Regional district gets dump money

THE Kitimat-Stikine regional district will spend nearly $10 million to open new garbage facilities for Terrace and area and the Hazeltons.

  • Sep. 18, 2012 6:00 p.m.

KITIMAT-STIKINE Regional District vice chair Alice Maitland

THE Kitimat-Stikine regional district is going to spend nearly $10 million to open new garbage facilities for Terrace and area and for the Hazeltons, it announced Sept. 10.

More than half, $5.6 million, will be spent at a new landfill site at Forceman Ridge between Terrace and Kitimat, to handle Terrace and area waste.

It means the City of Terrace’s dump will be closed and the current Thornhill dump will be converted to a transfer station at a cost of $375,000.

Household waste will be taken to the Thornhill station before being transferred to Forceman Ridge and it will also act as a recycling centre.

Commercial waste will be taken directly to Forceman Ridge.

Should all go according to plan, Forceman Ridge will be open in 2015 or 2016.

A further $3.35 million will be spend on a new Hazelton landfill and $365,000 for a new transfer station in Kitwanga.

Regional district vice chair Alice Maitland described the projects, which have been in the planning stages for 20 years, as significant.

“Effective management of solid waste is about the most important problem humanity has in this day and age,” she said.

“These are forward looking projects that will solve many landfill problems in our area.”

About half of the projected $9.7 million cost for the Terrace and Hazelton projects – $4.8 million – will come from the federal government’s Canada Gas Tax Fund.

That fund is the equivalent of five cents paid in taxes for each litre of fuel purchased and local governments in B.C. receive $250 million a year for infrastructure and other projects.

The remainder of the project cost will come directly from regional district taxpayers and, in the case of Terrace, from city taxpayers for Forceman Ridge.

Next up is a review of operating costs and how the regional district will raise the money.

Both Forceman Ridge and the Hazelton plans need to be formally approved by regional district directors.

Roger Tooms, the regional district official who has been shepherding the Forceman Ridge, said those costs will be worked on over the winter and released in the spring.

Cost recovery options could very well include a blend of taxes and user fees, he said.

Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski, representing the city Sept. 10, said money now being spent operating the city’s own dump can be spent on Forceman Ridge once the former closes down.

But he conceded Terrace taxpayers will have to pay more.

“We are expecting a higher cost,” said Pernarowski.

He and Tooms noted that recycling efforts and waste diversion will form an important part of the regional district and city overall approach to garbage.

Nechako Lakes Liberal MLA John Rustad, who represented the provincial government at the announcement, said having a project come to life after 20 years of planning must have been a relief to the regional district.

“From an environmental perspective, it has to be managed well,” he said of solid waste.

Rustad noted that a key part of the project will involve rehabilitation of the Terrace landfill.

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