Cape manages major improvement without fee or tax increase

It's not all that often that a local government pulls off a large capital project without needing to increase taxes or fees.

But that is just what the city of Cape Girardeau is doing with its transfer station.

An upgraded transfer station has for many years been on the city's improvement list. Along with the police station, the transfer station is a high priority.

The city has worked out an arrangement with Republic Services that creates a revenue stream to build the transfer station.

Republic will haul waste from the city's transfer station to the company's landfill. The company currently has its own transfer station, but under the recent agreement, Republic will close down its Fruitland facility and bring its trash from the city and county to the city's transfer station instead. Republic collects trash from county residents and businesses in and outside the city limits of Cape Girardeau.

The additional trash brings additional revenue to the city, and that's how the city will pay for the facility, public works director Tim Gramling told reporter Samantha Rinehart.

The estimated cost of the project is nearly $4 million. According to Rinehart's story, Gramling said he remembers discussing the need for a new transfer station as far back as 2009, but in those discussions, the only funding solutions available were increasing user fees, using funds earmarked for capital improvement projects or a combination of the two. The city wasn't happy with any of those options, he said, which is why officials were pleased to find a third option.

This is a fine example of public and private entities working out a solution where everyone appears to win.

We commend the city.