By Darren Lum
The following are briefs taken from the Dysart et al committee of the whole meeting held on June 14.
Dysart et al Committee of the Whole is recommending the landfills at Kennisis Lake and West Guilford install video cameras to combat the rising rates of after hours illegal dumping and scavenging.
This was part of staff recommendation presented during a report by Dysart environmental manager, John Watson.
He said the Kennisis Lake landfill requires video surveillance because of after-hours trespassing and illegal dumping of household garbage, which is is attracting bears. At the West Guilford landfill, he said, there are higher rates of after hours illegal trespassing and scavenging, which has prompted staff to recommend the installation of cameras. This has already been executed at the Harcourt landfill site and the township is in the process of installing one at the Haliburton site. Access of any footage is available to staff only.
Ward 4 Councillor John Smith suggested the township facilitate an after hours option for people, rather than using surveillance, which incurs a cost and responsibility to track the people who commit the illegal dumping.
“That’s a lot of effort and these people are putting in a lot of effort trying to dispose of their garbage properly. You know we can’t have a facility open 24/7, but for the occasions this occurs is the video, the tracking and trying to chase down the people … as opposed to having some type of I don’t know smaller bin or container there for after-hours use … as opposed to end up on the side of the road,” he said.
Dysart et al Mayor Andrea Roberts said an after-hours bin is essentially operating the landfill 24/7, so this is not an option that the township can offer. Watson added staff could not monitor what was left after hours, as far as what was acceptable.
Ward 2 Councillor Larry Clarke said it’s important for the public to be educated and respect the rules.
This isn’t a new practice for the township. Robert said this is just a continuation of surveillance of public property such as the bandshell, which had been the target of vandalism. Besides Smith, the committee of the whole supported the recommendation for the purchase and use of surveillance equipment at the Kennisis Lake and West Guilford landfills. It will serve as a deterrence and help with staff, who don’t have to worry about the challenge of lifting the lids off the bins with waste left on top after-hours. Exception to the Dysart’s Video Surveillance Policy was also approved for the recorded footage to be retained for longer than seven days at Kennisis and West Guilford. The total cost is $2,200 (for equipment and annual cellular cost).
Town septic program being received well
Earlier this spring, Dysart’s building department started its Septic Inspection Program and as a result hired a program supervisor and two seasonal inspectors.
After the first three weeks of paid inspections in the township as reported by the township’s sewage system maintenance program supervisor, Bri Quinn, the program has resulted in 144 total inspection attempts, with 24 deemed high risk infractions, 50 medium and 31 low, and 39 not completed. There are 109 outstanding, with 35 resolved.
From the report, low risk infractions means properties with no noted compliance concerns. Medium risk infractions includes pump out requirements, structures or landscaping on bed, compromised or missing lids and baffles, haulage agreements, etc. High Risk infractions includes failing systems, septic’s not operated in accordance with their use permits, greywater discharging to ground, etc.
Karl Korpela, chief building inspector, said among the issues from the inspections includes too many bedrooms on the system, failed tanks, roots in the tanks and failing systems. He noted how some residents are proactively replacing their septic tanks with the impending inspections.
He was pleased with the public’s reaction.
“From what I’ve seen so far, the take up has been great with the exception of a handful of properties that call in and give Bri [Quinn] a hard time. Everybody else seems to be enjoying the program. Inspectors are very enthusiastic and very eager to show me the results of their inspections every day and showing me pictures of problems they’ve seen and we’ve had some people come in and praise the inspectors,” he said.
He hopes the current trend of pubilc uptake continues.
Roberts said doing this through the township is showing itself positively.
Pine Avenue under watch
With two washouts related to a culvert on Pine Avenue earlier this spring, the township is monitoring the situation said director of Public Works Rob Camelon during his report.
“We are checking it twice a week and keeping an eye on it. It’s about a five-foot culvert. The age is unknown so it’s certainly at end of life, so the new culvert has been ordered for replacement. So, we’re just waiting for delivery on that and later on this year when water levels go down we’ll change that one out. It’s been a bit of a headache this spring but hopefully here in a couple of months it’ll be over,” he said.
Spring cleaning continues in the township. Camelon reported the municipal sweeping is just over 70 per cent complete.
“All expectations are the sweeping will be done prior to July 1 holiday,” he said.
Smith asked about what influences the timeline of the sweeping.
Camelon said the late-spring weather delayed the start of their work and there was more sand put down this winter. The July long weekend has been conventionally the target for completion, he added. More equipment or more contracted services would be needed to finish earlier.
Fire calls up in May
Calls up to this point in the year are up to 140 compared to 126 a year ago said acting fire chief Dan Chumbley during his report for May. He adds, the increase is an ongoing year to year trend. He noted how there are more fire inspections this year.
Clarke asked about the 11 grass fire calls in May and what reasons there were.
Chumbley said (without evidence) there is the “possibility somebody had been going around and lighting” because of the location, and the dry weather during May also contributed.
Welcome Centre gets people home
When communication with mobile phones and internet were not available due to the Derecho storm on the Sunday of the Victoria Day weekend, there were people in Haliburton who didn’t know how to navigate home said recreation coordinator Andrea Mueller.
“Some people didn’t even know how to get out of Haliburton to get on to the main highways. So just giving them those directions and providing that support so they were grateful to have the welcome centre to have those [directions] it just goes to show good ol’ map skills are still useful and we should keep them up to date because you can’t always rely on your GPS,” she said.