Council approves zoning changes for sustainable building business
By Chad Ingram
Published March 2, 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Feb. 23 Minden Hills council meeting.
Council passed zoning changes that will allow for the fabrication and sales of energy-efficient buildings known as passive houses, as well as a teaching facility, off of Peck Street near Bobcaygeon Road.
The business will be housed in the building that was most recently home to Minden Carquest and was previously Keaney Chrysler.
There was an open house Jan. 24 and a public meeting on Feb. 9.
While there were some concerns expressed over noise and traffic, the owners of the business have said both will be minimal.
“We are low-impact manufacturing that will use a typical wall saw and low pressure air-nailer, which is quieter than several impact guns used by mechanics,” their submission reads. “Our trucking is very limited, as we will be receiving periodically materials in bulk. Shipping out our panels will be possible every two to three weeks. Trucks are present for a couple of hours and will be asked not to idle, as we have a no-idle zone on the property.”
Revisiting tipping fee change
Proposed fee changes that would lower the amount operators of compactor trucks have to pay at the landfill have created some controversy and will come back before councillors during their March committee-of-the-whole meeting.
A staff reported has recommended that the fee for unsorted cubic yard of waste be dropped from the regular $50 to $35 in cases of compactor trucks.
While the charge for a sorted cubic yard of waste is $25, it is increased if attendants determine the load is contaminated.
During an earlier meeting, environmental and property operations manager Ivan Ingram told council that all loads are contaminated to some degree and creating a flat fee of $35 per cubic yard in cases of compactor trucks could lessen disagreements between truck operators and landfill staff.
There was a public meeting on the proposed fee change last week and Brigitte Gall, the former Minden Hills councillor who’s now a consultant for Highlands Environmental, which provides landfill attendant services at Minden Hills’ waste disposal sites., took issue with the proposal.
“We want that landfill to last as long as it can and that’s why we ask everyone to do the right thing,” Gall said, adding that the proposed change would really just benefit one company and that it seemed like ratepayers would essentially be giving that company a tax subsidy.
A letter from a Minden Hills resident agreed with that sentiment, writing that the change would be “unfair and discriminatory” to residents, who could be charged more for a pickup truck load of waste than the company would be paying.
“The company that is benefitting from this policy is primarily a monopoly,” the letter read.