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Published: Wednesday, 4/20/2011

Waterville council weighs deal for firm to run yard-waste facility


Waterville council could give the go ahead May 9 for a lease agreement with Clean Wood Recycling Inc. to operate a yard-waste transfer facility on 4.66 acres of village-owned land on the west side of the Anthony Wayne Trail.

The village of Waterville has applied for a special-use permit for the facility at 6730 Anthony Wayne Trail. The planning commission is to weigh the application May 2.

Council last week gave the first of three readings on an ordinance that states, in part, that "the Planning Commission reviewed this application at its regular meeting on May 2, 2011 and recommended approval of the requested Special Use Permit by a majority vote of its members."

Second reading is set for April 25, and the third reading and public hearing has been slated for May 9. The ordinance's wording was used to expedite the creation of the yard-waste transfer facility, Mayor Derek Merrin said. If the planning commission doesn't approve the special use permit, the ordinance would be revised, he said.

Waterville residents could drop off unlimited amounts of yard waste at no charge at the new facility, officials said. Non-Waterville residents could use the facility, but would pay a fee. The land is now zoned for agriculture.

Under the proposal, the village would pay $22,500, including a $7,500 grant from the Lucas County Solid Waste Management District, toward the estimated $79,000 site improvement, officials said. Waterville would pay up to $10,000 annually, starting the second year of the lease.

Plans call for a five-year lease with one-year options that could be renewed by mutual agreement, and the village could terminate the lease "anytime," the mayor said.

It's anticipated that the $10,000 could decrease if other entities, such as Waterville Township, participate in the facility, the mayor said.

The facility would be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, April to November, Mr. Merrin said. A main difference for Waterville residents would be a shift in location from the site the village runs now at the public works department near industrial park. The move would free space at that yard, and would eliminate the village's expense for labor and a tub grinder, officials said. Savings would more than offset the annual fee in four of the five years of the lease, municipal administrator James Bagdonas said.

Councilman Tim Guzman said ornamental grasses and grass clippings that aren't allowed to be dropped off now, could be dropped there. Now, residents can put bags of ornamental grasses at the curb for $2.25 a bag.

Councilman Jeff Marty said another change would be that residents, who get free mulch now, would be charged at the Clean Wood facility.

Mulch would cost $22 to $28 a yard, said Michael Kott, one of the owners of Clean Wood who attended the meeting.

He said items dropped off at the Anthony Wayne Trail site would be transferred to its Bancroft Street site for processing. Clean Wood Recycling has two sites at 6505 West Bancroft St. and 5340 Stickney Ave.

It would take 10 days for the new facility to get up and running after council OKs the needed legislation, he said.

Mr. Kott anticipates hours of operation could expand as other municipalities sign on to use the Waterville facility.

Effective in January this year, the Lucas County Solid Waste Management District no longer offers free yard-waste service for county residents.

Councilman Jim Valtin asked about traffic safety along the Anthony Wayne Trail for residents entering and leaving the site.

Mr. Bagdonas said although there is no turn lane, a wide strip gives sufficient room for a vehicle to wait. When the U.S. 24 bypass opens in 2012, vehicular traffic would be lessened, he said.

Councilman John Gouttiere said he liked the business hours and the convenience of having a place where people can buy mulch.

Mayor Merrin said, "The new facility will save tax dollars and provide better service. It's a win-win for Waterville."

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