Cambridge approves permit for yard waste facility at East Central Sanitation

An interim use permit was approved during the Cambridge City Council meeting May 20 to allow for a yard waste facility at East Central Sanitation in Cambridge.

City Planner Marcia Westover explained East Central Sanitation has been working on a plan to offer a yard waste facility site for residents.

Initially, the plan was to offer the composting process to take place at the business’s location at 215 Opportunity Blvd. N. After review of the requirements, East Central Sanitation has developed a new plan of operation. In the new plan, the composting process will not occur on-site.

Westover explained East Central Sanitation will clear a few trees in the wooded area between the office and recycling area and have containers/dumpsters located in the area. Residents can bring their yard waste materials to the site, where it will be stored in the dumpsters temporarily. East Central Sanitation will then bring the materials to an off-site location for the composting to occur.

If there is a demand for the composted product, East Central Sanitation is willing to bring it back from the off-site location and sell it to residents.

Westover explained the approval of the interim use permit will have the following conditions:

• The interim use permit will terminate after one year. The applicant may come back and request an extension to the interim use permit for review by the Planning Commission and City Council.

• The applicant will be paying the operating costs of the facility.

• No composting will occur on-site. Residents can bring their yard waste material to the site, where it will be stored in containers and then hauled to an off-site location for the composing process.

• The items that will be acceptable include grass, leaves and garden waste only. No brush or other materials will be acceptable.

• The yard waste materials being held in the containers will be hauled to the off-site location at a minimum of once per week.

• No outside piling of yard waste materials will be allowed.

• The composted material may be brought back to East Central Sanitation and stored in a container and available for sale to the residents if there is a demand for it.

• The following items will be addressed by the applicant during the one-year permit period:

–How much yard waste is being brought to the facility?

–Will there be future costs for residents?

–Is the site creating odor issues?

–Are nonacceptable materials being brought to the site?

–Are materials being dumped outside of the containers?

–Are there any concerns from neighboring properties?

The idea for a compost site being offered in Cambridge was brought up by Council Member Howard “Howie” Lewis in late January, when he noted he heard about the composting issue during his candidacy.

“I would like to thank you for your time on this,” Lewis told Westover. “I have had several residents talk to me about this.”

Lewis noted he would like to have a couple articles put in the city’s newsletter about this new service being offered by East Central Sanitation and an article explaining how residents can do composting in their backyard. He also said it would be a good idea to have an article in the newsletter reminding residents that East Central Sanitation will pick up bagged leaves and grass clippings on Fridays if residents call East Central Sanitation in advance.

City to solicit facility needs assessment for East Central Regional Library 

City Administrator Lynda Woulfe explained that, for several years, the Cambridge Public Library has expressed a desire for additional space and/or an update to their existing facility.

The first step in that process is to conduct a library facility needs assessment. Last year, the City Council budgeted approximately $18,000 for this assessment and these funds were carried over for use in 2013.

Woulfe said based upon her conversations with staff at the East Central Regional Library, each city is responsible for making a determination as to whether additional space is warranted for their public library. The cost for constructing new space or renovating an existing building would also be the branch city’s responsibility.

“Conducting the needs assessment does not commit the city to build a new branch; it simply defines the space needs for the branch library so the community can begin discussions on what is appropriate building space,” Woulfe said. “It is like when you are deciding how big of a house you need — you take stock of all your possessions, figure out if you are going to grow your family, decide what you are going to get rid of and look at your future needs for five, 10 and 15 years down the road.”

Following discussion, the council approved the Request For Proposals as presented and directed staff to solicit RFP responses on the League of Minnesota Cities and city of Cambridge’s websites.

Proposals will be accepted until 3 p.m. June 24. The city will review the responses with the library and then make a recommendation for an award at the July 1 or July 15 council meeting.

Woulfe noted the original library building was built in 1960 and is 4,450 square feet and an addition was added in 1974. The addition totaled 12,000 square feet. Garage space was added at a later date and totals 1,850 square feet.

The East Central Regional Library Commission headquarters occupies one-third of the space. Woulfe explained the city is seeking a consultant who will be able to identify the space needs and requirements for library space that will serve the community for the next 20 years.

In other action the council:

• Accepted a proposal from the Isanti County Attorney’s Office for prosecution services. The contract is effective June 1, 2013, through May 31, 2016. The pricing schedule will be an annual, all-inclusive billing rate of $39,502 per contract year. Services include all prosecution services, including services to victims of crime as provided in Minnesota Statute Chapter 611A. Criminal prosecution services include, but are not limited to, all petty misdemeanors and misdemeanor offenses committed within the corporate limits of the city. The Isanti County Attorney’s Office has been providing prosecution services for the city of Cambridge since June 1, 1999.

• Approved a contract for city attorney services with Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2017. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, standard hourly rates will be $130 per hour for all services except developer-paid services. Paralegals and law clerks bill at $70 per hour. These rates are effective for the first year of the agreement. The parties agree to negotiate, on an annual basis, the rates for years three through five of the agreement.

• Appointed Colton Wendorf as the student representative on the Parks, Trails and Recreation Commission. Wendorf is a junior at Cambridge-Isanti High School and is involved in Model United Nations, Link Crew, Prom Committee and National Honor Society. He noted he’s an avid biker and uses the parks and trails system often in the city of Cambridge.