Waste collection fees are rising slightly in the City of Vernon.
The raise is to help recover contract increases based on pre-negotiated contract terms relating to the consumer price index and fuel rate increase built into the contract.
“This contract is for the collection of residential garbage and organics, commercial garbage and recycling, downtown garbage cans and the spring and fall leaf collection,” said city roads manager Ian Adkins in a report to council.
The largest increase is for the weekly pick-up of commercial recycling which goes to $48.57 quarterly from $41.56 to reflect the recently negotiated contract rate with the contractor.
Residential garbage collection will go up 33 cents from $27.26 to $27.59.
They take effect on the next quarterly utility billing period starting July 1.
Rail crossing to be upgraded
It will cost more than originally planned but the railway crossing at 28th Avenue, behind Okanagan Spring Brewery, will get an upgrade.
Senior project manager Jackson Stewart explained to council that approval for the project was given in the 2021 financial plan with $700,000 put aside for it.
“The project was delayed due to negotiations with CN Rail,” said Stewart.
So now, the estimated project cost based on April 2023 pricing, is $957,500. The city has successfully applied for a grant of $624,854 from Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program.
“There will be a new sign, pavement improvement, flashing bells and lights,” said Stewart of the crossing upgrades.
Administration received unanimous approval from council to combine current funding of $680,541 and the grant funding for a total project budget of $1.3 million.
Any remaining funds would go toward rail crossing improvements at 27th Avenue and 41st Avenue.
Construction on 28th Avenue improvements is expected to be finished by the fall.