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Wadena, Otter Tail counties to share solid waste director

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The Otter Tail County Board recently approved a proposal to share its solid waste director with Wadena County, according to Commissioner Doug Huebsch.

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"Of course the Wadena County Board has to approve what we approve," he said.

Wadena County has been without a solid waste director since March when the transfer station was temporarily closed due to personnel issues.

Based on the size of the two counties, the board has proposed Wadena County pay 20 percent of Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan's salary with Otter Tail County covering 80 percent, Huebsch said. It would be much more expensive for Wadena County to hire its own solid waste director. The specifics of the plan will be presented to the Wadena County Board for its approval.

This seems like a fair arrangement and would save the tax payers of both counties money, he said. The solid waste departments will also work to standardize services for both counties.

The proposal is part of an effort, encouraged by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, to share services among counties, Huebsch said.

Consultant Mike Gibson has been overseeing the reorganization of Wadena County's solid waste department since the transfer station was temporarily closed last March.

The two counties want to share services where they can to work more efficiently and provide services more efficiently, he said. The counties of Todd, Otter Tail, Wadena and possibly Becker are also looking to see if they can form a solid waste district. The Minnesota Pollution and Control Agency is very interested in seeing them pursue this, he said.

"It's really exciting what's happening," Gibson said.

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