The Howell City Council met Monday night and discussed an existing lease agreement with Recycle Livingston after learning about potential plans to build on site.

The non-profit provides recycling services for all residents throughout Livingston County and relies mostly on memberships for funding. It’s located on Catrell Street and has been operating out of trailer on the city-owned site since the early 1990’s.

Staff was approached a few months ago about potentially securing funding for a new office-type solution, but the original conversations were said to be centered on a portable type building. Over the last few weeks in talking with representatives, City Manager Shea Charles says it has evolved from a portable-trailer-office type building to more of a permanent structure. Based on that and since the current lease agreement with the city is 26 years old, staff felt updating the agreement and terms would be appropriate.

Charles tells WHMI that when the city leased the land to Recycle Livingston, there was always the underlying understanding that should there ever be a development opportunity, then the city would take back the land and proceed that way. He says the goal during Monday night’s meeting was to gauge initial feedback from council.

The majority of council members appeared leery of having any permanent structure constructed on the site and voiced hesitation. Various questions were raised, including how many residents utilize services considering the city already provides recycling. One resident in attendance at the meeting commented she regularly visits Recycle Livingston and knows others that do, noting it accepts some items the city program does not such as Styrofoam.

The current lease with the city is good through the end of the year. Depending on the scope of any potential changes, the existing agreement could be amended or an entirely new one crafted to reflect current conditions. Charles noted that all of the information requested by members can be easily provided by Recycle Livingston.

Once everything is gathered, it will be brought back to council for further conversation at a future meeting. A memo from staff is attached. (JM)