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EcoCentre closing down, town won’t take it on

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Maple Creek

The EcoCentre for recycling used oil will no longer be operated by SARCAN, and the town doesn’t want to take on the responsibility either.

The relocation of the EcoCentre to the landfill was proposed to council by SARCAN at council’s regular meeting on March 25.

The facility run by Maple Creek & District Opportunities Inc. has been closed at its current location, but it was suggested the town take over the operation. SARCAN offered to cover the cost of moving the building to the landfill and give the town $9,000 each year for three years to take on the responsibility.

SARCAN sells the used oil for 10 cents a litre, but it has been losing money on the operation when the oil is contaminated and must be disposed of.

“If anyone dumps antifreeze in there with it, it costs you to get rid of it,” explained Mayor Barry Rudd, noting this disposal cost is about $10,000 for a truckload.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, the town would need someone on hand every time someone was disposing of oil or antifreeze at the facility.

Council agreed it would become a cost to the town to operate. The motion to take over the EcoCentre was unanimously defeated.

SARCAN was the only location in town for used oil to be dropped off. The Saskatchewan Association for Resource Recovery Corp. (SARRC) will continue to seek another location for the service. Anyone with questions about recycling used oil or antifreeze can contact their supplier or phone SARRC at 1-877-645-7275.

In other business, the town’s utility rates will be going up this summer. The increase is being put in place as the province has mandated all municipalities to make their utilities self-sufficient. An increase of $3 per month for water and $4 per month for sewer were proposed. Council approved the new rates. They will come into effect on July 1 after receiving approval from the Saskatchewan Municipal Board.

Town administrator Michele Schmidt brought to the table two tenders for the town’s public works crew to purchase gas and diesel for their equipment. B & A Petroleum offered regular gas at a cost of $1.127 and diesel for $1.237 plus GST, while Pioneer Co-op offered gas at a cost of $1.179 and diesel for $1.209 plus GST. The town has always purchased both fuel types from the same business, but in this case the cost of gas was lower at one location and diesel lower at the other.

Council decided to purchase the town’s gas from B & A Petroleum and diesel from Pioneer Co-op for the next year-and-a-half.

The town will be borrowing a large sum of money to meet its financial commitment to the new health care facility as well as purchase a new garbage truck.

The town is making an application to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board’s Local Government Committee to borrow $1 million to cover the remaining portion of the town’s $3-million commitment to the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility. It will be paid in four annual instalments of $268,878.19 from 2015-18, with a fixed interest rate of 2.937 per cent.

It was noted taxpayers will not see an increase in their taxes as this amount is already covered through the $250 hospital levy that is in place over a 10-year period.

The town also intends to borrow a total of $350,000 for the purchase of a new garbage truck. The motor has gone in the current garbage truck, which is 10 years old. Payments will be made in three annual instalments of $123,424.23 from 2015-17, with a fixed interest rate of 2.832 per cent.

The amount will cover the purchase of a new garbage truck with a lifting arm as well as new garbage receptacles – 64-gallon bins for residential pick up and 300-gallon bins for commercial. It is expected to be delivered in four to five months. In the meantime, the town has been using another one of its trucks until a new motor can be put in the garbage truck, which is expected to cost about $20,000.

Schmidt said it is not clear at this point how the purchase will affect taxes.

No delegations attended the open meeting to bring forward any concerns about either of the intents to borrow, and council approved both.

The arena board approached council to ask what they should do with the old Zamboni. The board has considered selling it to Kincaid for $5,000 or donating it to another community in the Southwest that has minor hockey teams coming to play against Maple Creek. Rudd said they should approach Sunny Barroby and the Laye family, who donated the ice machine to the arena, and find out what they see fit to do with it.

Councillor Ellaine Hawrylak reported damage was done to the Land of Living Skies Park when an individual drove through it on Friday night. It resulted in broken fence posts and damage to flower pots. However, she said there was a witness present who contacted police the following morning to report what they saw and who they believed was responsible.

“That made me feel better, but we still have a little bit of damage down there,” she said.

Councillor Tina Cresswell provided an update from the Maple Creek Heritage Advisory Committee’s meeting last week. It discussed Reesor Ranch’s municipal heritage property designation, which must be done through the RM. The committee provided them with information on the process.

In the provincial budget, it was announced that the Main Street Program has been renewed.

“That has validated the success of the pilot communities,” Cresswell said.

She also attended Cypress Hills Destination Area’s annual general meeting earlier this month, where she was elected vice-chair. Royce Pettyjohn will continue as chair, and Gail Kesslar was selected as executive director.

“We have three priorities – working through the consultant’s recommendations for this year, updating the marketing and implementing the plan, and building support in the larger community,” Cresswell explained.

Council received a request from Sterling North – formerly the Discovery Learning Centre – for the fee to be waived for use of the Armoury for a bake sale on April 16. Half the proceeds will go towards Sidney Street School’s playground equipment fund, with the remainder retained by Sterling North.

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