Proposal for Gore Bay/Gordon Barrie Island transfer station cost share nearing completion

GORE BAY – A final proposal for a new cost sharing agreement between the Town of Gore Bay and the municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island on the transfer station operating costs is close to being completed.

“I think this proposal is pretty fair, personally,” stated Jack Bould, a Gordon/Barrie Island Councillor and a member of the Gore Bay Gordon/Barrie Island joint transfer station committee at a December meeting. “I will put forward a motion to take it back to council.”

This comes after a recommendation had been made by the town of Gore Bay general government committee to propose revisiting the cost sharing agreement of the transfer station with Gordon/Barrie Island. 

If approved, it 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.

Michael Lalonde, treasurer for the town of Gore Bay, told the committee, “I will go through the proposed cost sharing proposal. The contract with Dodge Haulage is up for renewal at the end of the year. They (Dodge) based the cost on the number of households (taking in permanent households, seasonal and commercial) in each. They (Dodge) sent me the last contract and there was no mention of the amount of garbage or volume of garbage materials that are transported to their site in Espanola.” 

“Based on the actual costs per household (permanent, seasonal and commercial households on the 2021 contract) it worked out to be 51.99 percent for Gordon/Barrie Island and 48.01 percent for the Town of Gore Bay,” said Mr. Lalonde. “Looking forward in the new contract, and taking in the 2016 census numbers, the new numbers are very close to a 50-50 basis, being off by just .07 percent (50.07 percent for Gordon/Barrie Island and 49.33 percent for Gore Bay).”

“Even if we went back to the original numbers, this would be close to the 50-50 cost sharing basis,” said Mr. Lalonde, noting, “It’s all based on the number of households.” 

The operating costs for the transfer station is in opening the doors and running the transfer station, and should be shared equally at 50 percent each, said Mr. Lalonde.

“The only variable is the transportation cost,” said Mr. Lalonde. “The more waste that is produced, the more has to be hauled (to Espanola) and the more costs involved. Based on the actual volumes as identified in the survey that was taken of the waste and bags going to the transfer station this year, it was identified as Gore Bay, 60 percent and Gordon/Barrie Island at 40 percent. Gore Bay produces the majority of that.”

Mr. Lalonde outlined the entire proposal works out to a cost sharing split at 59 percent for Gore Bay and 41 percent for Gordon/Barrie Island. “That’s taking the total costs of the budget and breaking it down by municipalities,” said Mr. Lalonde. He said the most recent proposal from Gordon/Barrie Island council had been a 59-41 percent split.  

“I think we were going with and had a proposed resolution for a 59-41 cost share split,” said Mr. Bould. “But I don’t think there will be much of an argument with what is being proposed here.” He requested that the entire proposal be forwarded to the Gordon/Barrie Island office staff.

Roger Chenard, public works foreman for Gore Bay Gore Bay, said, “I did have a question regarding the staffing and administration part in running the transfer station. Our public works staff runs the transfer station.” He outlined his concern that what can happen is that if an additional public works staff member is required at the transfer station, it takes away from the work that they would be doing in the town. And we deal with the MOE (Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change) when they visit the site. Our concern is that when our public works staff is called out to  work at the transfer station it means that they can’t complete the work they have in town.” 

Mr. Bould explained, “we (council) discussed this and if we could help out. But we have a crew of two public works staff members. And in the winter, they spend most of the time snowplowing. There was not a great response in having our staff help out, at least in the winter. Maybe this is something that can be looked at in the spring.”

Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne said what needs to be done, “is collectively (between the two municipalities) we need to hire someone on a part-time basis to work at the transfer station.” 

Mr. Bould said Gordon/Barrie Island council “was in favour of hiring a full-time, part-time person to work at the transfer station, to relieve the pressure on the public works departments. And we’re willing to share in that expense.”

The transfer station committee will forward a recommendation to be sent to both councils to go on the 54-46 percent (Gore Bay and Gordon/Barrie Island respectively) sharing of the costs. The recommendation, which was made by Mr. Bould and seconded by Gore Bay councillor Kevin Woestenenk, will be forwarded to both councils for their approval in January.