Mayor says West Fargo close to buying embattled transfer station
West Fargo is close to buying the troubled transfer station that collects its garbage, Mayor Rich Mattern said Thursday. The City Commission may sign a purchase agreement for Sheyenne Disposal's Main Avenue transfer station as early as Tuesday, M...
West Fargo is close to buying the troubled transfer station that collects its garbage, Mayor Rich Mattern said Thursday.
The City Commission may sign a purchase agreement for Sheyenne Disposal's Main Avenue transfer station as early as Tuesday, Mattern said.
"Let's put it this way, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 9. I'm pretty sure it's going to happen," he said.
West Fargo's garbage goes to the transfer station for sorting before it is hauled to a landfill near Gwinner, N.D.
Sheyenne Disposal is accused of numerous operating permit violations during the past two years. The North Dakota Health Department wants to fine the company and revoke its transfer station operating permit.
West Fargo is negotiating to purchase the transfer station building from the owner, Investors Capital Group, and take over operations of the demolition landfill, City Administrator Jim Brownlee said. The cost could be around $800,000 or $900,000, he said.
Sheyenne Disposal President Mark Thelen declined to comment.
"Discussions are on-going," said attorney Robert Hoy, who is handling negotiations for the city. "There's been no deal struck yet."
The negotiations stem from a civil suit West Fargo filed against the company over its operation of a city-owned demolition landfill, Hoy said. The suit is separate from the Health Department complaints.
"As part and parcel of that, it has turned to include possible purchase of the waste transfer station by the city," said Hoy, of the local firm Ohnstad Twichell.
If West Fargo buys the transfer station on Tuesday, it probably will take over within a few days or weeks, Mattern said.
The city would need to add an additional worker and pickup if it takes over either the transfer station or demolition landfill, according to a Public Works Department report.
Public Works Director Barry Johnson declined to comment Thursday.
Steve Tillotson, assistant director of the Health Department's Waste Management Division, said West Fargo would need a permit to operate the transfer station
It would also need to repair the building.
Among other things, the Health Department accuses Sheyenne Disposal of allowing the building to fall into disrepair. Tillotson said it isn't likely the state would drop the complaint, which is against the company and not the building.
"I just see that this is a new day for that transfer station," Mattern said. "I'm confident that the staff will go in and do it right."
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