The regional district moved one step closer to implementing a $6 small load user fee at the Foothills dump.
During their Thursday afternoon meeting, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George board of directors gave staff the go-ahead to put together the necessary bylaw allowing the charge for loads less than 100 kilograms. Area C director Lara Beckett was the sole dissenting vote for the plan.
A total of 134,454 small loads were counted as disposed of at the Foothills site in 2012.
Residents who live in the Salmon River-Lakes electoral area A don't currently have other municipal garbage collection options and will be provided with a swipe card to access the facility for free.
The swipe-card system is estimated to have a start up cost of $15,000 with additional administrative costs to monitor the computerized swipe card system.
According to a background report from environmental services manager Petra Wildauer, the challenge in this system lies with laying down the area A boundaries for who is eligible to receive a card, "as undoubtedly there will be residents that feel they are being treated unfairly if they do not get a swipe card but their neighbour did."
Two other options were ultimately rejected by the board. One would have not implemented a small load fee, but attempted to limit the number of visits users could make to the dump. The other recommendation was to charge all users for their less-than-100 kg loads, but that didn't take into account those who didn't have any other solid waste services.