By year's end, people who improperly leave items at the Brown County Landfill's drop sites near Aberdeen will likely be paying administrative fees as a penalty.
County commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance change during their Tuesday meeting that imposes the fee, which would be $100 for first-time offenders. In fall, the landfill put up surveillance cameras at the fairgrounds and South Fifth Street/rural fire department drop sites that allow for tracking of improper dumping.
Final approval of the ordinance is scheduled for next week. If it's OK'd, it would go into effect Dec. 26.
The dump sites are for general household waste and, in designated areas, leaves and grass. Items not accepted include branches, ash, carpet, tires, couches, mattresses, wood, dry wall, rock, concrete, shingles, construction debris, appliances, commercial and business waste, electronics such as televisions and computer gear, air conditioners, liquids, wood and steel posts and wire. Those items should be taken to the landfill, as should items that can't fit in the trash bins.
In the past, leaving improper items at the drop sites has been a misdemeanor. The administrative fees, which would max out at $500, would replace the misdemeanor infraction.
Also Tuesday during the meeting, commissioners:
• Declined a request to install four culverts beneath roads in Warner Township.
Township officials asked that the county replace an existing five-foot culvert and install another five-foot culvert on 383rd Avenue south of 142nd Street. They also wanted five-foot culverts on 144th Street between 383rd and 384th avenues and on 146th Street between 383rd and 384th avenues.
The culverts are needed because a larger culvert on the north side of the township allows in more water than smaller culverts to the south can handle, said Darwin Bettmann, chairman of the Warner Township Board.
Commissioners declined the request because, they said, they don't have the money to pay for the culvert work. And, Duane Sutton, commission chairman said, they don't want to set a precedent that would oblige them to put in larger culverts should other townships have similar requests in the future.
Gary Vetter, planning and zoning director, estimated the culverts would cost about $11,000, plus installation costs. Jan Weismantel, highway superintendent, said there is no extra money in her budget next year.
Commissioners told township officials they could address their drainage concerns by installing multiple smaller culverts.
The county highway department is responsible for culverts that are at least five feet in diameter. Townships cover the costs of smaller culverts.
"We have financial restraints, too," Bettmann said, a point Sutton acknowledged.
Commissioner Nancy Hansen granted that some previous drainage work approved by or acknowledged by the county likely led to water being higher than it would otherwise be in Warner Township. But after discussing potential liability and legal matters in a closed session, the commission decided against providing the culverts for Warner Township.
• Set Dec. 11 as the bid date for welding equipment that will be used by New Tec to provide workforce training in the region.
The equipment will be paid for by a Community Development Block Grant. The county applied for the grant on behalf of New Tec, but no county money will be used nor are there liability concerns for the county.
• Approved a pay request of $388,589 for work done on the Aberdeen Family Y's new youth development center, which is now under construction.
The money will come from a Community Development Block Grant the county applied for on behalf of the Y. No county money will be used, and the county bears no liability.
• Approved previous meeting minutes, step increases for employees, a lease agreement, routine personnel changes, payroll, claims and abatements.