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Council not overly keen on SWIS Corp. proposal

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Although town council tabled a motion to enter into a waste disposal agreement with Solid Waste Integrated Systems (SWIS) Corp., the discussion at the committee of the whole meeting earlier Monday did not seem to favour the agreement.

Bruce Spottiswood, superintendent of facilities (works), presented a report for the Operations and Facilities division as part of a follow-up of SWIS Corp.’s presentation to council earlier this spring.

“It was felt the costs would well exceed any gains,” Spottiswood told the committee of the whole.

“The numbers tell it all,” added Coun. Deane Cunningham, who also sits on the Operations and Facilities executive committee.

“We’re comparing our actual numbers, cost of the landfill and cost of participation in [the Northwestern Ontario Recycling Association], compared to what they’re saying they’d do and they’re not even close,” he remarked.

“We’d still have to operate our landfill,” Coun. Cunningham added, noting the SWIS Corp. system couldn’t handle construction materials. “But our tipping fees would drop drastically.”

Councillors also read over a letter from Dryden, strongly requesting Fort Frances take part in the SWIS Corp. proposal. Even though Dryden is where SWIS Corp. is proposing to set up shop, Spottiswood noted he was surprised by the letter.

“At the last NORA meeting, Dryden’s CAO and former town engineer basically indicated they had changed their mind,” he said.

He also noted Kenora’s mayor, who sits on NORA as well, said their city’s initial interest in the project had waned and that they no longer were interested.

“If NORA dies, what happens to the Town of Fort Frances if we do not participate [in SWIS Corp.]?” asked Coun. Dave Bourgeault, wondering about the fate of the blue box program.

“Under present legislation, if you’re a town over 5,000, you definitely have to recycle,” Spottiswood replied. “We’d sell it to somebody else.”

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