CSRD residents are getting a break on fees to dispose of sand bags and flood-related debris. -File photo

Flood victims get break on tipping fees

Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors voted to give some landfill and transfer station users a break on tipping fees for disposal of sand bags and flood-related debris.

Residents can take these items to the landfill and dispose of them without charge.

Due to the unusually large quantity of sand bags distributed during the 2017 freshet and the significant amount of debris deposited in lakes that are now piled up on beaches below the high water mark in the Shuswap and elsewhere, the province agreed to reimburse some landfills for the cost of the disposal of these items, said Darcy Mooney, manager, Operations Management, in a report to the CSRD board.

“Although the province is reimbursing costs associated with the flooding events, it will not cover tipping fees unless the local facility is owned by a third party,” he told directors at the July 20 board meeting in Salmon Arm.

Tipping fees for debris collected through programs in the City of Salmon Arm and the District of Sicamous will be a recoverable expense at qualify for reimbursement, even though they are deposited at CSRD landfills.

But because the regional district owns and operates all local landfill facilities, it cannot take advantage of the provincial program in Electoral Areas C, E and F.

The province is unwilling to consider the regional district’s request to have its tipping fees reimbursed, despite the fact staff have explained that CSRD landfills are operated on a cost-recovery, user-pay model rather than by taxation.

“The only option available to electoral area residents to take advantage of this program is to have the tipping fees covered through grant-in-aid funds,” he said.

Directors agreed unanimously and approved a maximum of $7,500 from the Electoral Area C South Shuswap grant-in-aid fund, $5,000 from the Electoral Area E Rural Sicamous grant-in-aid fund and $5,000 from Area F North Shuswap.