By Jessica Mathews /

Despite some delays due to the pandemic, a grant-funded project for a new Recycle Livingston facility is back on track.

At a recent virtual meeting, the Howell City Council voted to authorize the mayor to sign the 2020 Recycling and Organics Infrastructure Grant agreement between the City and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for the Recycle Livingston facility at 170 Catrell Street.

Toward the beginning of the pandemic last April, Council voted to partner with Recycle Livingston on the grant. The review process was said to be slowed by the pandemic but the State has since officially notified Recycle Livingston and the City that they have been awarded $282,504 for a new facility at the current location.

It was noted during the meeting that the City will not spend any money on the project, the City is simply administering the grant funds for the project and will act as the fiduciary. That involves receiving receipts and proof of spending from Recycling Livingston and drawing the money from the State, which the City will then provide to Recycle Livingston.

Community Development Director Tim Schmitt told Council it should be a very simple, seamless process for the City with very minimal staff time required. A memo states the City is confident in the non-profit’s ability to execute the project, given the extraordinary amount of planning that has gone into the project.

Following Council’s recent action, the contract moves on to the state for its signing process, which is expected to take several weeks. Once there’s an officially executed copy, Recycle Livingston can engage their designers to finalize the plans for the project and begin ordering long lead-time equipment. Once that happens, plans will be presented to the Planning Commission for review later this spring or early summer, with hopes that construction can begin later this year.

More information about the project is included in the Council meeting packet. That link is provided.