The top 10
By Chad Ingram
An annual tradition, as 2019 draws to a close, here is a countdown of the top 10 Times stories of the year.
10. Zion United
Nearly 130 years old, Carnarvon’s Zion United Church was closed in the spring as its congregation was merged with that of the former Minden United Church to create Highland Hills United Church in Minden. The former church in Carnarvon remains for sale.
9. Heavenly performance
Local Coleman Heaven wins a silver medal at the 2019 Canoe Kayak Whitewater National Championships at the Minden Wild Water Preserve in August.
8. Koehler a champ
Carnarvon resident and ski-jorer Karen Koehler and Buncho, a three-year-old German shorthaired pointer, picked up a first-place finish at the 10th annual Bristol Dryland National Canadian Championship Dog Race in October.
7. Teacher strikes
At press time, members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation continue to hold one-day strikes as they attempt to sign a new contract with the province. ETFO is also planning job action as it attempts to reach a contract with the Ford government.
6. Dorset library branch
A process a couple of years in the making, the former Dorset branch of the Haliburton County Public Library at the Dorset Recreation Centre is closed. The space has been converted into a community hub, and still offers a book pickup depot service.
Landfills have made this list one way or another for at least three consecutive years. This year, Algonquin Highlands council voted to close the Hawk Lake landfill, which is reaching capacity in 2021, and Minden Hills council voted to close the Irondale landfill, which has low traffic and non-compliance issues, in fall of 2020. Waste disposal and diversion remains a complex and costly issue for the county’s municipalities.
4. Governance review
Haliburton County council votes to issue a request for proposals for a consultant to perform a service delivery and governance review for the county and its four lower-tier municipalities, The study will look at the delivery of services, in particular, which tier is best suited to deliver which service, opportunities for consolidation of services, etc., and may also lead to recommendations to change the local governance structure itself, such as the possibility of an amalgamated, single-tier government.
For the third time in a span of six years, the Township of Minden Hills declares a state of emergency due to flooding from April 24 to May 6. Water levels and flood mitigation remain a major concern in the county.
The County of Haliburton purchases both licenced daycare facilities in the county, the facility in Minden and Wee Care, located just outside Haliburton Village. The purchases eliminate potential precious situations around the ownership and operations of the facilities. A truly good news story for young families of the county.
1. Arena project
In February, Minden Hills council, in a 4-3 vote, awards a contract for a nearly $13-million arena and gymnasium to a lone bidder. Earlier this month, council voted to approve an additional $250,000 in contingency funds for the project, which is expected to incur an overrun. By far the largest capital project in the history of the township, it’s a story that is not over.