Faribault Co. supports fee switch

BLUE EARTH – Faribault County commissioners agreed to end per-ton hauler fees at the Prairieland Solid Waste Facility on Tuesday.

Billeye Rabbe, director of Prairieland, requested the solid waste ordinance be re-worded to eliminate the $40 per ton hauler fee.

“Going forward, it will be much easier,” she said.

Commissioner John Roper asked that the ordinance include wording to require a set timeframe to update the fee.

“I don’t want to do this every year,” he said.

Rabbe said if the language is open-ended, it can be revisited when change is needed.

When the vote was called, the measure passed 4-1 with Commissioner Tom Loveall dissenting.

Rabbe also asked commissioners to set the fees at 22 percent for residential and 34 percent for commercial, based on what haulers charge the public.

“This is exactly what the haulers are doing right now,” she explained, noting that Martin County has already approved the changes. Prairieland, located in Truman, is operated by Faribault and Martin counties.

Auditor John Thompson said if the board did not pass the resolution, there would be no payment provision for taking in waste at Prairieland.

A motion was made to pass the resolution, but it died for lack of a second.

Roper proposed a two-year sunset clause, but didn’t get a second on his motion.

After more discussion, a motion was made again to approve the resolution.

“It’s unfair to the people,” said Commissioner Greg Young. “I don’t like the structure of the way people are paying for garbage in this county.”

In the end, Young and Loveall voted no, but Roper and commissioners Bill Groskreutz and Tom Warmka voted yes, so the measure passed 3-2.

Turning to other business, commissioners learned a variance for the Main Street construction in Blue Earth has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.