Devolin wants more info on decreased tipping fees
By Chad Ingram
Published Nov. 16, 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Nov. 9 Minden Hills committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Mayor Brent Devolin says he wants more information on why tipping fee revenues at the Scotch Line landfill are down considerably this year.
The landfill typically brings in out about $300,000 a year in tipping fees for construction and household waste. Last year, the township generated $315,000 in tipping fees. In 2015, the figure was about $294,000 and the average for the years 2014 through 2016 was just more than $303,000.
As of the end of October, however, tipping fees collected for 2017 were just $233,000, and environmental and property operations manager Ivan Ingram told councillors it looked extremely unlikely that revenues would approach the $300,000 mark.
This is despite the number of building permits, which typically mean the generation of construction waste, for 2017 being up from this time last year. The township had issued 299 building permits at the time of the meeting, up from 277 at the same point during 2016.
“I’d like further investigation,” Devolin said, adding that numbers across the county did not reflect the same trend. “I just need more explanation, because I’m not comfortable where I’m sitting right now.”
Ingram added that during the past couple of years, there have been some major demolitions within the township, including the Mills auction barn, the Gelert hall, Pritchard House and another house the township owned along Prince Street that had been used as a rental property.
Councillor Jean Neville asked about the installation of weigh scales at the landfill, to give more standard and accurate pricing.
“It’s in the 25-year plan,” Ingram said, adding that it would be quite costly to install scales at the site.
Tipping fees are charged by cubic yard and the way attendants have been taught to identify such is that a regular-sized pickup truck bed full to level represents a cubic yard
Rotary Park playground
The township will award the construction of a new playground at Rotary Park to Henderson Recreation Equipment Ltd., for just more than $50,000.
Three companies bid on the project, all with very similar price points. According to a report from community services director Mark Coleman, Henderson was the only company to fulfill all of the criteria in the request for proposals, including a retaining wall around the play area.
The township recently demolished an aging playground at the park that was badly damaged during severe flooding this spring.
Councillor Pam Sayne wondered if there was an opportunity to put all three options out in front of the public for residents to comment.
Coleman responded that the design and construction of the playground would flow through Haliburton County’s accessibility committee, and that the request for proposals for the project had been shared with members of the committee.
An emergency repair of a brine leak at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena will cost approximately $10,000. The money will come from the township’s arena reserve, part of the $35,000 that was set aside for the potential replacements of a dehumidifier that continues to operate.
Water tower cleaning
The cleaning of the Minden Hills water tower will be deferred until spring.
Council had previously agreed to hire Landmark Municipal Services to clean the water tower at a cost of $16,800, including taxes. The township sole-sourced the contract after a request for proposals attracted few bidders.
Environmental and property operations manager Ivan Ingram told councillors the company would like to wait until the springtime to conduct the cleaning.
“They seem to think it would be more effective in the spring,” Ingram said, adding that the price was guaranteed.