RedAway may be going away.
The Mansfield school district and the city are working together on a proposal to buy out the medical waste facility’s lease and pay their moving expenses. School board trustees learned at the April 28 school board meeting that the district had reached a tentative agreement with RedAway LLC to take over the 38 months remaining on the company’s lease on a 15,700-square-foot facility at 208 Sentry Drive.
Negotiations on the lease are ongoing, said Jeff Brogden, associate superintendent of facilities.
“I haven’t signed anything yet,” he said. “It’s all tentative.”
City Attorney Allen Taylor is cautiously optimistic about the deal, which would rid the area of the medical waste storage facility, which would use superheated steam to sterilize medical waste such as needles, vials and non-narcotic drugs to make them safe for disposal in a landfill. The facility would operate around the clock and could accept up to 50 tons of waste daily.
“The registration of the company is locked to this specific site,” Taylor said. “If the company plans to reapply (to operate within the city), the city will not go forward with the agreement. They need to be in a more rural setting. They would have to agree to relocate their operation outside the city and not within our area.”
After residents protested the company’s planned operation in the city’s industrial area, the city revised its regulations and adopted new standards that “give us a whole lot more to work with,” Taylor said.
The city could agree to pay for engineering and design, social and demographic analysis and other costs for a new RedAway site, Taylor said. While the city will not pay for the medical waste facility’s new location, they could pay some infrastructure expenses, he said.
“For instance, we might pay if the new site needed water,” Taylor said. “We might agree to pay to get the site more equal to the site they are walking away from.”
If the school district takes over the lease on the warehouse, owned by Stepp/Wcj Investments, it would be used to store surplus equipment while the items are prepared for auction, Brogden said.
“We will use it as additional warehouse space until the end of the term or until it gets released,” Brogden said. “If they find somebody else to lease it, we will vacate it.”
The school board passed a resolution against the medical waste facility, and the city filed suit in 98th District Court in Austin against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for “inappropriately issuing registration and not correctly applying the standards,” Taylor said.
The city in its filings contends RedAway has inadequate plans to control odors and to be “protective of human health and the environment.” The city claims the plant’s location is within one mile of about 2,000 residences, 50 industrial and commercial properties and three churches. The facility also is within 1.5 miles of two current schools and five planned school sites, Brogden said.
If negotiations with RedAway are successful, the city would drop the lawsuit, he said.
Justin Smith, RedAway LLC’s CEO, did not return calls for comment Monday.
This article contains information from News-Mirror archives.
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451