Mayor Bob Kilger and his merry band of councillors have given the city taxpayers an early Christmas gift, more taxes for the future! The mayor has decided to try and extend the life of the city garbage dump by twenty years but, seemingly, the council as a whole does not have the capacity to plan for the time frame beyond that twenty years.
What is important about the period beyond the twenty years is the fact, from that time on, there comes the scary ongoing costs of past and future garbage disposal. In that time frame the City of Cornwall will have to develop a new garbage dump and go through all the environmental hoops, at huge cost, to get there. At the same time the taxpayers of tomorrow will commence paying a lifetime cost for maintenance of the defunct garbage dump that serves the taxpayers in our own times. In other words let the youngsters of tomorrow inherit the costs for today.
The simple answer continues to look city council straight in the eye. Whilst we have a provincial government that would be supportive of any technology that would generate electricity the council should be setting into motion a means of avoiding putting the costs of today on the shoulders of the coming generations.
Once again I am suggesting city council sets up a committee to examine the feasibility of installing a waste-to-energy plant at the existing garbage dump. Such a plant could generate vast amounts of cheap electricity, with garbage as the fuel, and it would solve the problem of what to do with the waste stream our society creates. Garbage from other communities could be handled, charging them tipping fees, and the contents of the existing city garbage dump could be mined as more fuel for the plant.
A waste-to-energy committee [WTEC] would eliminate the need to engage a costly consultant [unless the mayor prefers to pay the fees of a consultant out of his own deep pockets]. As a past consultant in this field of expertise I would volunteer to serve on such a committee, requiring only out-of-pocket expenses. I feel convinced there are a number of citizens who would make up a committee of this nature and city council could enhance the committee by including Norm Levac, a clear thinking person with whom I have worked in the past.
It is essential the city council gives any new committee, and its own council, lots of front time since last minute decisions tend to give poor results. The committee should be empowered to hold public meetings to test the efficacy of any recommendation they may arrive at. Keeping costs down in these times, as well as in the future, demonstates good planning and, as such, would have great public appeal.
John E. Milnes – South Stormont Ontario
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