Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 24, 2002

Waste Management's move to industrial park approved

By Ryan Gueningsman

It's official ­ Waste Management will be able to house its facilities at 10030 Industrial Blvd. in Winsted's Industrial Park.

The decision was made by the Winsted City Council following Waste Management meeting several guidelines.

These guidelines included approval of the city engineer and city building inspector, notifying the city prior to construction, reviewing airport regulations, and indicating a lighting plan, the latter of which it had not done at this time.

The proposed building will be 18,840 square feet, and consist of a general office, break and locker rooms, preventive maintenance area, wash bays, storage, and drive-thru bays.

The exterior of the building will be pre-finished steel wall panels, and the general office area having a stucco finish.

It was also decided to begin grading the area in which the building will be built, as well as some additional land for another prospective business.

"It would probably be wise to do the grading when they're out there grading the whole lot," Mayor Don Guggemos said.

The cost for this project will be about $20,000. The price has been given to Waste Management and the other interested party, and will be assessed against the parcel.

Chronic late water bill payments

The council continued discussion about chronic late utility payments.

"We're averaging between 70 and 90 accounts (of the 790 that are sent out each time) that are not paying on time," City Clerk Betty Zachmann said. "From the time they don't pay, until we send out the water shut-off notice, which is about two-and-a half weeks, we still have another 40.

"It has increased. When they were paying $15 per time, we had anywhere from eight to 12, and usually there were three or four shut-offs," she said.

The shut-off/reconnect fee is $15. Other area cities shut-off policies were looked at by the council.

"We've only had maybe four times in the last year we've had to shut water off," Zachmann said.

"Maybe that's what we should look at raising (the shut-off/reconnection fee)," council member Tom Ollig said.

The general issue is the effort of sending a representative of the city, to the delinquent person's household or business.

"Maybe what we should put in there is that if we have to come out and hang a notice on your door that we're going to shut the water off, that's going to cost $25. And, it'll cost you another $25, or whatever the fee is, if we have to shut it off. Then there's a disconnect/reconnection fee, too," Guggemos said.

"If we had to spend a stamp to send you something, and you don't send it back ­ that's one thing, but if we have to send someone out to you, now it's going to cost you," he said.

If someone is going through hard times, the council has been reasonable in giving them a break with their bill, Guggemos said.

"We've always been reasonable with people when they've come into the city hall and said 'hey, we've got tough times, and it's a little tight right now ­ can you help us out on the water bill,' Guggemos said.

"We've never turned down anyone yet."

"Let's see what we can come up with on that, and we'll have another meeting before we send out the bills," Guggemos said.

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