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Published June 04, 2013, 08:53 AM

Grand Forks delays recycling decision

A choice between two options for Grand Forks’ curbside recycling program had the City Council divided at its Monday meeting.

By: Brandi Jewett, Grand Forks Herald

A choice between two options for Grand Forks’ curbside recycling program had the City Council divided at its Monday meeting.

The council was asked to pick between extending the city’s current level of recycling services and increasing that service.

Increasing the level of service could result in higher program participation, according to Public Works Director Todd Feland, but could come with additional costs upward of $700,000 to pay for new containers.

Council member Tyrone Grandstrand voiced support for increasing service.

“I think it’s something people would be willing to pay for,” he said.

But Grandstrand and three other council members weren’t ready to make a decision without more information from service provider Waste Management. The council voted 4-3 to postpone awarding Waste Management a city contract until its June 17 meeting.

While one proposal is less expensive, both require a rate increase for utility users.

The first option would result in a $108,000 jump in recycling expenditures. The city’s recycling budget this year was about $420,000, according to Feland.

Users would see the recycling charge on their utility bill increase from $2.42 to $2.52.

The second option would be more expensive with a $166,032 increase. This plan includes rolling out new 90-gallon containers for recycling households, which would require an additional $774,000 to cover buying the containers.

That could bring recycling rates up to nearly $4 per month for residents.

Under the current format, recycling households can pick up one 18-gallon container from the city or supply other containers of their choice for curbside use.

Other news

• The council also approved transferring a loan from the owner of the Metropolitan Opera House to two prospective buyers. The $600,000 forgivable loan will be transferred from development firm Oriental Avenue to Arron Hendricks and Matt Winjum, owners of Rhombus Guys pizzeria in Grand Forks, at the close of the sale.

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