Moving city compost site makes sense

City residents soon might have to travel to a different spot for their compost and rubbish drop-off needs. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Currently, the city of Marquette offers those services at the former Cliffs-Dow site along Lakeshore Boulevard.

The Marquette City Commission earlier this week, however, OK’d a $70,000 payment to the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority for improvements made to an area known as Flink Farm, located along McClellan Avenue near Pioneer Road.

That site was to be used as a transfer station for recycling materials and built, operated and maintained by the authority.

However, early in 2015, that agreement was nixed since the project wasn’t deemed financially viable for the city or the authority.

The city had no plans for the property at that time, although the authority made more than $350,000 in improvements at the site it couldn’t remove because of financial considerations.

So, what’s to be done with the site? City staff had determined the improvements could be beneficial to the city.

The authority reduced its desired reimbursement to $205,500, and city staff said the improvements that coincide with future plans cost $70,000. That would offset future expenses as the site is developed.

The Cliffs-Dow site also has been used to store materials from various city projects, and 46 acres are still being monitored for environmental concerns, since its past use included the production of pig iron by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co. and the production of charcoal and wood chemical derivatives by Cliffs Dow Chemical Co.

Lakeshore Boulevard is a scenic corridor used by residents and tourists alike, and allows travelers, including bicyclists, to travel from Marquette to Presque Isle and back.

The Flink Farm property, on the other hand, is located along the busy McClellan Avenue.

Although it’s farther away for many residents, the proposed new location for the compost site still would be easily accessible.

It also leaves the Cliffs-Dow site, which is expected to be decommissioned, with space that could be used later in a variety of ways.

Considering the time and expense that had been put into Flink Farm because of the would-be transfer station, we think it’s a good idea that something worthwhile be done with the site.

Allowing it to sit idle is not a great use of city resources.

Mining Journal (Marquette)


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