NEWPORT — Newport has pushed Advanced Disposal out of the city.
Advanced Disposal, headquartered out of Florida with a Minnesota office in St. Paul, has a property in Newport at 1545 Seventh Ave., that the city claimed has been unused for over a year. By statute, after a year the city can take action either to bring it back into conformance or revoke the permit.
The city council voted 5-0 to revoke the company's conditional use permit Feb. 15 based on the company's discontinued use of the property and the change in use from refuse hauling to storage, in addition to code violations, health code violations and alleged misuse.
Washington County public health inspectors found over 20,000 waste containers that contained waste and stagnant water that was attracting mosquitoes and vermin, according to the city's findings of fact.
The company argued that because those thousands of waste containers were there, they were still using the site.
"You might argue that we've given it up," the company's attorney Peter Larsen said. "Advanced Disposal is arguing that they believe they have it, and you're taking it away."
The city council argued that the company's use changed significantly enough over the years that it no longer conforms to the use the permit was last amended to fit in 1996. The company has been in the city since 1986 when it was Gopher/Eagle Sanitation.
"It was very much a refuse hauling business we were talking about at the time ... I think an argument could be made that they're in the refuse container storage business, at best, and from a practical standpoint that's not what the CUP was for, and I don't think that's the use we would be looking for," council member Kevin ChapdeLaine said.
The city had sent letters to the business informing them they were nonconforming.
In December, staff notified the company that they had 10 days to conform to the use. The CUP was brought before the city council where the changes were not made.
"I don't see any way the city is better off... bringing back refuse hauling to that site," Mayor Dan Lund said. "It's a residential area, it's not an appropriate location for that use."