Recycling effort paying off for Emo

A combination of organized recycling and public compliance has begun to pay dividends for Emo residents.
Reeve Russ Fortier informed council at its regular meeting last Wednesday that the township has received a cheque for $1,326 from Waste Diversion Ontario as a result of Emo’s success with the “blue box” program.
Under the program, municipalities that recycle at least 50 percent of household wastes are eligible for refunds amounting to 50 percent of the cost of the program.
“At this rate, we should get around $5,000 this year,” Reeve Fortier predicted.
Last week’s council meeting, which featured a fairly short agenda, opened with a presentation by CNR Track Supervisor Rob Fenelon, who briefed council on safety issues regarding municipal employees working on or near CNR right of ways.
Fenelon also clarified some questions regarding speed limits and whistle-blowing policies for trains within the community.
Present for the briefing was Roads Superintendent Dan Wilson, who gave his own report regarding maintenance and construction work currently underway.
Wilson told council the gravel-crushing contract was going well, with more than 5,000 cubic yards already prepared. He also noted the quality of the product is superior to that of last year.
Wilson added culvert repair and replacement is on schedule and that most of the potholes in the township already have been patched. The backlog of outstanding projects has been caught up now, he remarked.
In other news, Emo council passed three bylaws last week required to authorize the sale of municipal properties that have been deemed surplus. It also approved an application on behalf of the Manitou Masonic Lodge to have its property re-zoned from institutional to residential.
Acting on a recommendation from Neegan Burnside Engineering and Environment Ltd., Emo council approved the first payment of $25,375.05 to E.S. Fox Ltd. for the township’s water treatment plant upgrade.
It also approved payments of municipal tax levies to the two local school boards.
A payment of $62,087.54 was made to the Rainy River District School Board while $7,293.75 was authorized to the Northwest District Catholic School Board.
Council also approved payment of the second instalment in the amount of $14,066.25 to the Rainycrest Home for the Aged in Fort Frances and a further $4,887.50 as its June payment to the Northwestern Health Unit.
Before that latter motion was passed, Reeve Fortier advised council he would be raising the issue of municipal costs for public health at the next Association of Municipalities of Ontario meeting.
“The province should be paying 100 percent of public health, instead of the municipalities,” he charged.
Currently, the province pays 75 percent while municipalities foot the other 25 percent.
In other business from last Wednesday’s meeting, council:
•approved a survey of the township’s roads in order to apply for funding from Ontario Good Roads;
•passed a resolution to donate $25 to the Borderland Quarter Horse Club; and
•passed a motion agreeing to compensate a township farmer in the amount of $640 for the loss of a Hereford heifer that was killed by coyotes.
The next regular meeting of Emo council is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8 at 7 p.m. at the municipal office.
That will be preceded by a special public meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss the implications of the recent Life Cycle Costing and Full Cost Recovery report.
Reeve Fortier indicated he will be recommending the township move in that direction in the near future and has invited public input.
“We have to start paying for these services one way or another,” he noted. “We can either pay the full costs now, or add them to the tax base later.”