LEXINGTON — In an effort to help MRK Inc. with meeting Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ, standards regarding waste water, the Lexington City Council approved a loan of $500,000.00, funds will be drawn from the Economic Development fund.
City Manager Joe Pepplitsch said the engineering regarding waste water pre-treatment at the MRK facility located south of Tyson was, “understated.” Council member Steve Smith chose the word, “flawed.”
Pepplitsch said it is not the volume of waste water, but the process of treating the water itself which isn’t working up to DEQ standards.
The early process had been signed off by everyone involved, including DEQ, the City of Lexington and MRK. It has been found this process fell short of what was predicted, Pepplitsch said.
In order to meet DEQ waste water requirements, MRK will have to spend $1.2 million to build new facilities and acquire new equipment. Pepplitsch said MRK doesn’t have another option but DEQ is working with them to help resolve the issue.
The city is interested in maintaining MRK as a business in the community. To this end, MRK Real Estate has requested a loan of $500,000.00. The loan will be repaid in ten annual installments of $50,000.00, at zero interest.
The money from the city is coming from the Economic Development Sales Tax Fund, Pepplitsch said this fund is made for a situation like this, “it buffers the burden they are facing.”
Pepplitsch said if MRK closes down due to this it will be bad for the city, giving them assistance, “makes a world of sense.”
The council approved the loan to MRK. Council member John Salem said after the vote was taken if the other members had not visited the MRK site, they should. “It’s amazing what they are doing out there,” he said, “There is a lot of traffic going through there.”
The Lexington Airport Authority made an annual request of $150,000.00 from the property tax level for the fiscal year 2019-2020. The council approved.
During the roundtable discussion Pepplitsch said there would be items concerning the budget coming up during the Sept. 10 meeting. The Workforce Training space at the Dawson County Opportunity center is also moving forward, he said.