Prairieland gets 10-year waste plan

TRUMAN – A representative of Region 9 presented a 10-year solid waste management plan to the Prairieland board of directors on Friday.

“The plan basically just outlines what we’re doing now and a projection of where the garbage volumes will go in 10 years,” said Billeye Rabbe, director of Prairieland. “It’s a 10-year plan. It all goes by state percentages the [Minnesota Pollution Control Agency] has decided are normal – like an average – of what has happened in the last 10 years.”

The plan is based on population and the growth rates in the state, she added, to give decision-makers an idea of what will happen in the next 10 years.

When the board asked if the facility will be held to the plan, Rabbe said no.

“It’s a snapshot, but it does help,” she said.

“When I looked at the last 10-year plan, I said ‘Wow, we did all this.’ So it is good to check it out from time to time,” Rabbe said.

The board voted to allow the plan to be submitted to the state and to the public for perusal and comment.

In other news, Rabbe announced that Prairieland employee Eric Luetgers died suddenly Wednesday.

After praising his work and expressing condolences to the family, Rabbe reminded the board that Luetgers announced some time ago his plans to retire in August. She had mentioned at other Prairieland meetings that she would need to find someone to take over the household hazardous waste work and lab packing that Luetgers performed.

Rabbe said she knows a couple of people who have the knowledge and skills to do the job. She wanted the board’s approval to move ahead with filling the position because a three-day training is set for the first part of April.

Board members asked about the parameters of the job. Rabbe said the person would work eight-hour days, two days per week and some weekends. Rabbe said Luetgers was a contract employee and received $20 per hour.

Martin County Commissioner Dan Schmidtke asked if another Prairieland employee could do the job.

Martin County Commissioner Elliot Belgard estimated Prairieland was paying Luetgers about $12,000.

“If we pulled someone off the floor … it would cost us more than that,” he said.

“We don’t have anyone we can spare,” Rabbe said. “It leaves a pretty sparse crew out there.”

The board approved Rabbe working with the executive committee to get someone hired.