No bag tag fee increase this year

Council to pursue savings with BASWR

By Barb McKay


Municipality of Kincardine residents were spared a 50 cent increase on bag tags this year, but there could be a fee hike in the future.


During its meeting last Wednesday, council reviewed a recommendation from the treasury department to make adjustments to rates and fees charged by the municipality for services. An increase of two per cent was applied to the majority of rates and fees, but there were a few exceptions. Staff recommended a 25 per cent increase to the cost of bag tags making them $2.50 rather than $2. Ratepayers have been charged $2 for some time now for bag tags, but last year the municipality elected to do away with the annual allotment of 26 “free” bag tags per household.


CAO Murray Clarke reminded council during last week’s meeting that the waste management operates at an annual deficit of approximately $1 million and former public works director Jim O’Rourke had produced a plan in 2011 to move to a user pay waste management system that would eventually lead to contributions to a reserve fund.


“Each of us in our homes and businesses should be accountable for the solid waste we produce the same as we are for our liquid waste,” said Clarke.


The suggestion to increase bag tag fees did not sit well with most council members.


“We just changed the bag tags from free to $2 and now we’re changing to $2.50?” asked councillor Randy Roppel. “Good luck; I won’t support it.”


Councillor Gord Campbell said some of the fee increases would put undue hardship on residents who are already struggling financially.


Mayor Anne Eadie said she would like to leave the fee at $2 for the next year.


Councillor Laura Haight suggested that council pursue some potential cost savings with Bruce Area Solid Waste Recycling (BASWR), such as having recycling pickup on one side of the road on most streets for half of the year and then switch to the other side of the road for the other half. She said she would not mind taking her recycling to the other side of the road if it would make pickup more efficient and economical and the savings could be used to enhance the current recycling program.


Campbell, who represents the municipality on the BASWR board, said he would take the suggestion to them.