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Transfer station to get 'mall cop'

A transfer station attendant will be stationed part-time at the entrance to assist customers and verify Hubbard County residency for use. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

It won't be Paul Blart on a Segway, but the Henrietta Mall will soon have a trash patrol.

Frequent complaints about the Hubbard County's transfer station in Park Rapids have prompted waste officials to consider screening motorists using the recycling and trash disposal lanes.

(Paul Blart, played by actor Kevin James, was the star of a 2009 movie called "Mall Cop." The rotund officer patrolled his mall with a Segway. The Henrietta Mall is the euphemism given to the south side transfer station because of all the scavenging that occurs.)

The new "watch center" is a small wooden hut at the entrance to the drive-through lanes.

"We had it there several years ago and it needed some work so we got the work done and moved it back out there," said Solid Waste Superintendent Vern Massie.

"We'll have an attendant out there helping people and checking things out," he said.

Massie laughed at the reference to a "mall cop."

"It's part of the process to curtail some of the (illegal use), eliminate some of those complaints I hear all the time," Massie said.

The ease of the drive-through lanes at the transfer station has led to abuses, commissioners frequently discuss.

Some out-of-county homeowners use the lanes more often than they should without paying. The county's garbage rates are lagging behind the dumping of refuse, the board heard last fall in raising solid waste rates.

Massie said the outpost would be "staffed eventually" and infrequently to keep potential abusers guessing.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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