By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 8 2016
All totalled the affordable housing complex being built near the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena in Minden will cost Minden Hills township nearly $540000 – almost a quarter million dollars more than was anticipated.
In October of 2015 Minden Hills councillors passed a resolution agreeing to spend up to $300000 on preparatory work for the 12-unit housing complex being constructed by the Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation. The corporation is using $1 million in provincial and federal funding for the construction of the building itself.
For the township’s part about $200000 was to be allotted for the relocation of a skateboard park and quonset hut from the building area as well as the realignment of a trail on the property and some $70000 for road construction for an extension of Parkside Street. There was also about $30000 in planning and other fees that council agreed to waive for the housing corporation.
In the end the relocation of the quonset hut cost the township $150000. It required the
pouring of an an engineered concrete pad at its new home near the ball diamond. The relocation of the skateboard park cost $15000 and the relocation of the trail $30000.
Roads work cost $180000 and an unexpected cost for the township that staff only found about in September for connecting the building to Minden’s water and sewer system. Property
and environmental operations manager Ivan Ingram told councillors it had not been clear before that the cost of hookup was the township’s responsibility.
That work cost nearly $110000. There were also nearly $30000 in surveying planning and legal costs for a total of $537380 on the part of the township.
“This is a lot of money” said Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin but added referring to the Staanworth buildings that it’s been some 20 years since housing of this type has been constructed in Minden.
“To make it work the municipality makes a contribution” Devolin said of the model used by the housing corporation. “This is a sustainable model.”
The reeve said the work the township is completing will outfit not just the 12-unit building currently under construction – Phase 1 of the project known as Pine Grove Place – but also subsequent phases.
“Some of these were surprises” Councillor Jean Neville said of the expenses the township had incurred during the process. Neville wanted reassurance that future phases of the project would not cost the township additional money.
“Phase 2 they’re on their own” Devolin said. “We have it totally shovel-ready for Phase 2. There will be some members of the public that will not be comfortable with that number but I’m comfortable with it.”
The reeve who sits on the board of the housing corporation pointed to an ongoing need for housing in Minden.
“In the village of Minden we need the equivalent of 200 units” he said.
Occupancy for the 12-unit building is scheduled for next year.
An ongoing annual cost the township will acquire as a result of the project is the transportation of snow during the winter. While snow cleared by township snowplows has traditionally been stored in the area where the building is being
constructed it will now be trucked to a township pit outside of town. This is expected to cost an additional $45000 per year.