The SCRD Board of Directors voted on March 11 to close the Pender Harbour landfill and make it a transfer station. All landfill materials will be transported to the Sechelt landfill as it reaches capacity.
Staff had been directed by the Board to bring forward the costs associated with a referendum on the landfill as an expansion or transfer station. It was reported that the cost would be $57,000 which was to be paid for by Area A. These costs included Chief and Deputy Chief costs of $22,614 and the cost to produce an information package on the issues of $22,130. The actual referendum cost was listed as $12,550. The additional staff costs have never been included in a referendum or feasability study before and are not currently policy. They are being considered by committee at the present time, but were included in this referendum issue vote.
Other costs brought before the Board were $150,000 for an application to the Ministry of Environment by a consultant for the PH landfill expansion. Also an extra cost figure of $190,000 per year was listed for the landfill expansion.
A vote for the transfer station was brought before the Board and it was passed with five votes in favor, one against (Graham, Area A), one abstention (Turnbull, Area F) and one absent director (Louie, SIB).
In a press release the SCRD stated, "Following extensive review and consultation, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) Board resolved to proceed with the conversion of the Pender Harbour Landfill to a Transfer Station operation, in combination with an onsite enhanced resource recovery facility. 'The Board cited the Transfer Station’s economic and environmental benefits as primary factors in moving forward with this decision,' states Donna Shugar, Chair of the SCRD Board of Directors.
This vote has caused quite an uproar in Area A including re-emergence of the incorporation issue. Area A residents are scheduled to recieve an information package detailing the reasons for the board's decision and upcoming steps to move forward as soon as staff completes the package.
Readers can view discussion and more information by going to the following websites: www.savethelandfill.blogspot.com or http://www.penderharbour.org/bbs/index.php?action=vthread&forum=37&topic=830&page=7 and www.scrd.ca .