Nisswa’s recycling site may move from behind the fire hall downtown to the city’s gravel pit off Lower Roy Lake Road, near the wastewater treatment plant.

The Nisswa City Council on Tuesday, May 18, agreed to pay Widseth engineering firm $4,500 to prepare a concept drawing of the layout of the potential new recycling site.

The Public Works Committee had recommended 4-1 that the council take this action.

The purpose of a concept drawing is so the various committees can discuss the pros and cons of the concept and suggest changes before any extensive engineering is completed.

Included in the proposed recycling center will be a police impound lot with lighting, security and fencing with a controlled entrance.

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Though the city has had issues at its drop-off recycling facility over the years, the council wanted to keep offering recycling services to its residents when Crow Wing County dropped to just two recycling sites - in Ideal Township and at the county landfill east of Brainerd.

Tom Blomer, public works director, said via email a main reason to move the site is because the city needs more room for recycling bins.

“With the closing of other sites in and around us, our site has grown in popularity and needs more volume. Second, at the current site we are unable to close the site when necessary because the emergency vehicles from the fire hall need unobstructed access to the parking lot,” Blomer wrote.

The new site would be fenced in and would likely have restricted access to prevent abuse and possibly allow the city to charge for the service to help cover the cost to operate the site, if necessary.

The new site is closer to the city’s maintenance buildings and equipment and allows more security and efficiency maintaining the site.

Finally, the site would be a little more screened from view and would improve the aesthetics around the city park and fire hall.

“With the access that Lower Roy Lake Road provides, it will be nearly as convenient for residents, maybe more so, because we already accept brush and leaf debris at the gravel pit that will be the new site,” Blomer said.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.