/MH awards contract for IGA Road reconstruction  

MH awards contract for IGA Road reconstruction  

By Chad Ingram

The following are brief reports of items discussed during a June 25 meeting of Minden Hills council. Council awarded the contract for the reconstruction of IGA Road to Four
Brothers Construction for a total cost of just less than $410,000. The road has been in poor condition for many years, with the project continually deferred during council’s annual budget deliberations. The project has a contingency budget of some $36,000, and construction is expected to get underway in late summer or early fall.

Closing Irondale landfill
Council awarded the contract for the closure and capping of the Irondale
landfill to Four Brothers Construction for a total of just less than $315,000. The landfill, which has had a number of compliance and illegal dumping issues for years, is to be closed in September.
Under a previous agreement, residents of the Municipality of Highlands East who live close to Irondale have been permitted to use Minden Hills’s
landfill site. Staff have been looking into a similar agreement, that would see Irondale residents able to use a landfill site in Highlands East, a shorter trip than having to travel to Minden to dispose of their waste.
“Has there been any conversation with Highlands East regarding use of their landfill facility?” asked Councillor Jean Neville.
The township’s manager of waste facilities, Tara Stephen, told Neville that
discussions between staffers from the respective municipalities have been taking place, and she expected that a draft agreement could come before council in August.

Septic inspections delayed
While Minden Hills has hired firm WSP Canada to conduct the township’s
required septic re-inspection program, that process will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The two in-person public information sessions which were planned to take place before inspections began are no longer possible under COVID-19 restrictions,” reads correspondence from the firm to the township. “In WSP’s experience, these initial information sessions are a critical part of the program to allow owners to engage with WSP directly, learn about the program, understand their responsibilities and ask questions.”
“WSP also notes the financial risk of carrying out the program under the current COVID-19 situation as there is a risk of further restrictions if there is a re-emergence of the virus in the community,” the correspondence reads. “WSP cannot be responsible for the cost of re-booking/cancelling appointments, additional mail-outs to property owners or other unforeseen costs due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. To protect the township, property owners and WSP, we propose to mitigate that risk by postponing
inspections to 2021.”

In-person meetings to be broadcast
Once in-person council meetings resume those meetings will be broadcast  on the internet for public consumption.
During the COVID-19 crisis, council meetings have been taking place with
councillors participating remotely via online conferencing platform Zoom
and the meetings broadcast to the public on YouTube.
Councillors heard a presentation from Haliburton County IT director Mike March about continuing that practice, once in-person meetings resume in council chambers.
The estimated cost for the project, which will include the purchase and installation of video cameras, connected to computer and audio equipment that will allow for live streams to be broadcast, is $10,000, with an upset limit of $15,000.
It is unclear when in-person council meetings might resume, with meetings continuing to be held remotely for the time being.