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West Island landscaper says Beaconsfield permit fees hurting small contractors

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WATCH: As the weather gets warmer, landscaping companies are starting to groom lawns and gardens. One company, however, is refusing to work in one West Island community over a municipal fee hike. – Apr 9, 2021

One landscaping company is refusing to work in one Montreal West Island community, saying the municipality is making it harder for landscapers to operate.

As the weather gets warmer landscaping companies are starting to groom lawns and gardens for the summer season.

“Without paying per truck to get in there, we’re not allowed to service the clients of Beaconsfield,” complained landscaper Paul Henry Danylewich as he prepares his trucks to start rolling out in three days. He owns Paul Henry Landscaping and operates out of Pierrefonds.

Read more: Beaconsfield adopts contentious leaf-blower ban amid criticism from residents

This year the municipality raised its fee for permits to landscape contractors to $75 per truck, up from $50 in 2020.  According to city manager Patrice Boileau, the hike is to help offset the cost of picking up leaves and green waste some companies leave behind.

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“It’s costing us $35,000 to collect those leaves,” Boileau noted.

He said the increase will raise the total revenue collected to $12,000, from $8,000 previously.

Boileau also pointed out that there were just too many companies operating in the area, between 30 and 50, many based off-island, and that having a permit system helped the city keep the number of trucks low.

“It was totally unacceptable and out of control,” Boileau insisted.

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Tips for getting your yard ready for the season – Apr 8, 2021

Danylewich, who claims to dump his own waste, says the fee hike is not fair.

“They could fine people for not disposing of the leaves properly,” he pointed out.  “That would be OK.”

He stressed that he can’t afford the increase and that it puts a strain on small companies like his.

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“For us, if we have four or five trucks, it’s close to $500.”

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Landscaper Katy Weaver, who runs D&D Karetaking with her husband, has already started work in Beaconsfield for the season and has only two trucks.  She said they can handle the fee hike but agrees the pricing is a puzzle.

“I just feel like they’re trying to get money wherever they can,” she told Global News. “It’s very irritating.”

Most West Island communities don’t charge for landscaping contracting permits. Kirkland charges a flat fee of $125 per company, “to primarily know who is operating in the City of Kirkland,” wrote mayor Mike Gibson in a message to Global News.

Other places like Pointe-Claire, Dorval and Dollard-des-Ormeaux charge nothing.

Danylewich thinks all landscapers should agree to not service Beaconsfield.

Weaver said she doesn’t plan to leave Beaconsfield, but that she is looking for other markets, “where they don’t make you pay to work,” she smiled.

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