Petrolia considers fees at compost site



It may soon cost residents to use the Petrolia composting site.

Director of Operations Mike Thompson is considering a user pay system for composting as one of the ways to raise revenue in his department.

The plan would have to be approved by council, but Thompson is suggesting the hours at the site would be reduced to 8:30 am to 12 pm Saturdays and Wednesdays from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. That would save just over $1,200 a year.

A new contract for mulching and chipping would save $6,000.

But the biggest revenue generator would be a user pay system. While the details are still in the planning stages, Thompson suggests selling season passes for $30 or charging $5 per load. With about 4,440 car trips each year, Thompson estimates that would generate about $45,000 in revenue.

There were some concerns about the plan. “When you cut down a tree on Saturday, you don’t think about coming to town hall (ahead of time) to get a pass,” says Councilor Joel Field.

Town staff suggests staff on site would not turn composters away but instead give them a form to bring to town hall later.

Field adds the plan will likely simply lead to more brush at the curb.

And while Councilor Ross O’Hara understands the need for revenue, he’s worried with raising taxes, and water and sewage rates, a new fee for composting may be too much. “I’m concerned about the fees,” he says “we all pay taxes.”