meeting. Foreman Job said the Bismarck Landfill does not use contracts, so the tip fees can be raised at any time.

Foreman Job met with the City’s Garbage Committee members, and told them a contract could be set up with Waste Management, Inc., to use the company’s landfill, which is located west of Wishek. Job said the contract would be for five years, with tip fees starting at $40 per ton in 2013, and raising one dollar each year for the length of the contract. Job noted that Waste Management’s landfill was less than half the distance of Bismarck’s, so that would save the City on fuel expenses as well.

Alderman Dennis Morris made a motion for the City of Linton to enter into a five-year contract with Waste Management for the use of its landfill, and Alderwoman Shelly Hauge seconded the motion. The motion carried, 4-0. (Linton Mayor Tim Volk and Council President Dan Imdieke were not present at the meeting. Alderman Gary Hulm, vice president of the council, presided over the meeting, and did not vote).

The council then discussed rates for commercial and residential garbage pick-up. The City was paying $33 per ton at the Bismarck Landfill, and even though Waste Management would be cheaper than Bismarck, it would still be an increase of $7 per ton to use the landfill.

Alderwoman Hauge and Alderman Perry Kimble spoke against raising the cost for residents and business owners. Hauge asked if it was necessary to charge more for garbage pick-up, and if it would be feasible for the City to pick up the garbage at its current charge for customers. Kimble said he understood why the City would need to raise the rates, but he inquired if a public meeting should be held to give the public an opportunity to express their concerns.

Gary Hulm, a member of the Garbage Committee, said with the rising cost of fuel and other maintenance, the City will need to raise the rates sometime during the term of the new contract. The new rates could remain the same for the next five years.

According to Linton City Administrator, Sharon Jangula, the Bismarck landfill rate increase from $33 per ton to $43 per ton is a 30% increase and the contract with Waste Management will be an increase of 21% in year one, 24% in year two, 27% in year 3, 30% in year four and 33% in year five over what the city had been paying for landfill fees in 2012. The savings in the expense of hauling the garbage to Wishek instead of Bismarck will help defray a portion of the landfill cost increases. A $1.00 per month increase for a tote would be approximately a 6% increase to our garbage customers. Barring any unforeseen expenses, the $1.00 increase should be adequate for the length of the five-year contract with Waste Management.

Alderman Morris made a motion for the City to raise the rates of garbage totes $1 per month, the second tote $.50 per month, and dumpsters $2 per month effective April 1, 2013, and Alderwoman Tammi Sannes seconded the motion. The motion carried, 3-1, with Alderman Kimble voting against it, stating he believes a public meeting should be held on the matter.

The council also:

• Allowed Jason Kelsch to proceed with his request to rezone property from residential to commercial. The council had denied Kelsch’s request to rezone the property during its January meeting, because members of the council expressed interest in maintaining residential property within the City to address future housing issues.

Kelsch addressed the council during the February meeting, stating that he purchased the lot (located on Southeast 2nd Street) with the intention of erecting a storage unit. The lot contains a house, which Kelsch said is dilapidated and beyond reasonable repair, and he said his plans were to clear the lot, regardless of the council’s decision.

Kelsch owns two storage facilities just south of the lot, and his plans were to add another storage facility, with 16 units, including eight 10’x 20’ units, four 10’ x 25’ units, and four 10’ x 15’ units. The new building would be the same size as the other two buildings, and Kelsch said he already has six of the units spoken for, and believes he would have little problem filling the remaining units.

Kelsch said he understands the council’s concerns about having too many storage facilities in residential zones, but he pointed out that all of his storage buildings replaced houses that were no longer in use, and were not feasible to repair. He added that he and his wife, Sheila, have done a good job of maintaining the lots, and he said adding a storage facility to the lots has immensely increased property tax revenue for the City of Linton.

Linton City Attorney Donald Becker told Kelsch he would need to hold a public hearing to inform residents about his rezoning plans, since there is the potential of changing the value of surrounding properties in the vicinity.

Alderman Kimble made a motion to allow Kelsch to move forward with the process of rezoning the property, and Alderman Morris seconded the motion. The motion carried, 4-0, and a public hearing is scheduled to he held during the council’s regular meeting on March 4.

• Approved an extension for a building permit application from John D. Lauinger. The council approved a building permit in March 2012, to allow Lauinger to move a 20’ x 26’ garage to his property located at the intersection of Northeast 1st Street and MapleAvenue. Lauinger told the council that he was unable to complete the project due to time constraints, and he asked for an extension for the project to be completed later this year.

Alderman Morris made a motion to extend the permit for one year, and Alderwoman Hauge seconded the motion. The motion carried, 4-0, and the building permit was extended for work to be completed by March 2014.

• Unanimously approved a Legal Service Agreement withAttorney Donald Becker for the upcoming water/sewer project. Alderwoman Hauge made a motion to approve the agreement, with a second by Alderwoman Sannes.

• Unanimously approved building permits for DeWayne Heidrich ($1,000 to replace kitchen floor), Arlyn Van Beek ($25,000 to enlarge bedroom and bathroom, install cabinets, and make improvements in the basement), Paul Balliet/Just Cut Loose ($3,000 to remodel salon), Linton Senior Center ($800 to erect and attach storage shed to building), and Dennis Morris ($4,000 to remodel bathroom).Alderwoman Hauge made a motion to approve the building permits, with a second by Alderwoman Sannes.

• Heard from Administrator Jangula that a postal carrier has requested the Council review the City’s mailbox ordinance which was implemented in 1992. There are several personal mailboxes and mailbox clusters around Linton which do not comply with the ordinance. The ordinance may need to be updated or revised.

According to the ordinance, personal mailboxes cannot be erected until the owner notifies the City Auditor, and gets approval from the council. The mailbox clusters must be erected according to certain specifications, and cannot contain more than 10 mailboxes, which must be uniform.

Jangula distributed a map to each council member, showing the locations of each mailbox and cluster within the city, and the council agreed to review the map and ordinance, and discuss the matter during the March 4 meeting.

• Heard from Alderman Kimble, who asked if the City should install surveillance cameras in areas located in Linton’s main business district. Kimble said law enforcement officers used footage from a camera located at his business to apprehend a suspect in a break-in at another business last year, and he believes having video cameras would discourage burglars, and also help law enforcement officers in their investigation of burglaries.

Alderwoman Hauge said adding surveillance cameras is a very expensive undertaking, and it probably wouldn’t be feasible for the City.Alderman Hulm said the City is already paying the Emmons County Sheriff’s Department for police services, and the City should not have to pay for extra items that are not in the contract. Hulm also stated that business owners have the right to install surveillance cameras on their property, and he felt the City should not have to “flip the bill” for extra protection.

Attorney Becker added that surveillance cameras are designed for professional burglars, and he noted that in the past, break-ins and other theft cases in Linton have not been the actions of who he considered professional burglars. The council took no action on the matter.

• Scheduled the next regular meeting for Monday, March 4, at 6 p.m.

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