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Town of Castor council approves utility bylaw amendment

Costs for garbage collection and sewer services will be increasing in the New Year

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

The residents of Castor will be paying a little bit for some of the Town-run services come the new year.

With the recently passed amendments to Bylaw 1071, also known as the Utilities Bylaw, costs for garbage collection and sewer services will be increasing in the New Year.

The Town-run garbage service will be seeing a modest increase for residential service, and a bigger jump for commercial service. Currently, residential garbage service costs residents $18 a month, and that will be increasing to $23 per month.

For commercial users of the Town-run garbage service, the rate jump will be bigger. Currently, businesses pay $71 per month, and that will be increasing to $100 per month in the new year.

“This would give you full cost accounting. It would zero the department,” said Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee, when he introduced the bylaw amendment during the Oct. 26th council meeting, where the bylaw amendment received first reading.

“Nobody likes a rate increase, I know that,” said Mayor Richard Elhard, before continuing, “But we can’t operate at a loss either.”

The garbage service in Castor had been running at a loss for years, with the fees paid paying for the labour and some of the necessary repairs on the truck, but not covering the fuel used or more significant repairs. The new rates will balance the budget for the garbage service.

In addition to the garbage service, the sewer service will also be seeing a modest increase.

Residential and commercial sewer users currently pay $25 per month, with that increasing to $30 per month in the New Year.

The amendment was passed during the Nov. 9th council meeting, which was held at the community hall to allow for community participation in the public hearing required prior to passing the amendment. No members of the community participated in person, nor were any written presentations speaking for or against the Utility Bylaw amendment received.

Town of Castor council was supposed to hold both meetings in November at the Castor Community Hall, however, with no public participation, Coun. Lonny Nelner motioned to rescind the previous motion moving the meetings to the hall, moving the next meeting back to council chambers at the Town of Castor office.

The next meeting will be held Nov. 23rd at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast via Facebook Live.