Frequently Asked Questions
The proposal to transition Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste Ltd. requires public input and consultation and we are committed to transparency and public accountability. We have answered popular questions below.
Beaver Municipal Solutions is often confused with Beaver County but we’re our own entity that provides services to all the towns and villages in our region. Rebranding to Claystone Waste will reduce confusion and signifies that a new chapter is beginning for the landfill. Claystone was selected because of its tie to the geology of the landfill site which is comprised of clastic sedimentary rock commonly referred to as claystone.
In recent years, the Beaver Municipal Solutions Board of Directors and the municipal shareholders have been studying the need to transition from a regional services commission to a new corporate structure of a municipally owned corporation. This is because Beaver Municipal Solutions has outgrown the regional services commission model and it no longer serves the interests of the municipal shareholders or residents in the community.
Current regulations for regional services commissions means that Beaver Municipal Solutions must receive government approval to share its profits with its municipal owners or sell any asset such as a used truck. These legal limitations are cumbersome and do not guarantee that member municipalities and the wider community can benefit from the operations of Beaver Municipal Solutions.
There is a better way. Municipally controlled corporations are enabled to share profits to their municipal members without government approval. Under the proposal to transition to a municipally controlled corporation, the need for government approval in Edmonton to share profits is eliminated, local oversight is strengthened, and member municipalities’ right to access profits from Claystone Waste is guaranteed.
The corporate reorganization from Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste will provide increased community benefit to residents, protect and promote member municipality sustainability, and enable future waste management operations to be conducted in a more flexible manner.
Yes. Under the proposal to transition Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste, the landfill will continue to be owned by Beaver County, Village of Holden, Village of Ryley, Town of Tofield and the Town of Viking.
Municipally controlled corporations are a for-profit entity that is owned by a municipality or group of municipalities designed to provide dividends back to member communities.
Municipally controlled corporations are common in Alberta. EPCOR owned by the City of Edmonton, ENMAX owned by the City of Calgary, and Aquaterra owned by the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grand Prairie, Town of Sexsmith and Town of Wembley are all examples of municipally controlled corporations.
No. Service levels will not be negatively affected by the proposed transition. In fact, Claystone will actively explore ways to improve services for residents.
Service continuity is guaranteed under the Municipal Member Service Charter.
There are no changes to rates planned under the proposal to transition to Claystone Waste for residential and local businesses. Residents and businesses will continue to receive below-cost garbage pick-up and waste services that are 66% less than market rate.
Rate stability is also guaranteed under the Municipal Member Service Charter.
The corporate reorganization from Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste will provide increased community benefit to residents and protect and promote member municipality sustainability.
In 2018, Beaver Municipal Solutions provided $2 million in dividends to its owner municipalities, a figure that works out to more than $200 per person. The added municipal revenue from these dividends is used across the region to support infrastructure, community programming, and other priorities of member councils that would otherwise have to be funded by tax dollars.
The proposal to transition Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste is not only meant to protect the dividends that flow to member municipalities by guaranteeing the right of municipalities to access profits from the corporation, but to grow them, providing more revenue to support local priorities. The Claystone Waste business plan proposes to grow municipal dividends by over 40% by 2022 to $3.5 million per year. These additional revenues will help ensure member municipalities have the funding they need to build infrastructure, deliver services, and support community programming across the region.
In addition to $2 million provided to municipal members in 2018, $86,000 was distributed to 49 local community groups and organizations. These funds provide welcome financial support to local community groups including Family and Community Support Services, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Holden Seniors Club, Viking Agriculture Society, Tofield and Area Health Service Foundation among many others.
Under the proposal to transition from Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste, the commitment to serving the residents of the Beaver County region does not change. For example, planning is underway to develop a new community park outside of Ryley that our can be used to host local events, festivals or as a gathering place for families. Learn more about the proposed Claystone Park by clicking here.
Claystone Waste Ltd. retains the commitment of Beaver Municipal Solutions to provide local employment and be an economic driver within the Beaver County region. Because the corporate reorganization from Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste will enable future waste management operations to be conducted in a more flexible manner, revenues from the municipally controlled corporation are expected to grow which can translate to additional employment and investment in the region. Larger municipal dividends support local infrastructure and more community amenities such as the proposed Claystone Park make the region a more desirable place to live and work which can enhance community vitality and attract newcomers.
No, there will not be layoffs or any elimination of positions as a result of the transition. Claystone Waste will continue to be one of Alberta’s Top 75 Employers that greatly values and respects the contributions employees make every day. The proposal to transition Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste will also not affect existing employment conditions or existing employee agreements.
The proposed transition from Beaver Municipal Solutions to Claystone Waste Ltd. empowers member municipalities, and by virtue, the residents of Beaver County, Village of Holden, Village of Ryley, Town of Tofield and the Town of Viking to have greater control over the operations of the municipally controlled corporation than the existing regional services commission structure. The regional services commission structure is heavily regulated by the provincial government, while the municipally controlled corporation structure is subject to greater municipal oversight and accountability.
Claystone Waste Ltd. is proposed to be accountable to its municipal members and residents through its corporate structure and operating agreements. Municipal members will each appoint 1 director to the Board of Directors of Claystone Waste and Unanimous Shareholder Agreement between all member municipalities will govern the operations of Claystone Waste. The Unanimous Shareholder Agreement dictates that in certain key matters, decisions will not be made by the Board of Directors, but rather will go back to each municipal council for approval, allowing direct resident input.
In addition, municipal councils must approve a Strategic Plan for the municipally controlled corporation which addresses:
- Operating and capital budgets for Claystone Waste
- Any new proposed services to be provided
- Establishment and approval of any rates for services to be charged to the fivr municipalities
- Approval of any operating, financial, human resources or other policies governing the corporation
Like Beaver Municipal Solutions, Claystone Waste is committed to be a well-governed and transparent organization in its actions and in its reporting, and will adhere to the best in public authority governance practices. Claystone Waste Ltd. will publish an annual budget, audited financial statements, strategic plan and quarterly interim financial statements for municipal members and residents to review.
No, Claystone Waste Ltd. will not be moving administrative offices from its current location. In 2019, we are breaking ground on a new administrative building at our site in Ryley. This new building will house employees, improve customer service and the day to day operations of the landfill site.
We will also be opening a satellite office in Edmonton but this will not displace employees from our headquarters outside of Ryley but be used as a location to further business plan objectives that require frequent meetings in Edmonton.
Because Beaver Municipal Solutions has outgrown the regional services commission model, there is a risk that current operations could be ruled noncompliant with provincial regulations. There are several potential impacts should that ever occur including loss of growth potential and market share, reduced revenues and profits, reduced transfers to member municipalities, among other negative effects.
A transition to a municipally controlled corporation is the best solution to this risk and will ensure that member municipality dividends are protected and grow, and that community benefits can increase in the future.