GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL NOV. 5: Local suggests alternative to garbage rates, no Rail Trail 200 in 2013

A Grand Forks resident suggested an alternative to the current garbage rate system to city council. Also no Rail Trail 200 dog race in 2013.

The City of Grand Forks' city council received correspondence from a resident about a possible alternative to the current garbage rate system and discussed it at the last council meeting.

The City of Grand Forks' city council received correspondence from a resident about a possible alternative to the current garbage rate system and discussed it at the last council meeting.

The City of Grand Forks was in receipt of correspondence from resident Dave Milton, who had issues with garbage rates and the issue was discussed at the Nov. 5 council meeting.

Milton said in an email, he felt penalized with increased collection costs and at the posted rates, he would be required to pay $13 per item in curb-side pick up; he expected to put out only seven to nine pieces for collection for the year.

“This is profoundly wrong and I’m incensed that a fixed-income senior – who is part of the solution, not the problem – should be treated this way,” he wrote.

Milton said he wanted his account with the city to have the garbage fee deleted and said he will buy garbage tickets from the city and attach it to garbage bags each time he puts one out.

“I think that we should look at this and try to find ways of rewarding people like Dave who are really serious about their commitment to the environment. At the same time, it’s a daunting task to think of some way of doing it while allowing people to opt out and to be able to run the whole system,” said Grand Forks’ Mayor Brian Taylor. “We know the challenge here and I promise to get back to you with a response from the regional co-ordinator of this to whether or not there are other minutia that we can enact here or ways of implementing it that might be more responsive to a person like Dave, who’s an extremely diligent recycler.”

Coun. Gary Smith expressed his concerns stating if an allowance was made, people could take advantage. “How do you monitor it?” he asked and Taylor responded by saying it would have to be a general policy.

Coun. Bob Kendel cited a conversation with Tim Dueck, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary solid waste program co-ordinator.

“If my information from him is correct, and I’m sure it is, the added cost to the garbage collection was basically $10 and some cents (a year) from what it was before the program was introduced,” Kendel said. “It is based on that information, unless there’s some drastic change in how things are done, if that is the actual cost difference, I guess I’m a little bit apprehensive to make any changes to the system.”

Taylor said he didn’t want to raise any false hopes that people could opt out of the current system but he said he would like to know more about the fine-tuning of the other system.

“It is going on throughout the province and we can borrow what other people may be doing as well. I’ll look at that and come back with any ideas before we throw any hail marys out there,” Taylor said.

Again, council did not make any decision to amend the current garbage rate system.

2013 Rail Trail dog sled race cancelled

In her councillor report, Cher Wyers mentioned that the Rail Trail 200 dog sled race wouldn’t be taking place in 2013.

“This is due to currently a shortage of volunteers and the need to do more fundraising, with sponsor funding becoming less accessible in our community. Also, they need to redesign the event to make it more spectator-friendly,” Wyers said, adding that the event would return in January 2014.

Freestanding signs approved

Council also approved a pair of development permits for business signage.

It approved a permit for a freestanding, illuminated sign measuring about 5.96 metres (19 feet and six-and-a-half inches) outside the local Castle Building Centre on 4th Street and Central Avenue.

According to information provided by the city, the sign will be located at the southeast corner of the Castle Building Centre lot, will face west and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has no problems with where the sign will be placed – the city also said that the sign posts wouldn’t obstruct traffic or pedestrian visibility on Central Avenue.

A permit was also approved for a freestanding, illuminated sign for the Station Pub on Donaldson Drive.

The sign would stand approximately 5.48 metres (18 feet), at the southwest corner of the lot and face south. The city said off street parking would not be affected by the sign, which will be located on a grassy part of a parking lot. The motion carried unanimously.

Silver Kettle Developments Inc. agreement

Council approved entry into a latecomer agreement with Silver Kettle Developments Inc.

“These guys pay money up front to get services in there then they’re able to cost that back to other developers that might come in at a later date,” Taylor explained.

The motion passed.