News » Whistler

Squamish council notes

Recycling, employment lands and recreation mulled over at first significant meeting



A local entrepreneur was cut out of a bear-proofing gig this week, as the District of Squamish renewed and reconfigured a contract with Carney’s Waste Systems that’ll see recycling depots decommissioned in favour of curbside collection.

The clash between Russell Roy of Critter Guard Lock Systems and Owen Carney came to an overdue conclusion after Manager of Operations Gordon Prescott found no proof of a deal between the two businessmen, though he did come across a memorandum of understanding.

Councillor Corinne Lonsdale was the only member of the new government to vote against awarding the contract, citing a trend of encouragement council had displayed in its dealings with Roy. Previously, he had been given a contract to fit his systems of garbage totes in Timbertown trailer park. Further, he had his design tested and approved by local and American certifiers.

“I only know one system of bear-proofing in this community,” Lonsdale said. “I would rather see this be shared between the two of them. I would not like to see all this go to Mr. Carney.”

That didn’t fly with Councillors Doug Race and Paul Lalli, both of whom said the district has no right to tell a company how to source its materials.

“That would be like us telling them what type of trucks to buy,” said Race.

The spat between Roy and Carney came to light in September, when Roy appeared before council to complain about Carney cutting him out of the deal. Carney wanted to do have the locks built in house. He said Roy’s systems are inadequate, a charge the entrepreneur denied. Both men were chastised by then Councillor Greg Gardner — now mayor — for putting the municipality in the awkward position of choosing between two local businesses. Gardner implored them to resolve the conflict on their own.

“What I’m hearing from Mr. Prescott is that has not occurred,” he said during this week’s meeting.

Lonsdale attempted to have the whole thing deferred, but council instead took a brief recess to mull over the information.

In the end, Carney’s secured the contract, which will last for 60 months. Curbside collection will begin in early January, and, as a result, garbage will only be collected every two weeks. However, the district has retained the right to revisit the bi-weekly approach in the event it becomes problematic. In that event, the contract would be amended, and new costs would be introduced. Currently, the system will not result in increased costs to taxpayers, though the lock systems will run $1.60 per month over five years.