Gordon/Barrie Island, Gore Bay come to agreement on transfer station cost share proposal

WESTERN MANITOULIN – Both Gordon-Barrie Island township and the Town of Gore Bay councils agree with the recently proposed new transfer station cost sharing proposal for the two municipalities.

“After a lengthy discussion at our council meeting (last) week, we decided to accept the resolution from the committee,” said Lee Hayden, reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island after a council meeting last week. 

This comes after a recommendation had been put forward by the Town of Gore Bay general government committee to propose revisiting the cost sharing agreement of the transfer station with Gordon/Barrie Island. Once approved, the agreement would see the cost of operations and garbage disposal shared equally on a 50-50 basis between both municipalities, and the cost of transportation of garbage materials from the transfer station to Dodge Landfill in Espanola based on actual volumes, as identified, which would be 60 percent for Gore Bay and 40 percent for Gordon/Barrie Island. 

“We have said all along if it could be shown that we are not paying our fair share and that we would take action on this. We just needed to be shown the costs,” said Reeve Hayden. “We certainly want to work with our neighbour.”

John Turner, councillor for Gordon/Barrie Island and the municipal representative on the transfer  station committee told The Expositor last week, “the long and short of it is that after a lengthy and lively discussion by council at our meeting (last week) we decided to accept the recommendation from the transfer station committee for the new proposal on a 50-50 cost sharing basis split.”  

“There has been give and take back and forth, and we have been at this issue for quite some time,” said Councillor Turner. “We felt that this was a fair agreement. We could split more hairs but there comes a time when an agreement needs to be reached. The administration staff (Gore Bay) will now prepare an amended draft of the agreement for the committee to consider and review and then go to council for ratification.” He said wording on the lease agreement is many years old and “no longer works”’ and the agreement will need to include the point that it (the agreement) will be reviewed on a more regular basis.

At a Gore Bay council meeting last week, “there is a motion in place for our consideration for the cost sharing agreement,” said Mayor Osborne. 

Councillor Kevin Woestenenk put forward the motion for Gore Bay to accept the cost sharing agreement, with Councillor Paulie Nodecker seconding the motion.

“In the (transfer station) committee minutes it notes that the committee is looking at hiring another person to help out whenever needed at the transfer station. I’m just wondering why a second person is being hired,” asked Councillor Jack Clark. 

Mayor Osborne said, “a member of our (town) public works staff is taken off their job to help out at the transfer station when it is needed. The concern is that when this takes place, we are pulling them off work they are already doing in town.” Roger Chenard, Gore Bay town public works foreman “had asked if Gordon (/Barrie Island) could step in and take turns in helping out with members of their public works department. They are willing to help with the costs of hiring another person to work at the transfer station when needed instead of pulling a person off public works to help out.” 

“My concern is if this includes two people full-time it will mean a significant increase in costs,” said Councillor Clark. “I don’t think the volume of work out there warrants having two people out there,” he said.

It was pointed out there have been no final decisions made.

“We are in favour of hiring a second person at the transfer station and paying our share of the costs for this, but this hasn’t been totally discussed at the transfer station committee level,” said Councillor Turner. “This will be part of the discussion the committee will be having and working on a budget. And we (Gordon/Barrie Island) are proposing a two-year agreement with a review of the cost-sharing to take place in two years.” 

“I think this cost sharing agreement is something both municipalities can live with,” stated Councillor Turner. “It’s a good starting point. This has been a contentious issue for many of Gore Bay and our councils. One thing that we have definitely been successful at carrying out the past year or so is eliminating waste being brought in by residents of neighbouring municipalities. The way things are now, the site attendant knows that if someone goes to the transfer station they have a green tag if they are from our municipality and a yellow tag they are residents and ratepayers in Gore Bay. That wasn’t in place two years ago. This has helped in eliminating waste being brought to the site by people who are not ratepayers from the two municipalities.”