Over 20 people came out to a special town council meeting Feb. 3 to have their say on a landfill dumping bylaw and a potential one-time rate reduction for steel extracted from the Tuktoyaktuk Exploration Logistics Base Camp remediation.

Town council has re-granted itself the ability to set special dumping rates at the landfill by way of motion and then proceeded to grant a special rate to EGT (E. Gruben’s Transportation Ltd.) Northwind.

At a special meeting Feb. 3, councillors voted 5-2 in favour of the Dumping Fees Bylaw, bringing it to second and third reading, with Couns. Paul MacDonald and Alana Mero against and Coun. Kurt Wainman excluding himself due to a pecuniary interest — Wainman is also president and owner of Northwind Industries.

Councillors then voted 4-3, with Couns. MacDonald, Mero and Ray Solotki against and Wainman excluding himself, to approve a reduction of dumping fees for EGT Northwind reclamation project to $500 per load, with $250 of the fee going to the Solid Waste Facility Operator for the 2020 season only, to be revisited upon bylaw review. As the contractor responsible for the hauling of the material, EGT Northwind will also be responsible for the capping of the area where the material is deposited.”

A crowd of over 20 people gathered in council chambers to hear the decision. When council voted to grant the discount, many gave councillors a standing ovation.

Coun. Gary McBride noted the landfill dumping bylaw would need further review, but supported passing the bylaw given the circumstances.

“What we’re doing here is a quick fix,” said McBride. “But the bylaw should be going back to bylaw review committee to be re-written. There’s a lot of gaps in this bylaw and we need to correct it.

“I just became aware today that we’re putting back the ability for council to do this, which used to exist in a previous bylaw and was removed. So we seem to be going back and forth with it. This is just a temporary fix.”

Council had previously voted at a Jan. 27 special meeting to defeat the bylaw after several residents came forward with concerns about liability issues.

However, at council’s Jan. 29 regular meeting, over 50 people showed up to voice their concerns over the decision — many of which expressed that their jobs could be riding on the outcome. Council voted to re-table the bylaw and scheduled the second special meeting for Feb. 3.

Mayor Natasha Kulikowski said now that the motion has been passed, the next step is for administration to draft a contract with EGT Northwind.

“It was the intention of Senior Administrative Officer Grant Hood if this was to pass, to have a contract drawn up that would include a lot of the questions we have been asking, including timelines, dollar amounts, liabilities,” she said. “That is definitely something that council is looking to see in place.”

During the meeting, Northwind vice president Fred Bailey said EGT and Northwind were expecting to pull at least 250 loads of steel from the site. With the town splitting the $500 dumping rate with the landfill contactor, each take $250 per load, which amounts to a potential $62,500 in revenue for the town. The other part of the deal involves Northwind completing the capping work themselves and then invoicing the town, which then marks up the invoice 10 per cent and invoices EGT Northwind.

The landfill contractor will contribute duties such as gate-keeping, monitoring and weighing the loads as they come in. Normally the town splits tipping fees with the landfill contractor halfway.

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

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