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Niverville Council Meeting in Review—January 19

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Councillor Chris Wiebe, Deputy Mayor john Funk, Mayor Myron Dyck, CAO Eric King, and Councillors Kevin Stott and Nathan Dueck. Brenda Sawatzky

Niverville’s council met virtually on the evening of Tuesday, January 19 to discuss a variety of items on the town’s agenda.

Waste Collection Fee Increase Coming

Homeowners in Niverville will be asked to pay slightly more per year for garbage and recycling collection. Residents had been paying $118.07 per year, but going forward the proposed rate is $125, an increase of $6.93. The town currently has a contract with Bristal Hauling to collect garbage and recycling, which will continue, but the increase comes because the town must reevaluate its special service levy, which expired in 2019.

Both Mayor Myron Dyck and CAO Eric King described the rate increase as a cost recovery measure for funds the town has already budgeted to cover the Bristal Hauling contract.

While Bristal’s contract is secured for approximately four to five years, the waste collection bylaw follows a provincial mandate that governs fees over ten-year periods between renewals. For this reason, it can sometimes happen that rate increases don’t coincide with the signing of a new waste collection services contract.

“This is a special service levy to provide collection, transportation, and disposal of household waste within the Town of Niverville,” said King. “The last bylaw was done in 2010 and expired in 2019, so this would cover 2021–2030. A proposed rate would be $125, which represents a 1.4 percent per annum increase.”

King said the town doesn’t sign ten-year contracts with waste services providers, but in the event that a contract expires, the bylaw gives the town the ability to keep waste collection going temporarily while allowing for a period of time to research other solutions.

“The point of the ten-year service levy is that we don’t want to be meeting too often to discuss minor increases. That’s not a good use of time,” said King. “The municipal board was involved in helping write the bylaw offer so the Municipal Services officer has weighed in on this and has helped it move forward.”

At the public hearing, two residents registered to speak. Jeff Marino attended the virtual meeting, during which he asked council for more information about the bylaw procedures and expressed a few concerns with the town’s current waste collection services.

“I’ve wondered about why the town doesn’t pick up recycling more than every other week,” said Marino. “With a lot more people at home and the culture we now have with shopping online, we have a lot more recycling than we used to. I’ve noticed in St. Adolphe, they get picked up every week. It’s kind of concerning because the bin fills up within a week and then you have to wait another week.”

King addressed the question, replying, “Recycling used to be done every week until the last contract. But then we went with a bigger bin, which hopefully met most people’s needs. The next contract will be due this year or next year, and there will be more competition for that contract, so we can talk about recycling. Hopefully we can go back to weekly at that point, if the provincial grants allow.”

King added that council is working to ensure that everyone’s needs are taken into account and keeps in mind the reality that larger households have more difficulty making the biweekly limit than smaller households.

King expressed satisfaction with Bristal’s services, saying that Bristal’s contract bid came in almost 50 percent lower than other prospective tenders. He also mentioned that the tonnage fees for waste disposal have risen in the past few years and the cost increase allows for project on fuel prices.

A second resident withdrew their comments, which had been submitted by letter, after being provided more information by the town prior to the meeting.

No comments were registered in opposition.

The bylaw now moves to the municipal board before it will receive its second and third reading.

Other Business

A side yard variance was approved for a home being constructed at 503 Lytham Place, bringing the minimum side yard requirement from five feet to four feet, accommodating a house plan on a tapered lot. Lloyd Reimer, president of Precision Homes, was online during the meeting to answer any questions and council voted unanimously to approve the variance.

Council then discussed the announcement of the new Minister of Municipal Affairs but noted that no one on council had had any interaction with the provincial office yet.

Lastly, Mayor Dyck mentioned that he would likely participate again in the Niverville High School’s Grade Nine segment on politics. This year’s participation will see the students study speechwriting and hosting a virtual presentation on the procedures of the federal government.

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