County listens to wishes of Enilda citizens
South Peace News
The Enilda waste transfer station will remain open under current operations after plans by Big Lakes County to reduce hours were trashed by residents.
At its regular meeting June 26, council approved a motion by Enilda – Big Meadow Councillor Donald Bissell to leave the site unsupervised and always open.
Administration recommended the station be supervised and operate just two days a week.
However, the idea was canned by residents who spoke out during the open forum time at the meeting.
“Why man it, it’s an extra expense to taxpayers,” Don Carlson says.
“Why not have it our way?”
The changes would have cost the county up to $12,000 in 2019, says Dennis Zahacy, facility and waste manager.
Extra costs included a building to accommodate the staff person.
Changing the operations will benefit residents and the county, says Vic Abel director of public works.
“It will provide better recycling options such as used oil, tires, wood, household hazardous waste, paint, E-waste, and provide better service to the residents of Enilda and Big Meadow,” Abel says.
“It will also set a better example for unsightliness due to waste being deposited outside the bins.”
It would also reduce the amount of waste going to the regional landfill, Abel says.
However, the delegation was firm in its position.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” says Carlson, one of about 12 area residents at the meeting.
The county will keep it business as usual to the end of the year and then review it.
“Try it for six months,” Bissell says.
Residents can take their waste to the station, which is open seven days a week 24 hours a day.
Some councillors supported the concerns of the residents.
“We heard it from the people, a manned site isn’t what they want,” Prairie Echo – Salt Prairie Councillor David Marx says.
“If that’s what they’re use to, that’s what they want.”
Another councillor agrees.
“We heard it from the delegation,” High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Don Charrois says.
Reeve Richard Simard and Grouard Councillor Fern Welch voted against the motion.
Bissell, Marx, Charrois, North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Ken Matthews, South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart, Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen and Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard voted in favour.
Staff say the site has become unsightly. The station is currently not monitored by staff or controls and become usightly, Abel says.
“Administration has placed numerous cameras to attempt to control the site, which has been either stolen or destroyed,” Abel says.
The change would cost the county about $60,140 in 2019, more than the regular cost of $48,600, he notes.
All improvement costs were approved in the 2019 budget.
Transfer stations in Enilda and Gilwood are unmanned. Four other sites are manned including Joussard, Grouard, Faust-Kinuso and Banana Belt.