After an amendment to his amendment, Don Mitchell got his wish at Monday's Moose Jaw City Council meeting.
Mitchell had given Notice of Motion going into the meeting that he would introduce an amendment to the pending new City Waste Bylaw which, among other things, would see the beginning of bi-weekly front curbside waste collection be implemented citywide in July of this year.
"My suggestion though this motion is that we stage (front street pickup) more," Mitchell said prior to Monday's meeting. "Do the easier areas first, where there's already a fair bit of front street pick up. And allow for some discussion and engagement with community members about the other areas."
Mitchell's initial amendment would have seen areas 1 and 2 have their front curbside collection start as planned in July, with areas 3 and 4 coming on board in August, and area 5 (the Avenues, with many narrow streets for garbage trucks to navigate), brought along in September.
His reasoning was to allow for residents in more challenging areas to have further discussion on the matter with city officials to determine whether front pickup is even feasible. And, if not, determine another solution.
"I've been hearing from a lot of people that there are concerns," Mitchell stated. "They come from areas where I can see there are issues there. And there are also personal appeals for people in situations where people just can't do it, and we don't have a policy in place."
Early in the discussion Monday night, City Administration officials indicated that because of the delay in implementing the new bylaw, the pickup plan would have to wait an extra month to begin.
"We have changed the schedule to July 31st or August 1st," said Director of Engineering Josh Mickleborough, who said that their plan was to survey residents about the change and use that information to determine best practices for waste collection. However, they have been unable to communicate any information with residents without the bylaw in place.
Councillors were unaware of Administration's decision to push the start date back and, upon hearing that information, Mitchell revised his motion so that areas would be phased in during the months of August (1 and 2), September (3 and 4) and October (area 5).
"We (city councillors) should not be the only process and source of defining legitimate concerns and issues, which are fairly complex, in narrow street areas of the city," said Mitchell, saying that residents need more opportunities to be heard on the issue. "That needs to be opened up, and we need the time to do it."
Mitchell's motion passed 4-3, with Mayor Fraser Tolmie and councillors Crystal Froese and Dawn Luhning voting against.
"I'm trusting that they know what they're going to do," said Froese, referencing city crews and the Administration plan. "They know our city, they collect garbage in all of these areas. They have a plan and they've discussed their plan with us.To me this is just a duplication of what we're doing already."