With an expected 4-1 vote, West U City Council Thursday night approved a recommendation to close the city’s recycling center in January of 2014.
Mayor Pro Tem Susan Sample was the lone dissenting vote, with Mayor Bob Fry, Councilman Ed Heathcott, Councilwoman Joan Johnson and Councilman Dick Yehle voting for the closure.
The issue has been a contentious one, but ultimately the decision was made to close the center, with city staff reporting that the center, RecyclExpress, at 5004 Dincan, has been losing between $150,000 to $200,000 per year and that the majority of users were not West U residents.
Several members of the Recycling Board spoke out against the closure at Thursday night’s meeting, including former chair Jan Kellogg, who recently sent a heated e-mail to Fry asking him to reconsider the closure. Former Mayor Burt Ballanfont also spoke out against the closure.
City Manager Michael Ross told InstantNewsWestU.com that the next step would be to solicit proposals from parties interested in the land, which has been valued at between $5 million and $7 million.
Ross said council will likely receive the “whole gauntlet” of proposals, from short-term leases, long-term leases or simply selling it, though council has not discussed any specific plans for the land. No plans of selling the land have been discussed, and council could decide to keep the property for future city use.