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Deer Lake council agrees on need for waste management policy

Mayor Dean Ball is seen during Monday evening’s public council meeting at the town hall in Deer Lake.
Mayor Dean Ball is seen during Monday evening’s public council meeting at the town hall in Deer Lake. - Diane Crocker

The Town of Deer Lake will be taking another look at its new waste management fee as it works to put a policy in place that will address questions that have been arising.

The town introduced a $116.50 per unit waste management fee for residents and businesses in its 2018 budget.

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During Monday evening’s public council meeting the finance committee report included a recommendation to refund over $1,000 in fees that were paid by businesses that don’t avail of garbage collection by the town. Instead, the businesses pay for contracted pickup.

It was noted that the refund was something that only commercial properties would be given the opportunity to apply for.

When it came time for discussion, Coun. Myra Spence said that in principle she had a problem with the refunds.

As a business owner that has a contractor pick up garbage, she said to follow the line of reasoning presented then her business should be one of the ones to apply to get a refund.

She said the town did not say it would not pick up their garbage and she had a problem with businesses qualifying for exemption when it was their decision to contract out the service.

“We chose to have outside collection,” said Spence. “As a business that was a decision we made.”

Coun. Amanda Freake, chair of the finance committee, then suggested that a policy was needed to address the issue.

Mayor Dean Ball said he could see this becoming a greater issue in July when the waste management regulations come into effect that will see the town’s garbage trucked to a transfer site.

He said the contractors won’t be taking the garbage to a local waste site, but to Hampden and it’s possible then the companies will want the town to collect their garbage.

It was agreed by the council to defer the refunds until a policy is developed.

“We knew there was going to be some growing pains when it comes to waste management,” said Ball after the meeting and with the questions arising from the business sector it requires clarification.

“We want to make sure we do this right,” he said.

“The problem is the tipping fee has got to be paid one way or another.”

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