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RDKB heads to counterpetition on landfill upgrades

Would you rather borrow money in the long term or short term to pay for landfill upgrades?

That’s the question the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is asking taxpayers as they mull how to finance improvements to the McKelvey Creek landfill in Trail and buy organics processing equipment.

They’re proposing to borrow $4.6 million and pay it back over 20 years rather than a five-year term, but doing so requires approval from residents in the form of a counterpetition.

Between Feb. 7 and March 21, if you have any objections to the long-term loan, you can register them by downloading a form on the RDKB website. A virtual open house is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. You can register for the event at the same link.

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If 10 per cent of eligible voters oppose the 20-year repayment plan, the RDKB will either have to hold a referendum, stick to short-term borrowing, or think of another solution.

However, chair Linda Worley says the project has to go ahead one way or another. Upgrades to the landfill include installation of a second weigh scale and relocation of the recycling depot.

The landfill will also add a transfer station for organic materials collected through a green bin program expected to launch this year in Greater Trail. The RDKB’s 2005 solid waste management plan committed the regional district to adopt composting programs throughout the region, but to date they have only been started in the Boundary.

Part of the money will pay for a wood grinder or shredder.

“We have been working on this for so many years, first to get the Boundary on board as a pilot program, which was so successful,” Worley says. “Now it’s time to get it on to the east side so we can better serve all the constituents of the regional district.”

Worley says the upgrades are an important step in the RDKB reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The composting project will help keep organic waste out of the landfill, thereby extending its life, she says.

 

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