The City of Sartell shared an image on its Facebook page of a city compost site user forcing open the entry gate to allow cars and trucks to pass through. According to commenters, it was done due to what they feel are long wait times to enter through the gate.

We understand this time of year the compost site is busy with people doing fall cleanups. There can be long lines and nobody likes to sit in those!
But this guy's answer to the issue is not ok and will ruin our new equipment that tax payers ultimately pay for. In the event anyone is curious, your taxpayer dollars paid over $25,000 for this gate, which is easily damaged when someone climbs on it and holds it open. Please help us in respecting the privilege of this site and hold each other accountable!


The compost site recently switched from having a part-time employee manning the entrance to an automated gate that works by users scanning a QR code for entry.

Photo Credit- Dave Thomas Townsquare Media
Photo Credit- Dave Thomas Townsquare Media

Seems like an open-and-shut case, right?  A guy literally climbed onto the control arm and potentially caused damage resulting in a costly repair! This seems clearly wrong to me...

However, some Sartell residents commenting on the post are on the offensive, citing long wait lines for the gate and the cost of the gate itself.


25,000$ for a gate…. When you typed that up did it cross your mind “wow that’s a stupid way to spend 25,000$ of taxpayer money”?


Why would a compost site have $25,000 gate? What a waste of tax payer money!

The City of Sartell responded to the comments by explaining that the cost of staffing the gate was higher than paying for the gate.

It’s actually a reduction in taxpayer money compared to the previous annual wages of part time employees who operated the open hours. It also allowed for expanded hours and lowered the burden on taxpayers! Hope this helps.

Another issue people brought up in the spicy comment section was the fact that there is allegedly a 'lag' between vehicles hoping to enter the site.


I am sure he got upset and should have called the city instead of this behavior. The issue is that the gate will only open once every minute. Almost like it has to reset. So there were massive lines in both directions Saturday. Each car had to sit and wait a minute after the car in front. Could the gate be changed to open upon code scan no matter what.

The City responded to Stephanie's comment, saying they weren't made aware of that issue previously:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention Stephanie, we will reach out to the programmers to see if there is a resolution to this issue. We were not made aware at any point throughout the season and have received generally really positive feedback of the change to the gate from manual operations. We appreciate you letting us know.

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