PORT HOOD: Councillors say they are receiving calls from the public asking for a heavy garbage pick-up this fall.

“I’ve had several calls from residents wondering if we are going to have heavy pick-up,” Deputy Warden Bonny MacIsaac told the Oct. 7 regular monthly meeting of Inverness Municipal Council.

The municipality’s Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Erin Gillis said $150,000 was budgeted at the start of the fiscal year for a spring heavy garbage collection which cost $107,000, and she said another collection in the autumn would put them over budget.

“We would have to find that difference somewhere in the operations budget,” she said, estimating another $60,000 would be required.

Gillis said because it was a strain on municipal resources and employees, they decided to contract-out heavy garbage collection, which went well in the first year, but in the second year, costs increased with two service providers. Now that they can get the same contractor from their first year, Gillis said the costs can go down.

Councillors John MacLennan, Catherine Gillis, Lynn Chisholm, and Alfred Poirier said they received calls from the public.

Warden Laurie Cranton also supports a second pick-up and thinks council should try to find the money to make it happen.

On a related note, the warden said he received a call about an illegal dumping incident off the Long Point Road, and he requested legal counsel and staff look at an illegal dumping bylaw that can be enforced by their new bylaw enforcement officer.

“People are frustrated; they report these things to the RCMP, to some other people, to environment, and really nothing ever happens,” he said.

MacIsaac agreed that money must be found for a second collection, noting that “we’ll by paying for it, one way or the other,” if illegally disposed waste continues to be found around the municipality.

The deputy warden said since this is October, there’s not much time to make a decision.

“We don’t have a lot of time to start figuring out other plans the way we’re used to,” she said.

Chief Financial Officer Tanya Tibbo suggested staff report to council at the committee of the whole session on Oct. 21 to find out where in the budget the money can come from, and whether they can examine the idea of a hybrid model that provides dumpsters for collection, as well as a pick-up service.

Council passed two motions, one directing staff to investigate funding sources and the manner in which the heavy garbage collection will take place, with the second motion to draft an illegal dumping bylaw.