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RECYCLING SUBSIDY ENDS City Council stops payments immediately to Recycling Center

People sort items Tuesday at the Recycling Center of North Dakota in downtown Jamestown. The Recycling Center will close to all but commercial cardboard until the residential recycling program begins in February. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Jamestown City Council officially ended subsidy payments to the Recycling Center of North Dakota on a split vote Tuesday. Owner Ralph Friebel said he would close the current dropoff recycling center to all but commercial cardboard immediately.

The motion to end the subsidy immediately passed 3-2 with Mayor Katie Andersen and Councilman Ramone Gumke dissenting. Council members Dan Buchanan, Steve Brubakken and Pam Phillips voted in favor of ending the subsidy.

Jamestown City Attorney Leo Ryan said during discussion at the Nov. 21 Public Works Committee, a motion to continue the subsidy was defeated. At that time, Friebel said he would discontinue operating the drop-off recycling center if the subsidy was not paid. The contract required 30 days written notice by either party in order to end the subsidy.

Ryan referred to the discussion as an oral termination that may not have met the requirements of the contract.

Andersen said the City Council had never taken an action on the subsidy.

“We could take action at this council meeting to give 30 days notice to end the subsidy on Feb. 1,” she said. “That happens to coincide with the start of residential recycling collections.”

We could take action at this council meeting to give 30 days notice to end the subsidy on Feb. 1.

mayor KATIE , city ANDERSEN of Jamestown ,

Buchanan moved to end the subsidy effective immediately. Brubakken seconded the motion and said it was a matter of trust.

Gumke said the citizens of Jamestown expect a recycling program and the subsidy should be continued until the start of residential pickup in February.

Friebel, who was not at the City Council meeting, said in a telephone interview after the meeting that he would only accept cardboard from commercial clients through January.

“We will not take household recyclables,” he said.

The conflict between the Recycling Center of North Dakota and the city of Jamestown has continued for several months. The Recycling Center had agreed to begin residential collections of recyclable materials on July 1. Because of delays in acquiring new garbage trucks by the city of Jamestown and difficulty arranging financing for the purchase of collection trucks, recycling containers and a sorting building by the Recycling Center, that deadline was missed. A planned start in November was also missed. The city set a final deadline of March 1 for the start of residential collections or the contract would be revoked and new bidders for the project would be sought.

Friebel has said the residential recycling program will begin about Feb. 1. Distribution of recycling containers could begin about Jan. 15.

In other business, the City Council referred back to committee for review a request from Otter Tail Power Co. to cover some of the $37,000 in costs it incurred moving power lines as a result of the 5th Street Northeast paving project and an agreement to pay the Jamestown Community Corrections program $3 per hour for people sentenced to community service by Jamestown Municipal Court.

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