Derm Doyle recently spoke out against a city plan to no longer collect garbage from his apartment buildings.
— Star photo by Adam Harnum
CORNER BROOK Derm Doyle understands that the cost of doing business and providing services has to go up, but what he doesn’t agree with is when that increase in cost comes from a withdrawal of services.
“You know you don’t mind trying to do your bit, but you don’t want to have it all on your shoulders,”said Doyle, who owns three apartment buildings in the city. His buildings have a total of 30 units and he has metal containers on each property for tenants to put their garbage in for collection by the city.
This past spring though he received a letter informing him that the city would no longer be collecting garbage from his buildings and that he would have to arrange for collection himself. Shortly after, the plan was put on hold as the city took a wider look at its garbage and refuse regulations.
“It didn’t make sense to me that they could withdraw service,” said Doyle. “And the thing that bothered me probably the most about it was there was no consultation with (apartment owers).”
Doyle sought legal advice on the issue and also went looking for an explanation from the city. He said frustration with the issue led him to contacting four councillors directly.
He also brought up the concern over affordable housing and how increased property assessments this year resulted in increased taxes and that extra cost got handed off to tenants.
“And before the ink was dry on my notice of increase then (changes) came along,” said Doyle.
Doyle is happy to say that his concerns and questions were heard and considered.
“This time I think I was well heard,” he said. “Councillors did what councillors are expected to do; they went to bat, I guess, for the taxpayer.”
The result, according to Doyle, is that buildings like his will be grandfathered in to the new regulations.
The proposed regulation states: “The city does not provide municipal garbage and recycling collection services to multi-unit residential properties exceeding 10 units, except in the case of those being collected in 2013.”
Doyle said it’s his understanding that new developments will have to provide their own collection.
“Now if a guy is coming into town and he’s going to put up a 15-unit building, he knows going in that it’s going to be part of his cost.”
The proposed amendments can be viewed on the city’s website. The public can provide comment on the proposed changes, which must be received by today and a motion to approve them is expected to be presented at council’s Sept. 9 meeting.