Councils against closed landfill site monitoring proposal

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GORE BAY – Two Western Manitoulin municipalities have let it be known that they are not in favour of a cost sharing proposal for continued work carried out at the former landfill, including monitoring and decommissioning of wells, located in Gordon/Barrie Island. 

“We had a discussion on the proposal from the waste management committee on the cost sharing formula paying on the existing landfill site. Council decided that this apportionment had been set by previous councils based on population,” said Lee Hayden, reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island township. “The former councils (Gore Bay, Gordon/Barrie Island and Burpee-Mills) at the time had agreed to the formula to be used. Now the committee wants to change the formula from population to a combination of population-assessment 50-50 for the monitoring and ongoing costs. We as a council are not interested in any changes being made.”

“Our sentiments are the same as Gordon/Barrie Island council,” stated Ken Noland, reeve of Burpee-Mills Township. “It is not assessment that creates garbage, it is population that creates garbage.”

“The deal that was created for the landfill site was reached years ago,” said Reeve Noland. “We passed a motion against the new cost sharing formula, and that it remain based on population.”

At a Gore Bay town council meeting held December 9, 2019, council considered a couple of motions from the waste management committee meeting. Councillor Aaron Wright, who is chair of the committee, told council that one of the motions is in regards to landfill well decommissioning. “It has been recommended by our consultant to decommission some of the wells at the site. We are also looking at the costs involved and having a fairer, better apportionment formula, as Gore Bay is paying 50 percent of the cost of the waste management system.” 

“We can go ahead with a new cost sharing formula if the other municipalities go along,” said Mr. Wright. “The committee representatives had to take this back to their councils. But it would be fairer for everyone.”  

It was pointed out by Stasia Carr, deputy clerk for Gore Bay, that “Gore Bay pays a cost higher than the other two (municipalities) right now.”
At its meeting December 9, Gore Bay council passed three motions, one to approve the cost estimate of Option 1 provided by Water Geosciences Ltd., which includes the decommissioning of 14 wells, ($16,030); that the cost sharing model be based on a 50 percent combination of weighted assessment and population; and the third motion that Tulloch Engineering complete the 2019 annual monitoring report at a cost of $19,400 plus HST.