How the city double dips on the backs of condo owners

Posted October 25, 2012

It may come as a surprise to many people that the city, through the property tax collection system, charges a substantive number of residents for services they do not receive.

In Guelph there are hundreds of condominiums residents that the city refuses to service for garbage collection. They must resort to paying independent contractors to remove garbage that is not sorted. This flies in the face of this administration’s policy demanding the homeowner pre-sort the garbage.

The reason for this inequitable situation varies depending on whom you talk to.

The city does not provide some basic services to the condo orphans, yet it still gets paid not for doing it. In polite circles that’s known as double dipping.

Coun. Ian Findlay is quoted as saying the residents cannot cherry-pick what services they require from the city. That’s understandable, but misses the point.

It’s the city that is the real cherry-picker by deciding, without public input, that it is not going to provide certain services but will charge the household anyway.

From personal experience this is exactly what happens. We live in a land condominium development of 23 freestanding homes. The city’s General Manager of Waste Management attended a meeting of the Homeowners Association but made no promises.  We later learned that there was a problem with the collection truck turning around at the end of our street. The fire trucks can accomplish the task but not the waste collection vehicles. One might believe that is a competency issue.

So owners are forced to pay a contractor to remove their waste plus paying for it through their property taxes. They also pay for snow removal and street and infrastructure maintenance.

What is mystifying in all this is why the current administration crows about its sustainability strategy but fails to supply prescribed waste removal for many of its citizens.

So residents are forced to send their unsorted waste to the landfill because the truck can’t turn around, or whatever excuses that can be cooked up.

I do believe the emperor is not wearing any clothes.


Filed under Between the Lines

4 responses to “How the city double dips on the backs of condo owners

  1. Jeff Burke

    How …does… the…independent… contractor turn around??

    • Jeff: He uses a smaller truck. Perhaps the city doesn’t believe in smaller trucks for tricky pick-ups. Speaking of which, there seems to a lot of city-owned pick-ups floating around town.

  2. boomer

    Good point Jeff–That was my first thought exactly! I guess now the city will hire a couple of consultants to advise staff how to maneuver a vehicle based on wheelbase, width, height, tonnage and competency factors.

    • Boomer: Don’t get too technical! The city brain trust don’t like to appear confused. Besides the waste management folks are consumed with operating their new toy, the automated bin picker-upper.

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