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Annexation prompts garbage complaint

By: Jordan Ross

Posted: 12/7/2018 9:00 AM

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A woman who says she wasn’t kept in the loop about curbside garbage pickup after her property was annexed wants the city to refund her for eight months of services paid for but not received.

During a Tuesday public hearing for an updated solid waste service plan, Eleanor Penner told council her Park Road West property was charged the annual garbage and recycling levy even though curbside collection didn’t start until the fall, when she called city staff to get to the bottom of the delay.

"I dutifully paid for a service that I did not receive until September," Penner wrote in a Nov. 22 letter.

She asked council to exempt her from the levy for the first eight months of 2019, noting she also paid $10 per load at the landfill while waiting for curbside service to begin.

Council referred the matter to administration, but it will return to their agenda if staff side with Penner, as city manager Troy Warkentin noted the waste collection bylaw contains no refund mechanism.

Mayor Earl Funk said the city used public information sessions and mail notices to convey the service implications of annexation to affected property owners.

Penner said she attended all of the meetings, but maintained her property was overlooked.

After the meeting, Funk stood by the city’s notification process.

"I think the city staff did a great job of getting the information out. We had numerous open houses," he said.

He encouraged city residents to report service interruptions promptly, so staff can begin looking into the issue.

"If you missed one garbage day, pick up the phone and call."

After hearing Penner’s complaint, council gave second reading to a new curbside collection plan that will see the current annual residential levy of $133 rise by $4 per year for the next three years to cover increased operating costs.

The current service plan, adopted in 2016, will soon expire.

The new service plan will be presented to the municipal board before third reading occurs.

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