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Interview with Warden Marcus Ryan - June 13th 2024

Photo Credit: Oxford County website

Warden Marcus Ryan talked about the waste management discussions and the new Zorra Township office.

OXFORD COUNTY - It has been almost three weeks since Zorra Township moved into the new municipal office in Thamesford.

Mayor Marcus Ryan says staff members seem to be enjoying the new building located at 163 Brock Street. He says attracting and retaining the best staff members is one of the reasons why the new office was needed.

"Council shows up twice a month for council meetings. We do a lot of work between then, but when we formally make decisions that affect the community it's at the council meetings. But in between, it's always staff that are doing everything else. I can't drive a Zamboni or a snow plow!"

He adds the new building is in a great location, is more accessible, and has better audio and video equipment for council meetings. It will also house an 88-space childcare facility when all is said and done.

During his interview on the Heart FM morning show today, Ryan, who also serves as the Warden of Oxford County, also addressed the current discussions around waste management. 

The County put out a survey through Speak Up Oxford back in the Spring, asking residents about potential changes including the introduction of a green bin program. That survey had the highest public engagement the County has ever witnessed and Warden Ryan says council has directed staff to reach out to contractors to see how much these changes could cost.

"One way or another, we are going to spend people's tax dollars and/or garbage bag tag money. So we need to be as informed as possible before we make that decision. We're going to sign a long-term contract here, you don't sign a one-year contract to do this stuff."

However, the province will be making the plastics producers handle recycling collection as of 2026, and Warden Ryan says this complicates things from the County's perspective.

"It means that as a County now, we are not doing all of the solid waste management. The recycling component is going to be taken over by the province, but not entirely because there is some stuff they're not going to have producers do. So at some point, we're going to have to decide, do we as Oxford step in to take over that stuff that the producers aren't going to do and how do we fund that?"

Staff will be bringing a report back to council with more information at a later date.

During his interview with Dan and Marcie this morning, Warden Ryan also discussed the following:

- His experience going to a Formula 1 race in Montreal with his family.

- The County saying goodbye to two of its senior staff members in the coming weeks.

- The upcoming summer break for students and the Embro Highland Games coming up on July 1st.

You can listen to the full interview below:

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