Dysart signs on to broadband deal

By Angelica Ingram

The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Feb. 18 meeting of Dysart et al council.

The municipality has entered into a master services agreement with Bell for a new broadband Internet deal that was agreed to by the county of Haliburton through the Eastern Ontario Regional Network.

The deal will bring improved services to a number of public buildings throughout the township including the A.J. LaRue Arena Rails End Gallery Dysart landfill West Guilford Community Centre Head Lake Park Harcourt Community Centre and more.

Reeve Murray Fearrey said the idea is to expand connectivity down the road.
The improved Internet which includes fibre services will see a jump in costs for Dysart which now pays $18528 a month. The new deal will see Dysart pay $31308 a month a difference of $12780.

Fearrey said while he knows the service will cost the municipality more he believes it’s worth it.
One of the sites to get improved service is the A.J. LaRue arena which has very limited Internet currently. The arena will be getting fibre Internet allowing for the possibility of streaming from the site said chief administrative officer Tamara Wilbee.

The mild winter has resulted in good financial news for the municipality.
Treasurer Barb Swannell reported that the municipality has almost $337000 in surplus funds from 2015 mostly generated through the roads budget.
The majority of the surplus had to do with less snowplowing salting and sanding than other years.
Council discussed whether to transfer the surplus to the upcoming budget or leave it aside for future infrastructure projects.
It was decided to leave the matter until budget deliberations in March.

Recreation co-ordinator Andrea Mueller made a request to apply for a Canada 150 grant. The idea is the funds if granted would be used for sesquicentennial events.
The Haliburton Rotary Club supports this application said Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts. A resolution to direct staff to apply for the grant was passed.

A zoning application by local business Living Libations has changed in scope since it was first submitted.
The owners of the business wish to build a workshop and retail store for their business on a 100-acre property off Harburn Road.

The zoning for the building will be limited to a five-acre site said municipal planning director Pat Martin.
“Since the public meeting the owners have requested a site specific building height provision of 12.9 metres” wrote Martin in her report to council. “This will allow for a third storey that will accommodate a lunch room board room and roof top terraces. The building is built into the side of a slope. With the slope and forest cover the building continues to be screened from the view of neighbouring properties consistent with the discussion at the public meeting.”
A public meeting was held on Feb. 1.

Martin said some neighbours asked questions at the public meeting. The planning director recommended the bylaw be passed however with the revised height change it is council’s discretion whether to give further notice to the public.

Martin said she didn’t believe the additional storey changed much of the overall scope of the project as the building is still not visible due to the slope of the ground.
A resolution to amend the bylaw was passed and an execution of a site plan agreement was carried.

The Haliburton Legion has put in a severance application in order to sell the building they own that was most recently used for a private boys’ Catholic school. Once sold the building will be used for commercial purposes. Council approved the application.