‘Information ambassadors’ will spread awareness of Comox Valley referendum

The Comox Valley Regional District will use “information ambassadors” to encourage votes on a garbage and recycling referendum.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) will utilize “information ambassadors” to circulate through the electoral areas from November 4 – 12 as part of the effort to encourage strong voter turnout on the proposed roadside garbage and recycling collection referendum on Saturday, November 16.

The ambassadors will be raising awareness on the voting opportunities for the referendum regarding the proposed service that includes weekly pick-up of garbage (up to one 80 litre can) and recycling (unlimited quantities) in the rural areas of A, B and C (excluding Denman Island, Hornby Island, the Royston collection area and the Mt. Washington resort community). After the recent roadside collection open house on October 22, CVRD staff representatives also recognize the need to provide clarification about the initial three-year service contract with BFI Canada and the process that led to the referendum.

“It’s important that voters understand that the initial contract is based on a cost to homeowners of approximately $150 per year for the service, after the three-year term the CVRD could negotiate on a two-year extension to the contract,” said Beth Dunlop, CVRD’s corporate financial officer. “However, if the terms of an extension cannot be agreed to, the CVRD would proceed with the same type of open, competitive bid process as was undertaken this past August for the proposed program.”

The proposed program is the result of working through the updated 2012 solid waste management plan (SWMP) – a long-term guiding document that identifies how we will manage our waste now and into the future. As part of this process, extensive public consultation was undertaken throughout the spring of 2012 including:

 14 open houses/presentations in locations throughout the region

 feedback forms completed at the open houses and on-line (700 received)

 a telephone survey of 600 randomly selected homes covering all communities in the CSWM area to achieve an accuracy of ±4.0%, with a 95% confidence interval

 presentations to all electoral area sub-committees of the Comox Valley and Strathcona Regional Districts.

Further, of the 150 rural area residents surveyed as part of the 2013 CVRD resident survey, the majority (75 per cent) indicated they would support a program of garbage and recycling roadside collection. Quantitative surveying is based on the mathematical laws of probability that determine the accuracy of a result, within a particular margin of error, regardless of the size of the entire population. In the case of the residents surveyed for the roadside collection proposal, the results would have been

the same, plus or minus 8 points, at least 95 times out of 100. These results are consistent with both the public input gathered as part of the SWMP, as well as general feedback from area directors indicating that resident support for a roadside collection program appeared to be growing.

If the referendum passes, all residential properties within the service area would receive the service, except for apartment buildings with more than four units and mobile home parks. There is no opting out of the service, as the economies of scale help to keep fees affordable. If approved, service would commence in September, 2014 once the bylaw is formally established and approved as part of the annual financial plan.

Residents who are eligible to vote and have resided or owned property in the proposed service area for at least 30 days prior to voting are strongly encouraged to participate in the referendum. For more details, please visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/vote.

Advance Voting Wednesday, November 6 & 13, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the CVRD boardroom located at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay

Voting Day Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

1. CVRD boardroom – 550B Comox Road, Courtenay

2. Living Waters Church – 222 Regent Road, Black Creek

3. North Island Distance School – 2505 Smith Road, Courtenay

4. Union Bay community hall – 5401 Island Hwy South, Union Bay

5. Fanny Bay OAP hall – 418 Ships Point Road, Fanny Bay

— Comox Valley Regional District

 

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