Highlands East declares a mayor  

The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Nov. 1 meeting of Highlands East council.

By Sue Tiffin

Published Nov. 7 2017

Highlands East joined the rest of the county in adopting the mayor moniker after an online poll weighed in favour of changing the head of council titles reeve and deputy-reeve to mayor and deputy-mayor.

“Thank you council” said now-Mayor Dave Burton who had previously said the reeve title was confusing to people who didn’t know what it was but that whether he serve as reeve or mayor didn’t matter to him. “That one’s put to bed.”

Since Algonquin Highlands led the title change charge last July Minden Hills and Dysart et al councils had both opted to make the switch. Before making the decision Highlands East council put the option out to the public in an online poll. The poll received 101 responses between Oct. 6 and Oct. 23 with 53 per cent of polltakers – or 54 people – agreeing with the mayor and deputy-mayor titles.
“What the public wants the public gets” said Councillor Cec Ryall.

The title change becomes effective immediately.

Proponents for an antenna system at 27228 Hwy 28 near Paudash Lake received one written response to correspondence sent to 48 landowners within 500 metres of the proposed site of the tower.

Representatives from Peterborough Solar Projects Corporation owned by Peterborough Utilities Inc. corresponded with the respondent who was looking for further information regarding the tower siting process.

“We have currently engaged our contractor to complete detailed design for this project and finalize requirements with Industry Canada” Paul Ernsting project manager at Peterborough Utilities Inc. told the Echo. “Construction is anticipated to begin this winter with the antenna erected in the spring of 2018.”

Building permits issued in Highlands East have resulted in almost $10-million worth of construction in 2017.

“Last year was an exceptional year with the number of permits we had so we’re a little bit less this year with the number of permits but as of today we’ve gone over 200 permits which is something in and of itself” said Laurie Devolin chief building official.

Since 2002 2016 marked the year in which the most building permits – 247 in total – were issued. Prior to last year the 200-mark was last surpassed in 2010 when 201 permits were issued.
“So it has been a very busy summer” said Devolin.

Updated critical alarm monitoring systems are being discussed for Cardiff Water Works and the Keith Tallman Memorial Arena.

“We have an existing system it’s outdated” said Stewart Hurd environmental supervisor of the Cardiff Water Works system. “It does function at this time but based on the age the functionality and how important it is I’d like to recommend that we replace the existing system.”

Installation of a new system would cost $2500 and $50 per month for monitoring.

Jim Alden property supervisor cited the ammonia leak that led to fatalities at an arena in British Columbia when noting the arena’s system works but could use updating.

“It is calibrated twice a year technically it only needs to be done once a year … We just want to upgrade it so that we can have a quicker response so something like this doesn’t happen like what happened out in B.C.” he said.

Highlands East Fire Department is deciding what to do with thousands of dollars received from a GoFundMe campaign.

The fundraising effort was launched by Kris Guyton a former firefighter in Wilberforce after the death of Bob Bell in a snowmobile accident on Feb. 18 this year.

“The thought of my family friends and community members being protected by a group of amazing volunteers is something that never leaves my mind being a firefighter myself” wrote Guyton in the online campaign. “So with the purchasing of much-needed resources the goal is to lessen my fear and be able to save precious lives in the future.”

Funds raised will help support the purchase of equipment and further training for local firefighters.

A 2004 Volvo with dump sander body plow and wing that the municipality was trying to sell for $22000 on Kijiji will be offered for a lower price and spend two more weeks on the online classifieds site before being taken to auction.

“We advertised it no bids” said Earl Covert roads superintendent. “So what we have done is put it on Kijiji.”

Covert said there was no interest in the truck after two weeks so he was looking to council to decide what to do next. The auction option was the last resort to sell the truck before winter when it would have to sit until spring according to Covert and was not ideal because a sale price couldn’t be guaranteed.

“Because you take it to the auction you gotta take what you get” he said.

Councillors decided to leave the truck online for an additional two weeks at a reduced price of $20000.