The Town of Creston hosted two public information meetings on the change to fees for solid waste collection in council chambers on Oct. 17.
Director of finance and corporate services Steffan Klassen facilitated the meeting from 10 -12 p.m.
“The Town of Creston will be changing how fees are collected for solid waste pick-up and disposal services in 2020. The fees for solid waste collection will be moved to utility billing on a user-pay system,” said Klassen.
The solid waste pick-up and disposal service currently provided by the town for residence and commercial businesses is funded through general municipal property taxes. Residents and commercial businesses pay for the service regardless of use through property taxation.
“By changing the model to a user-pay system, only those receiving the service will pay for it,” said Klassen. “The change in billing practice will not change how the town provides the service.”
The estimated cost per residential dwelling unit is $90 annually, and secondary suites will be 50 per cent of the dwelling unit cost.
“There will be no changes to the solid waste collection service currently provided to single-family homes and multi-family buildings with four units or less,” said Klassen.
The cost will be reflected on the next utility billing cycle effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Commercial businesses operating in Creston will have the option to opt-out of the town’s solid waste collection and disposal service provided that proper bins and collection are put in place.
“Only bags with garbage tags will be picked up in commercial areas,” said Klassen.
Letters enclosed with a waiver will be sent via direct mail to commercial businesses with details on how to opt-out of the service. Waivers need to be returned to town hall by Nov. 15, 2019.
Trailer courts, strata and apartment complexes with five or more units are required to provide appropriate arrangements for private solid waste collection. However, these users may opt-in to receiving the town’s solid waste collection and disposal service if the town can accommodate it.
“Any multi-unit property must opt-in entirely,” said Klassen. “Letters will be sent to trailer court and apartment building owners and strata corporations with details around what steps are needed to proceed with opting in. Applications need to be returned to town hall by Nov. 15.”
The amount collected in utility fees for solid waste will reduce the amount of taxes the town collects ensuring all property taxpayers will see a reduction in their 2020 municipal taxes proportionate to assessed values for solid waste collection.