By Marianne Curtis
Over sixty RM of Piney residents attended public open houses where ratepayers were encouraged to have their say in how the municipality proceeds with garbage disposal throughout the region.
A public open house took May 24 at the Vassar Community Hall. Members of council presented four different solutions to the municipality’s waste management facilities. Currently there are five landfills, located in Piney, Sandilands, Menisino, Vassar and Sprague.
RM of Piney councilor Sian Barrow is pleased with the response.
“First we were surprised by the attendance but I think ratepayers understand that we want their input as it is their tax dollars we are spending,” explained Barrow. “We are very pleased with the response.”
A community survey was also sent out to residents and over ninety responses were received.
“I have not had a chance to go over every single survey yet but based on the feedback at the meetings and what I have seen so far, residents are in favor of option three.”
Option three would establish three transfer stations at a cost of about $600,000 and close the existing five municipal landfills. It is the cheapest option under consideration but costs could escalate because a garbage hauling contract would be required to haul waste to facilities outside the municipality which could change whenever the contract is renewed, noted Barrow.
The RM of Piney council plans to take a closer look at the responses at the next municipal council meeting in June.
A few years ago, Manitoba Environment told the RM of Piney they needed to reduce the number of sites within the municipality. Council hired a consultant who has now come up with solutions so that decisions can be made before the province steps in and forces the municipality into action.