The township of Algonquin Highlands is renewing its contract for landfill attendants at a higher cost.

Algonquin Highlands council gave the okay to Adam Thorn, the Public Works Operations Manager, to renew the town’s contract with Watson General Contracting through 2022.

Thorn noted while speaking with the councillors earlier today that the cost of the contract is going up by 3.54 per cent this year, and an additional two per cent in 2020 and another two per cent in 2021.

Although the price went up, Thorn explained that is because the township is asking more of the site attendants.

According to a report prepared by Melissa Murray, who also works in the Public Works Department, the town is asking Watson to staff a second attendant on Sundays in July and August. It is also asking Watson to staff more attendants on Sundays and Mondays of holiday weekends in the summer schedule at the Hawk Lake site.

The Dorset and Maple sites would have longer hours for attendants on Fridays and Sundays in July and August and longer staff hours over holiday weekends.

Some of the other things the township is asking for are adding specific requirements for compacting at the Dorset transfer site, changes to the performance guarantees, new requirements for training, and separation of site attendants and site maintenance to make it clear who is responsible for what task.

As well, the contractors are going to need to allocate resources to change semi-annual litter pickup to weekly or daily maintenance and meet new requirements for site maintenance standards.

The increase in what the town is paying Watson raised the eyebrows of Deputy Mayor Liz Danielson, who felt the over three per cent increase was steep but notes that the town is asking more of the contractors.

When talking about the standards and requirements, Mayor Carol Moffatt raised the point that just because it is a landfill site, it doesn’t need to be unclean.

After discussion with Thorn, the councillors voted and approved renewing the contract meaning the township will pay $19.93 an hour to Watson. An increase of 69 cents an hour.