Comox Valley Record

Compensation for Cumberland crucial to expanded landfill agreement

The Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) service and the Village of Cumberland (VoC) have developed a mutually beneficial agreement that would allow for an expanded engineered landfill at the Comox Valley waste management centre (CVWMC), as represented in the recent update to the solid waste management plan.

The agreement — otherwise known as a “host community benefit agreement” — is a model that is used across Canada and in other BC communities to balance the impacts that a local community

may experience in hosting a waste management facility against the advantages received by the region.

The host community benefit agreement contains two key provisions.

The CSWM will agree to:

1) Pay the VoC a host community rate fee of $300,000 per year for 20 years to compensate the Village for social, environmental, and economic impacts either incurred by having the CVWMC within its boundaries or perceived by the village to be related to the presence of the CVWMC within its boundaries;

2) Provide a maximum of $3,000,000 to fund the design and construction of a one-time upgrade to the Cumberland/Bevan Road corridor to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) standards to accommodate the vehicle traffic accessing the CVWMC for the length of the agreement.

The CSWM board must obtain elector approval for this agreement as it would last for 20 years and as the board would have to adopt a loan authorization bylaw to borrow the $3 million. The CSWM board will use the alternative approval process (AAP) to find out if the electors support the agreement and the borrowing.

“By working respectfully with the mayor and staff of the Village of Cumberland, we have built a strong relationship of trust and understanding and I believe we have fostered a new level of shared

responsibility that will benefit both parties as we move forward on future major capital projects,” said CSWM board chair Edwin Grieve.

“We have come a long way in our discussions and feel our concerns have been heard,” said Leslie Baird, mayor of the Village of Cumberland. “This agreement is a positive solution for the residents of the Comox Valley and Strathcona Regional Districts and for the Village of Cumberland.”

The CSWM board will meet again March 14 to discuss the logistics for the AAP, consider the loan authorization bylaw and set a deadline for submitting elector response forms.

Details on the agreement and answers to some frequently asked questions can be found on the CSWM website at www.cswm.ca/hostcommunity.

For more information on the Village of Cumberland, visit www.cumberland.ca.

The Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) service is a function of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and is responsible for two regional waste management centres that serve

the Comox Valley and Campbell River, as well as a range of transfer stations and smaller waste-handling and recycling facilities for the electoral areas of the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional

District.

The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material and oversees a number of diversion and education programs.

— Comox Strathcona waste management

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