Like many town residents, I am following with interest the progress on the “Blue Box” recycling program here in Fort Frances.
Comments I have heard regarding the program include, “The truck doesn’t pick up anywhere near what it did in the past under the NORA program” and “I’m not going to even bother with the ‘Blue Box’ as I’m now throwing away most of what used to be collected.”
Personally, I’ve adopted a “wait-and-see” approach.
Therefore, I read with interest a recent article concerning an update at the Sept. 23 town council meeting. Operations and Facilities manager Pat Hickerson offered some statistics, including current pickup will be between 39-64 percent of the same items as NORA, and total tons will be 57 percent of NORA.
Also stated was the program will come in under $15 per capita, when NORA was $17 per capita and they were incurring debt.
No wonder. A little math would indicate that at $15 per capita and only 57 percent of NORA’s pickup, that would equate to more than $26 per capita if the current program picked up all that NORA did.
Perhaps the members of NORA, including the Town of Fort Frances, were too hasty in dumping the old system. The way the numbers are being quoted, it looks like we’ve got a good deal going.
To me they seem to justify NORA’s position that they had to raise fees to maintain the program.
I spoke with Dennis Brown, the chairman of NORA and mayor of Atikokan, who disputes the statement that NORA was incurring debt at $17 per capita. According to him, NORA was incurring debt at $11 per capita, but not at $17, and would be paying down debt at this level.
Mr. Brown said the amount was raised from $11 to $17 on a prorated cost of $9 per capita from January-June, 2002 when NORA was dissolved.
It appears that the 55 percent increase to the $17 level was unconscionable for the NORA members. However, was the proper homework done regarding alternative service before scrapping NORA?
To me, $17 now looks much better than $15 and only a 57 percent pickup rate.
NORA looks good to me! Where do I sign up?