City to cut costs at Hayden

Published 7:56 am Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FRANKLIN—Removing city-owned items from the old Hayden School may not turn out to be as expensive as some officials originally thought.

A deal has been reached with Franklin Disposal & Recycling LLC that will likely result in profit for the city, according to City Attorney Taylor Williams. The company is removing scrap metal from the building and purchasing it at a cost of 4 cents per pound. Williams said that just this past Monday more than 8,000 pounds of scrap metal was removed.

“They’ve tried to reduce the financial pressure on us,” said City Manager June Fleming. “It appears to be working.” She originally expressed concern that the project, which included removing large amounts of debris, old documents and other large items, including highway barriers and a diesel engine, would be a large expense for the city.

Franklin Disposal & Recycling LLC will deduct its labor and transportation costs from the gross amount it pays to the city for the scrap metal. Williams said that he has been assured that the city will make money from the venture.

“We will have a positive cash flow,” he said. There is a target date for the company to finish in July, however, there is no penalty if they aren’t done.

After the scrap metal has been removed from the building, the next step is to remove “whatever is left behind,” according to Williams. He said it will likely have “no scrap value” and will be disposed of at an expense to the city.

City officials are also in talks with Superintendent Michelle Rich Belle, to try and get the school system to help bear the financial burden of removing its items from the building. Williams said that he was unsure that the school district would share the costs because he had not yet had a chance to speak with Belle in person. Fleming said that the school system’s involvement would help the city even more.

“That would be a tremendous help,” she said.

Fleming was also concerned about the use of public works employees to clear out the building because they were being removed from their regular tasks; however, she said that is no longer an issue.

“We have worked out a plan where we rotate them so that they aren’t away from their regular tasks for too long,” she said.

A suspicious fire in the building last weekend did not significantly disrupt progress at the building.

“It has not been an issue,” Fleming said.

The 57-year-old building on Oak Street is currently being cleared of all city-owned property in anticipation of its sale to a private nonprofit group that eventually wants to renovate the building and turn it into a multipurpose facility.

The city is selling the building and the land it sits on for $400,000. The city will also help pay for any environmental cleanup at the site up to the purchase amount.