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Maust addresses Preston City Council regarding Heartland

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

Robert Maust, Heartland Energy and Recycling, LLC, brought the Preston City Council up to speed on his latest efforts to address some of the negative concerns raised over the the proposed electrical power generating facility that would use tire-derived fuel. Meeting with the city council at their November 18 meeting, Maust told the council that he had met with the MPCA that day to review many of the questions asked in the 87 letters sent from the community to the regulating agency.

"We feel that all questions can be addressed," said Maust. "We feel pretty good about the project."

Maust hopes the company will be able to come before the council in the latter part of January with some hard core plans. Maust pointed out that to his knowledge, there hasnt been anyone (from the council) out to visit the proposed site. Maust told the council members that blueprints are available for review and he would be glad to take the time to go through them.

"Its the polluting of the air that is the main concern," explained Councilman Mike Gartner in regard to the communitys lack of support for the project.

"That is well taken," agreed Maust. "I like clean air, too". The technology behind the plants plans is as good as it can get, emphasized the businessman. Modeling can be done whereby it would reproduce the citys atmospheric & geographic conditions to show how the emitted burn-off would disperse.

Maust said there had been so many negative things brought up about the proposed plant. In his defense, Maust pointed the plant would use 300 tons of scrap tires (30,000 tires) per day. 140 tons per day is now going to landfill; the plant would be able to recover 50 tons of steel per day because of this process.

According to Maust, a plant like this will save 400 tons of coal per day. It will also provide employment for 20-22 individuals as well as private contractors to haul materials.

Regardless of the positive points brought out, the majority of the citys residents are concerned about the impact a plant of this kind will have on the community.

The Preston City Council has requested that the MPCA carry out an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed energy facility.

Other matters

Steve Corson, Corson Condominium Corp., wanted to touch base with the council on his businesss intent to build nine more apartments within the old schools classrooms. There are currently 15 finished apartments averaging 900 sq. ft. Corson presented a simplified diagram of what the new apartments would look like. These units would be approximately 1,500 sq. ft.

He also was concerned over the parking requirements sited in the citys ordinances. Due to the confusion of where Center Streets actual boundaries lay, Corson was granted a deferment regarding parking stalls, so the proposed remodeling project can get under way. Once Center Street is "found", Corson will be instructed as to final parking regulations.

Lloyd D. Johnson, Certified Public Accountant of Spring Valley was awarded the 2002 year-end audit contract at a fee of $6,590, the same as last year.

Jeanette Schmidt spoke briefly on the citys upcoming 150th anniversary. A tentative date, July 30th, 2005, has been set for the main celebration. Letters will be sent out to the areas organizations asking for feedback.

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