MH rents trailers for landfill attendants
The Township of Minden Hills has rented four trailers that will temporarily serve as landfill attendants’ shelters at its waste disposal sites, as the buildings the township had been using do not meet the building code.
The move came following a June 5 visit from the Ministry of Labour to the Scotch Line landfill site, where one of the sheds was found to be sitting in watery conditions.
“One of the recommendations from the inspection was to lift the first shed off the ground to get it out of the water,” reads a report from property and environmental operations manager Ivan Ingram. “When staff attempted to lift the shed it was discovered that the floor joists are rotten. Staff purchased a shed. While it was being constructed, the chief building official and the CAO [chief administrative officer] advised it could not be used for occupancy because it did not meet building code, and staff had not obtained a building permit for the shed.”
“The waste disposal contractor has advised that the sheds at the Ingoldsby, Ironmine and Irondale waste disposal sites are also unsafe,” the report continues.
During a July 26 council meeting, Ingram told councillors that none of the attendants’ shelters at any of the township’s landfill sites are up to snuff.
“With the CAO and the fire chief going around and looking at them, they found that they were not acceptable,” he said.
“I was asked to get some prices on alternate sheds for an interim period,” Ingram said.
“The only company I could find was ATCO . . . they had four trailers available, and I immediately took them, and the result was a six-month term,” he said.
The cost for that rental contract is $21,300, inclusive of taxes, with the emergency purchase not included in the 2018 budget.
It was Ingram’s recommendation that $17,000 that had been set aside in the budget for paving of the road from the gate to the top of the hill at Scotch Line be redirected, along with a $4,300 contribution from reserves.
Mayor Brent Devolin said he was not prepared to forgo the paving project, and, noting the trailer rentals were a temporary solution, wanted to know what the township was to do after the six-month period has elapsed.
Ingram said that costs for 10-by-16-foot shelters, sided and insulated, with overhanging roofs above their decks, would cost approximately $10,000 each. For landfills at Scotch Line, Ingoldsby, Ironmine, Irondale and Little Gull Lake, the township would require five buildings.
“The only thing it doesn’t include, and it’s to code, would be the heating portion, and it would be my suggestion to council that we go with propane,” Ingram told councillors.
None of the shelters are outfitted with electricity, and connecting any of them to hydro would be an additional expense.
“First of all, I’m just amazed that we ended up in a situation where departments are stopping each other from doing their work,” said Councillor Pam Sayne, saying she found it incredible the various township departments involved couldn’t have co-operated to get some buildings in place.
“Just to make it clear to everybody, this issue with the sheds did not come to me, it went directly to the MOL,” Ingram said, adding that none of the information was brought to him, personally. “I never received any complaints about this.”
“I’m more than willing to look after the health and safety of anybody, staff and contractors, but I can’t do anything unless the communication comes to me,” Ingram said.
Council asked that a staff report with recommendations on where the money for the trailer rentals would come from, as well as what the long-term plan would be for the new shelters at the landfills, come back to the table in a month’s time.
“A month from now, a whole plan, costed, that meets all the criteria, needs to be before use, before we make a decision,” Devolin said.