The City of Lacombe will move ahead its solid waste review to the fourth quarter of 2019 after a motion from Councillor Thalia Hibbs was moved forward in a 4-2 decision.
Councillors Hibbs, Cora Hoekstra, Jonathon Jacobson, and Don Gullekson all voted to move the review from the second quarter of 2021, with Councillors Chris Ross and and Reuben Konnik voting against the motion. Mayor Grant Creasey was not present for the vote.
Hibbs said she decided to make the motion after feedback she received from the community that was both in support of expanding service in Lacombe and also, alternatively, decreasing service.
“It seems to be a really big topic,” Hibbs said. “It has come to Council a few times and I felt that rather than try to tweak this or fix that — let’s just move it up in the time-frame.
“Let’s get it done sooner rather than later. I really think it could have a significant positive impact on our finances.”
During her research, Hibbs saw that similar municipalities were paying a range of utility fees for solid waste and also saw a range of service levels.
“In some cases, they are able to do it at a considerable savings compared to what we are offering,” he said. “We need to find out what we can learn from other communities and what we can look at to maybe incorporate here.”
Council discussed whether an emerging technology that could be both economical and environmentally-friendly could come up after the review is completed and could therefore cost more to taxpayers at a later date.
Hibbs felt that these possible technologies could be discussed during the review.
“We will see changes on how we do garbage,” she said. “That is the way things are and we see that over and over again with new technologies.
“They are already doing these things in Europe, so there is a lot that could happen but isn’t happening yet. I think it would be prudent to get on that right now and not continue to wait.”
Hibbs hopes that an environmentally-friendly service can be achieved that is also in the interest of the public.
“What I really want is the best service for the best cost. That is our job as Councillors and that is what we are meant to deliver. Let’s get it started and let’s get it done,” she said.