The Aitkin County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to vote Tuesday on the lone bid it received to take over the county’s recycling – a bid that will see a steep price increase.

At the end of 2020, Garrison Disposal informed Aitkin County it no longer wanted to service the county’s recycling needs. The county board approved going out for bids Dec. 15, 2020, and one bid came back Jan. 14, from Waste Management of Baxter.

Environmental Services Director Terry Neff said at the Feb. 9 meeting that the cost will increase between 50-60% from the $106,000 amount Aitkin County paid in 2021.

Neff explained last week that the costs will depend on the amount of materials coming in and the amount of contamination/non-allowed materials. The processing fee, he said, increased, and the cost to service the unattended sites with Waste Management coming from Baxter versus Garrison Disposal coming from Aitkin.

The county board accepted the bid, but did not vote on it.

In other action at the meeting:

• Susanne Henrichs of the University of Minnesota Extension offered an update on the 4-H program in the area, as well as introduced Shawn Pagnucci.

Pagnucci is the interim 4-H educator.

“I’m excited to take on a new challenge,” said Pagnucci, who added that she is mostly working from home at the moment.

• With Minnesota National Golf Club changing ownership at the end of 2020, the new owners needed to re-apply for the full liquor license the club holds.

That license was approved.

• The Rum River Joint Powers Agreement’s content and structure was approved by the Aitkin County Board.

The Rum River Policy Committee members have been working with the individual county attorneys to draft a “1 Watershed, 1 Plan” document.

Aitkin County Attorney Jim Ratz has been involved with the discussions, and the document is now at the point where each county board is being asked to approve the content and structure.

• The board also approved a June 5 residential electronics collection.

Cost will be $10 per screened item and consistent with what other counties are charging, Neff said.

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