MH buys automated sandbagging machine
By Chad Ingram
Published April 6, 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a March 30 meeting of Minden Hills council.
Minden Hills will spend $35,000 on an automated sandbagging machine that will help speed up emergency efforts the next time there’s a flood in Minden.
Councillors voted to purchase the machine from The Sandbagger Corp. It includes four chutes, each with its own foot pump to be operated by the people filling the bags.
The machine can be used to fill up to 1,600 bags per hour, the manufacturer says. During the severe flood of 2013, about 33,000 sandbags were filled during a week-and-a-half period. The bags were filled by both township staff and members of the public.
“In this litigious society we have, we can’t have members of the public doing the bagging,” Reeve Brent Devolin said. “It has to be staff. If we have another flood, I don’t think we’ll mind spending the money. It’s like buying an insurance policy, in my perspective.”
Special rental rate
Council approved a special rental rate at the Minden Hills Community Centre of $31.25 per hour for community fitness programs run by outside providers.
Community services director Mark Coleman told councillors the current rental rate at the centre was making a fitness class unaffordable for the instructor to host.
“This is an opportunity, as more of a trial form,” Coleman said during a public meeting on the introduction of the rate, where no members of the public voiced any concern with the change.
“I’m not aware of any concerns at this time,” Coleman said.
Fire hall contract signed
Council voted last fall to award the contract for the design and construction of the township’s new fire hall along Highway 35 to Huntsville’s Greystone Construction. The contract for the job, worth $1.9 million, was officially green-lighted by council during last week’s meeting.
Councillor Pam Sayne said she would voting against the motion.
“I’m very excited about this new fire hall,” Sayne said, “but
I have to be consistent with my position that we only have one bid.”
Greystone’s bid on the project was the only qualifying one and Sayne had previously expressed concern that the township should not be essentially sole-sourcing such a costly project.
“I would just like to say, ‘Hallelujah!’” said Deputy-reeve Cheryl Murdoch. The construction of a new fire hall has been discussed by a succession of councils Murdoch has been part of.
“We have a history with Greystone in Haliburton and in Minden Hills,” Murdoch said.
The company built the county’s EMS base along Highway 35, along with The Newcastle condo building in Minden and the Granite Cove and Granite View condominiums in Haliburton Village.