By Jessica Mathews /

An agreement has been approved to allow a Howell recycling company seeking to install a controversial industrial shredder to connect to a public water supply.

The Howell City Council met Monday and unanimously approved an agreement with the Marion, Howell, Oceola, Genoa or MHOG Water Authority to allow Padnos Iron & Metal to connect to that water system.

A memo states the City currently has no water main along Lucy Road for the connection of the Padnos property. Additionally, due to the restrictions on that property because of the contamination from an old landfill, installing a water well is not permitted. However, the affected property was said to be well within 200 feet of the MHOG water system and Padnos intends on using that public water supply to accommodate their usage needs.

It’s the same agreement format the City has used in the past to allow parcels to connect to the MHOG system. It was stated during the meeting that the City has a similar agreement with the McDonald’s located on the west side of town. Council’s approval was contingent on MHOG approving the agreement.

The shredder project continues to face opposition from the group Protect Livingston, which has been mailing out flyers since July alleging the shredder will not actually be covered and does not comply with a court settlement or the City’s zoning ordinance, which requires a fully enclosed building.

City Manager Erv Suida provided a brief report during the meeting. He stated that another mailing was sent out so staff has been dealing with that as calls and emails come in to City Hall. Suida noted it does take up a lot of time but it’s a good opportunity for them to educate people and that’s how they look at it – adding the more it happens and the more they educate, the less it seems to be so it’s going well.

Padnos earlier purchased the Regal Recycling property on Lucy Road, a metal recycling facility that had been in operation for over 40 years. A Council memo states the car shredding project is a legal use for that parcel and they currently have met all the regulatory requirements to get the project up and running.

The next step for Padnos, once the agreement is in place, is to work with MHOG on getting a permit and meeting their requirements for the water service.