by Calli Stromner
Water and Sewer Rates Unchanged for 2014
Council gave First Reading to both the Town’s Water and Sewer Bylaws, which set the fee schedules for both services. Should Council pass Second and Third Reading without amending the bylaw, residents and businesses in Morinville will essentially see no rate increases on either their water or sewer bills.
Chief Financial Officer Andy Isbister informed Council that due to the Town implementing a “full cost recovery rate model”, the town has been able to put enough money into a reserve account that will eventually be large enough to pay for replacing the water and sewer infrastructure when it is in need of replacement.
“We need that much reserve because that’s when our utilities will start needing replacement,” said Isbister. “We need to have the cash in the bank to meet those needs.”
Small Increase to Garbage/Organics Collection
Council also approved First Reading of the Solid Waste Bylaw, which sets the annual rates for garbage collection and disposal and the levels of service. If Council approves Second and Third Reading of the Solid Waste Bylaw, residents will see a rate increase of 83 cents per month ($10 per year), but they will also see some service changes that are expected to reduce inefficiency and confusion.
“One of the first significant changes is that the carts be removed from the streets by 11 p.m. on collection day,” said Public Works Director Claude Valcourt, indicating that snow removal crews have a difficult time navigating around garbage bins left at the curb for extended periods of time.
Other proposed changes include an expansion of the existing yard waste collection to a full organics program and a change to the pick up schedule. “The Town [will be] be divided into two zones north and south of Highway 642,” said Valcourt. “North will be picked up on Tuesday and south, including South Glens would be picked up on Wednesday.” This change would mean less conflict between garbage collection and other public works services, such as snow removal or street sweeping, added Valcourt.
If the Town moves to a full organics program, garbage collection would move to a bi-weekly schedule as residents would theoretically be creating less garbage, said Valcourt. Organics collection would then run weekly from May 1 to Oct. 31 and reduced to monthly during the winter months. “This was proposed by our solid waste provider,” said Valcourt.
CAO Oyarzun said that Standstone, the contractor who provides garbage and compost collection services, will be in attendance at both Budget Open Houses in order to answer resident questions regarding the proposed changes.
Proposed list of acceptable and unacceptable items for organics*
*Added to story Feb. 12