ARICHAT: New compost prices and tipping fees were approved by council.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on April 26, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Don Marchand presented new compost rates, which were approved during recent budget deliberations, and will become effective June 1.

According to Warden Amanda Mombourquette, the municipality is proposing that the residential/commercial customer rate is $40 per tonne, with a minimum $5 charge, a $10 loading fee, and a tandem truckload screen of $275.

“That proposed pricing reflects an increase of $10 per tonne and $75 per tandem truck load of screened compost,” the warden told council.

New solid waste management tipping fees were also approved during budget deliberations, Marchand said.

“There were some changes made, these are changes to the rules related to the bylaw. They require a motion of council as well,” the CAO stated.

Marchand said the new rate structure is: $90 per tonne for unsorted construction and demolition waste; $50/tonne for sorted construction and demolition waste; $30/tonne for uncontaminated, compostable organics (includes industrial, commercial and institutional sources); $80/tonne for contaminated compostable organics; $100/tonne for general and paper recyclables; $100/tonne for residual garbage; $170/tonne for mixed for non-compliant residual waste; and there is no charge for leaf and yard waste, metals and household hazardous waste.

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The warden wants residents to participate in the 2021 census which is coming up this month.

“Having worked in the field of economic and community development for over a couple of decades, I know how critical it is for communities to have access to information that provides a clear picture of our socio-economic realities,” she told council. “Statistics like those collected through the census will help form the foundation upon which community groups, government and businesses can build cases for support for projects that have a positive impact on residents.”

Council approved a resolution suggested by Statistics Canada encouraging people to complete and send their census forms.

District 3 Councillor Melanie Sampson noted that “there will be a fair number of people that are being hired as well for these positions,” but she was contacted by a constituent who claimed that Statistics Canada is having trouble finding bilingual workers.

That was a point raised during the question period near the conclusion of the meeting by Petit de Grat resident Robbie Fougere.

“I think that’s too bad because given our French programs, given our Acadian population, I think we should be able to fill positions that require French,” he stated. “If we do that we might be encouraging people to practice more, read more, write more, and speak more French so that when opportunities like this come up, some of our local young people could benefit from those jobs.”

Fougere told council that it is very important that all who can, fill out their questionnaires in French.

“We have a certain Acadian population in Richmond County, as a matter of fact, a quite large Acadian population.”

“And it is very important for that population to identify itself because it means when there are projects, when there are grants being given out, often they are given out based on the percentage of the population that speaks the French language,” he told council.

Mombourquette agreed with Fougere and said she will invite Francophones to complete the French version of the census, and bring attention to the lack of bilingual applicants.

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Council approved a recommendation from its committee of the whole to adopt a new Code of Conduct for elected municipal officials.

The new code will now be reviewed by municipal staff, in consultation with the municipal solicitor, to ensure it aligns with new legislative changes.

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April 18-24 was Volunteer Week and Mombourquette wanted to recognize volunteers in the municipality.

“These influential people give countless hours towards their local communities and helping people of all ages,” the warden said. “I just wanted to say how lucky we are to live in a place where pitching in is a part of the culture.”

District 1 Councillor Shawn Samson called volunteers the “heart and soul of any community,” pointing to recent community cleanups in parts of the municipality.

“They’re in every part of our county doing every kind of work, and doing it all really with such an open heart and a real sense of selflessness,” the district 3 councillor said in agreement.

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Councillors adopted the Richmond County Asset Management Policy to commit to the long-term sustainability of municipal infrastructure.

According to Mombourquette, the policy provides guidance to council and staff on identifying priorities, managing risk and meeting service delivery goals.

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The CAO had council rescind an inter-municipal agreement made in 2018 to allow for the creation of a new structure for the Eastern District Planning Commission (EDPC).

“There appears to be a little bit of housekeeping that we need to do, and it appears we have to create a motion to rescind the original July 1, 2018 inter-municipal agreement, then I guess, we’ll replace it with the agreement effective July 1, 2021, as presented by the EDPC,” he told council. “It doesn’t change the new agreement. The new edition is permanent.”