As a local recycling organization prepares for facility upgrades and site improvements, a new lease agreement is being worked out with the City of Howell.

The non-profit Recycle Livingston operates out of what was described as a very an old trailer on the city-owned property off Catrell Street, which it has done since the early 1990’s. Since the non-profit was looking to construct a permanent office building on the property, council raised some concerns should it ever sell and decided it was a good time to reexamine the existing lease agreement.

During Monday night’s council meeting, Recycle Livingston officials expressed that any building constructed would belong to the city and future reimbursement would not be sought. That news had a warm reception from members and staff was ultimately directed by council to begin negotiations and look into a longer-term lease agreement.

Some members did request that the non-profit look into potentially revising membership fees and take into account the city’s contributions over the years in providing the site to the greater benefit of Livingston County residents – many in municipalities where recycling and curbside services are not provided. Councilman Scott Niblock commented they very much appreciate the services provided but must also look out for the best interest of city taxpayers.

Recycle Livingston has secured significant funding from a local foundation and would fund the rest of the project through its own contributions and additional fundraising efforts according to Executive Director Julie Cribley. Once a lease is worked out, Cribley says they’ll be able to get going and start fundraising. She says they are very grateful to the Kellogg Foundation for stepping forward to get the project moving and to the city for all of the help and support so they can continue to do what they feel is important for everyone in the state. Cribley tells WHMI they want a win-win situation that will benefit everybody and a facility that suits their needs.

Recycle Livingston needs additional space for current operations but also expanded services and general improvements, including handicap accessibility and better security for confidential materials. Board President John Boris noted the new facility would be significantly more energy efficient and in keeping with their overall mission. He added that Recycle Livingston is coming up on 30 years and looking forward to another 30 in the community.

A letter from Cribley to the city may be viewed in the Howell City Council 8-28-17 meeting packet available on the city website. The link is provided. (JM)