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County developing design for new transfer station

A design for the new county transfer station is emerging.

Solid Waste Administrator Josh Holte updated the Hubbard County Board at their April 3 meeting.

Holte is working with consultant Wenck Associates, Inc. of Fargo to design the building. It will replace the existing transfer station at the south site, which was constructed in 1987.

"We've picked the layout we feel is going to work the best," he said, showing preliminary sketches with the county board.

The Hubbard County transfer station is part of a larger, regional project funded by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Solid Waste Capital Assistance Program. Polk County is the grant administrator.

Phase I received $8 million in funding in the 2015 bonding bill. The 2017 bonding bill allocated another $9.25 million to the Polk County project. Hubbard County will look to utilize $3 million of that, with a local match of $1 million.

Phase II of Polk County's overall project will add equipment to the resource recovery facilities in Fosston, create a composting facility in Gentilly, and construct new transfer stations in Park Rapids and Crookston.

According to the Crookston Times, major modifications to the Fosston facility are currently underway and will be completed in the summer of 2018. Construction of a new Source Separated Organic Compost facility near Gentilly has been designed and permitted, and will be constructed in spring 2018.

The new Park Rapids transfer station is estimated at 20,600 sq. ft., and moves the express lane undercover.

"There would be two express lanes inside the building," Holte said. "For heavy traffic flow days, there would be one express lane outside the building as well."

A commercial trucking lane will be in the other half of the new building.

All traffic lanes will be through-traffic, avoiding the need for backing of large vehicles or trailers as well as site improvements and the installation of a certified truck scale.

Public Works Coordinator/County Engineer Jed Nordin said he likes the design because residents won't have to cross lanes to drop off recyclables on one side and garbage on the other. Bins will be along one side. There will also be an "escape lane" in the center, he said, so traffic won't be stalled.

An attendant area includes an office, view of the lot and express lanes and one bathroom.

"Once this is completed, this should be really efficient," Holte said.

"We think this is a big improvement," agreed Nordin, adding there should be less trash blowing around in the wind with the express lanes undercover.

Potential uses of the old transfer station will be discussed after the new one is up and running, he continued. It could be used for bypass material, storage, maintenance or possibly recyclables.

The schedule calls for bids to be let in late April or beginning of May.

The hope is for construction to begin by the end of June, Holte said, with completion estimated at mid-December.

The construction site will be fenced off.

"It shouldn't really impact day-to-day operations," Holte said.

In related business, the county board did as follows:

• Approved a conditional use permit (CUP) application to the City of Park Rapids for construction of the the new transfer station, plus payment of the required $925 fee. Holte said the CUP is a formality.

• Approved apportionment of tax-forfeited land proceeds, as recommended by County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier. Twenty-five percent, or $261,698, will be allocated to the county forest development fund and 10 percent, or $104,679, to the parks and recreation account. The remaining balance of proceeds must go toward the county's general fund (40 percent, or $272,166), townships/cities (20 percent, or $136,083) and school districts (40 percent, or $272,166). Sale proceeds are given to those townships, cities or school districts where the timber sales occurred, Lohmeier explained.

• Approved low quote for $1,585 from Warnick's Janitorial, Park Rapids, to strip, seal and recoat the tile floors in the county public works building.

• Approved the low quote of $11,542 from TrueNorth Steel, Fargo, for purchase of the culverts, aprons and end sections for 2018 projects.