/Clean audit for Minden Hills

Clean audit for Minden Hills

By Sue Tiffin
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a July 25 meeting of Minden Hills council.

township received a clean audit from Oscar Poloni, KPMG auditor, who
presented to council on the 2018 financial statements. The total
financial assets have increased from $10.7 million in 2017 to $11
million in 2018, according to Poloni’s report summary.
receivable (including taxes receivable) are consistent at $1.92 million
in 2018 compared to $1.95 million in 2017,” reads the report. 

said council has a healthy community given that people are paying their
taxes, and that the township is “doing a good job from a collection
perspective as well.” 
to his report, accounts payable and accrued liabilities have decreased
by $104,000, “reflecting lower capital and tax requisition payables
offset by higher deposits and insurance settlement amounts.” Poloni said
there was a “fairly significant increase” with respect to insurance
deductibles and settlements to $255,834 in 2018 from $85,000 in 2017,
noting “there’s a number of claims that have been made against the
town,” including accidents like falls. 
revenues have gone up by about $700,000 from $12.4 million in 2017 to
$13.1 million in 2018, which reflects a $654,000 increase in property
taxation revenue and $279,000 increase in provincial grants. Total
expenses have increased by about $300,000 from $11.1 million in 2017 to
$11.4 million in 2018, due to a $65,000 decrease in OPP costs; $81,000
increase in amortization expense for transportation and $62,000 increase
in transportation consultant costs with respect to roads needs studies
and other projects.  
Plan to purchase waste facilities excavator 
Wilson, director of public works, presented to council on formal quotes
for the lease or purchase of an excavator for township waste
facilities, after a direction from council at a June 13 meeting to do
Caterpillar priced the purchase of a 316F model at $261,591 and a 4.4
per cent lease rate, while Nortrax Canada offered a 160G model at a cost
of $291,500 and a 4.7 per cent lease rate. 
recommended purchasing the Caterpillar 316F – which includes the
comprehensive warranty and maintenance program, hydraulic plate packer,
36” bucket with hydraulic thumb and a 60” hydraulic tilt bucket – at a
total cost of $261,041, plus $550 administrative lease fee for a total
of $261,591 plus HST. 
recommend proceeding with a 48-month lease on the machine at a rate of
4.4 per cent,” reads Wilson’s report. “The monthly payment exclusive of
HST is $5,931 per month. The total interest paid over the 48 months
equates to $23,129.”
did not recommend using reserves to purchase the excavator, but rather
using the availability of cash reserves to finance the purchase
internally at the 4.4 per cent interest rate over 48 months, placing
interest earned from the internal financing back into landfill reserves
for future operational or capital purchases. 
the June meeting, staff recommended the excavator to allow staff to
clean up the waste facility sites, compact bins, place cover, repair
issues and provide ongoing landfill maintenance without arranging for a
contractor to be on site.

Mattress recycling

mattress recycling program for the Scotch Line waste facility will
allow for old mattresses and box springs to be stripped down into
various components, with recyclable materials being sorted and reused to
create thermal isolation, mulch, carpet underlay, metal products and
other items.
the township has ground old mattresses and landfilled them, taking up
valuable space,” said Travis Wilson, director of public works.
Inc. provided a quote of $1,700 for a 53-foot trailer on-site for five
days and transportation of mattresses and box springs to their North
York facility. The processing of mattresses and box springs would cost
$12 each. Wilson noted a lot of manual labour is involved. 
practices estimate a 53-foot trailer may hold between 125-190
mattresses/box springs,” reads Wilson’s report, noting that staff
anticipates one to two loads – or approximately 125 to 380
mattresses/box springs, making for a cost of $3,200 up to $7,960 for
processing. Staff recommended landfill reserves be used, as the cost of
the program was not included in the 2019 budget.

A discussion on winter sand 

sought direction from council regarding the provision of winter sand
for public use, which is offered to residents during the winter season
for their private driveways. During the 2018/2019 winter season,
approximately 1,700 tonnes of winter sand was supplied, at a total cost
of $26,400 for the sand and transportation of the sand to the Minden
patrol yard by Francis Thomas Contracting as well as for salt that is
mixed with the sand.
said staff and some ratepayers are concerned that residents from
outside the township are taking sand that is intended only for Minden
Hills residents, residents taking more than the allocated amount of
sand, and contractors, businesses and agencies taking the sand for their
own maintenance services from the arena parking lot, where it is
usually offered.
said neighbouring municipalities – including the municipality of Dysart
et al, the township of Algonquin Highlands, and the towns of both
Bracebridge and Bancroft supply sand from public works yards and have
similar issues, while some, like the city of Peterborough and City of
Kawartha Lakes don’t supply sand at all. The municipality of Trent Lakes
is changing to supply sand from transfer stations that are gated after
hours, with residents showing a card upon entry. 
Bob Carter said the option to distribute sand from the landfill “seems
to make perfect sense.” Citing a comment from the township’s auditor
earlier in the meeting, that those who use municipal services the most
can afford them the least, he said he’d like to see the service
think this is kind of one of the nice things that we do, and I wouldn’t
want to just get rid of it without us really taking a look at it,” he
said. “There has to be a place that we own or control where we can do it
for the next year, whether it be at one of the yards, or wherever.” 
Further discussion regarding the sand will be had at an upcoming council meeting.
New tourism website in the works
destination/tourism website exclusive to Minden Hills is closer to
being online after council approved a recommendation from Emily
Stonehouse, economic development, destination and marketing officer, to
pursue an agreement with Sandbox Software Solutions.
joint request for proposal for new website designs between the
township, the county and the municipality of Highlands East was issued
in April, with submissions being due a month later, in May. “Six
proposals were received, and were measured through an intense scoring
process, consisting of ratings in accessibility, ease of navigation,
design, format, and financial implications,” reads the report from
Stonehouse. “The Township of Minden Hills had an additional section
built into the scoring system, which highlighted experience specific to
catering to the destination/tourism sector, as well as the ease of
creating a business directory to highlight local businesses and

average price of the six proponents for the Minden Hills
destination/tourism site was $41,316. The offer by Sandbox was the
second-lowest financial offer, coming in at $22,264 plus HST. Other
costs include additional licensing at $2,474 plus HST per year, website
hosting at $299 plus HST per year and annual monthly maintenance and
support at $5,520 plus HST per year.