Concerns raised if town opts out of transfer station

GORE BAY – A long-time Gore Bay business operator says he fears that if the town opts out of participating in the transfer station, as is currently the case with the Township of Gordon-Barrie Island, it could mean the end of his garbage collection business.

“If the transfer station stays the way it is that will be good for my business, but if the town is opting out it could very well put me out of business,” stated Richard Panton. In a letter to town council recently he explained, “I read The Manitoulin Expositor article that Gore Bay is exploring a community garbage collection and it leaves me wondering what this would mean to my garbage business in tow. I am hoping that the council and dump committee will keep that in mind when looking at their options.”

“Our family has operated a garbage collection business in Gore Bay for 60 years and hope to continue for many more,” wrote Mr. Panton.

“When the time comes Richard will have the opportunity to bid on providing operations,” Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne told The Expositor. “But this whole thing is at such a preliminary stage nothing has been settled. At this  point we don’t know who is going to provide what, what they can provide, and the costs involved. The whole idea at this point is to get more information.”

“We don’t want to hurt any business,” stated Mayor Osborne. “Everyone will have the same opportunities.”

“This is a family business, for 60 years. My dad (Archie Panton) started the business,” said Mr. Panton. “I’ve read three articles, and the municipal issue between the Town of Gore Bay and Gordon/Barrie Island on the issue of funding and who accumulates and uses the transfer station more.” 

“The reason we lost the landfill 30 years ago was a dispute between Gore Bay Mayor at the time and Gordon landowner at the time,” continued Mr. Panton.  “The transfer station is probably the most cost effective solution.”

“What I’m concerned about is that the town has gotten figures from two companies, and have never given my business any consideration on the options they are looking at,” continued Mr. Panton. “Where does all of this leave a business like mine. I would be out of business in Gore Bay.”

“If they go with curbside garbage pick-up in town, that would leave me out of business in Gore Bay,” said Mr. Panton, noting, “any business that I have out of town would probably continue.”

Mr. Panton said his approximately 30-35 customers in Gore Bay includes commercial as well as residential clients.

“I don’t want to complain about the town, they have been good to me over the years,” said Mr. Panton. “It’s the town prerogative to look at  most cost effective options, but hopefully local businesses are being considered when they are looking at their options. Leaving everything the same, status quo would be the best option for my business.” 

Mayor Osborne said as well, “he (Mr. Panton) can come out to a meeting, all our meetings are public and he can make a request to be heard at the meetings. And he’ll get the same opportunity that  everyone else has. But the bottom line is everything is preliminary at this point. He will have every opportunity, the same as everyone else.” 

“I  would definitely like the opportunity to address the new adhoc committee that is looking at  all of this,” added Mr. Panton.