Go­ing af­ter garbage

Town of Clarke’s Beach to do its own col­lec­tions, likely start­ing in new year

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED - BY TERRY ROBERTS THE COM­PASS

The Town of Clarke’s Beach is con­tin­u­ing to bol­ster its grow­ing fleet of equip­ment as the flour­ish­ing Con­cep­tion Bay North mu­nic­i­pal­ity be­comes more and more self-suf­fi­cient.

The town re­cently pur­chased a 2003 Labrie Ex­pert 2000 waste com­pactor for just un­der $50,000, and it’s expected the town will be­gin to pro­vide res­i­den­tial garbage col­lec­tion to its cit­i­zens early in 2013. The truck was pur­chased from the Town of Grand Bank, and fea­tures a 35 cu­bic yard side load, with a 60/40 split com­part­ment.

The cur­rent con­tract with Lynch’s Truck­ing is set to ex­pire at the end of this year, and the town has be­gun ad­ver­tis­ing for a driver/col­lec­tor with the ap­pro­pri­ate li­cences and endorsements.

It’s just the lat­est ser­vice the town plans to pro­vide “in-house,” and fol­lows a move last year to take on snow­clear­ing, which his­tor­i­cally had been pro­vided by a pri­vate con­trac­tor.

The garbage col­lec­tion is­sue has been dis­cussed briefly at re­cent coun­cil meet­ings.

The town had hoped to give the task to its two pub­lic works em­ploy­ees, but nei­ther are qual­i­fied to op­er­ate the ve­hi­cle. It would take six weeks at a cost of some $5,500 per em­ployee to un­dergo the nec­es­sary train­ing at a lo­cal driver train­ing cen­tre, Coun. Garry Ben­dell ex­plained last month.

Mayor Betty Moore said she sup­ported the pur­chase based on the as­sump­tion that ex­ist­ing staff mem­bers could do the job. Ben­dell said the em­ploy­ees “told us they were qual­i­fied.” How­ever, that’s not the case. “I’ll have to check with them on that,” Moore stated dur­ing the Oct. 15 coun­cil meet­ing.

Clarke’s Beach is also en­ter­ing into talks with the neigh­bour­ing Town of South River about the pos­si­bil­ity of shar­ing the garbage col­lec­tion ser­vice.

But coun­cil­lors felt the first pri­or­ity was to get the ser­vice up and run­ning be­fore any de­ci­sion is made on part­ner­ing with South River.

“We are in­ter­ested, but we need to find out more de­tails,” Coun. Roland An­drews com­mented.

If garbage col­lec­tion were to be­come a re­gional ser­vice, it could be­gin to mir­ror the re­gional fire ser­vices agree­ment that was put in place sev­eral years ago. Un­der this sys­tem, the towns of North River, Clarke’s Beach, South River and Cupids, and the lo­cal ser­vice dis­trict of Makin­sons, over­see and op­er­ate the Bay de Grave fire bri­gade.

“This is a start in the right di­rec­tion,” Ben­dell noted.

In­crease in fuel costs

Mean­while, coun­cil has adopted a new fuel pur­chase pol­icy for its ve­hi­cles fol­low­ing some con­cern about a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in costs dur­ing the month of Septem­ber.

Coun­cil­lors agreed that a pur­chase or­der book would be used, en­sur­ing that de­tailed in­for­ma­tion is kept on fuel pur­chases and con­sump­tion. It was also em­pha­sized that town em­ploy­ees should be us­ing log books to doc­u­ment ve­hi­cle us­age, ex­penses and other mat­ters.

“We need some kind of con­trols on it,” Coun. El­don Snow said.

Fuel ex­penses in­creased by some $500 in Septem­ber, though much of the in­crease was at­trib­uted to cleanup ef­forts fol­low­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Les­lie, and two trips to Grand Bank to view the garbage truck.

Ben­dell also re­ferred to what he called “un­nec­es­sary driv­ing around” as a cause for the in­creased cost.

Prop­erty pur­chase ques­tioned

Ten­sion con­tin­ues over a de­ci­sion by coun­cil to pur­chase land on the water­front, next to the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way. The land is lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the ceno­taph and across the street from the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing.

Coun­cil voted 5-0 dur­ing a hastily called meet­ing on Mon­day, Aug. 6— the town’s civic hol­i­day — to ap­prove the spend­ing of $40,000 for the pur­chase of the prop­erty. One of the ideas floated by coun­cil is to relo- cate the old rail­way sta­tion build­ing to the site and con­vert it into a mu­seum.

The de­ci­sion has been met with op­po­si­tion from some res­i­dents, in­clud­ing Wal­lace Reid, who has spo­ken out loudly against the de­ci­sion.

Reid has ar­gued that the rail­way sta­tion should stay in place and be de­vel­oped into a her­itage site, while some mem­bers of coun­cil ar­gue the sta­tion is a mag­net for loud and rowdy be­hav­iour, and needs to be put to bet­ter use.

Once all the le­gal con­di­tions are met, the fi­nal sale of the water­front prop­erty will likely be ap­proved in the com­ing days.

The sta­tion has been at the cen­tre of con­tro­versy for sev­eral years, with sev­eral hun­dred res­i­dents sign­ing a pe­ti­tion in 2009, de­mand­ing that the build­ing not be moved.

ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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