Highlands East votes against Centre Lake east-side lot creation

The following are news briefs from a Municipality of Highlands East council meeting.

By Chris Drost

The Municipality of Highlands East voted to not support the lot creation for the subdivision and plan of a condominium on the east side of Centre Lake at a recent meeting, which is contrary to the County of Haliburton, who declared this plan complete and has scheduled a public meeting on April 27. Previously, Highlands East council undertook a public consultation initiative with respect to the proposed disposition of the 200’ Crown Reserve on Centre Lake and as a result of that consultation advised the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry through resolution that council did not support the disposition of the 200’ Reserve to facilitate the creation of shoreline lots.
“In the absence of ownership to the water’s edge, together with the issue that the unopened road allowance is needed to access this property, I don’t see how council is in a position to approve it going forward at the upcoming public meeting,” planner Chris Jones said
There was an opportunity for comments or questions, but none of the members took that opportunity. Council proceeded to accept the resolution to not approve the creation of lots on the east side of Centre Lake where they do not abut the shoreline. Mayor Dave Burton called for a recorded vote. Only Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall voted against the resolution.

Municipal integrity commissioner presents annual report
Harold Elston, the integrity commissioner for Highlands East, provided his annual report to council and gave an education-focused presentation, The Structure and Principles of Effective Municipal Government, which clarified the rules governing, which included pecuniary interest and conflict of interest. Code of conduct, roles and responsibilities, and the rules around use of social media were also included in the presentation. Elston’s annual report showed that there were no reports of code of conduct issues or requests for advice since his last report.

Council receives draft Climate Adaptation Plan
Highlands East council received the Draft Climate Adaptation Plan presented at the March 8 meeting by climate change coordinator for the County of Haliburton, Korey McKay.
McKay said this Adaptation Plan is the second of a three-phrase planning process. Council previously accepted the Corporate Mitigation Plan in the fall of 2020. The Community Plan will be the final part of the process.
McKay explained that the Climate Adaptation Plan is the first step for understanding climate related risks that impact the municipality’s operation and services and provides steps to bring resiliency across municipal operations, assets and infrastructure.
With climate projections anticipating increasing average temperatures, when there will be more days with 30-plus Celsius degree days, temperatures, less snow, more cold weather and an increase in average precipitation, McKay said risk is equal to likelihood multiplied by consequences.

There are four main goals for the Adaptation Plan: The first is to ensure current and future infrastructure is adapted to withstand the impacts of a changing climate. The second is to protect municipal natural assets and enhance nature-based solutions. The third is to minimize health risks to outdoor staff and provide resources to the community to improve their capacity to adapt and the final goal is to integrate climate adaptation into municipal plans and processes. McKay highlighted 28 actions for achieving these goals.
During the implementation and monitoring of the plan, McKay explained that priority will be given to actions that integrate with existing work plans and require modest operational changes. Comprehensive implementation plans for projects will include more resources and staff time. There will also be annual progress reports and a five-year review of the plan.
Council received the delegation and draft plan without comment. The plan will go back to the County of Haliburton.
Construction values year-to-date are up
CAO/treasurer Shannon Hunter, reported on behalf of an absent Laurie Devolin, CBO and by-law enforcement officer, who was away at training, construction values to-date are $2,258,800 compared to $1,821,660 for the same period in 2021. Devolin had asked Hunter to advise council that there are currently many other applications not processed.
Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall noted that the number of applications to-date is actually lower than at this time last year but the construction values are much higher. He asked if that is because people are building much larger homes. Hunter explained that this is the case.
By-law department challenged with tracking
Highlands East’s by-law enforcement officer Wayne Galloway said one of the biggest challenges for the department at the moment is keeping track of all the properties as people are flipping them so fast.
“Some things go back as far as 2018. Is there anything we can do to close them off?” asked Deputy Mayor Ryall. Galloway said many of the older cases are with the courts and they take time to complete.

Fire Department expands ice water training
Highlands East will soon be in a position to deliver their own ice water training, reported fire chief Chris Baughman. On Feb. 26 and 27 four more individuals received ice water training. Four others shadowed them in the instruction, so that they will be prepared to deliver the program in the future.
“Did you say we are in a position to train our own people,” asked Mayor Burton. Baughman said he hopes they will after the April exam,.
“Will we need additional equipment,” inquired Deputy MayorRyall. Baughman said the Paudash Lake Association has fundraised for equipment and they will have enough, including another complete set of equipment and five outfits for firefighters.

No tenders received yet
Property supervisor Jim Alden reported to council that there haven’t been any tenders received for the Cardiff change room project after issuing a call on Feb. 10. The tendering process is planned to close on March 11.

Burton credits public works for efforts
During operation supervisor Brett Charboneau’s report to council, Mayor Burton expressed his gratitude for the work carried out by public work’s staff during the recent ice storm.
“I would ask you to pass along to the operators from mayor and council that we are extremely pleased with the way they brought us through the ice storm and kept us safe,” he said.
Charboneau said, “It has been a busy month with the snow and keeping facilities that are now open clean.”
It appears that they still have enough sand for the remainder of the winter, with part of one dome and one full small dome of sand left. Charboneau reported that there were no incidents during the bad weather from the previous week, because of “the operators and good equipment.”

HE moves ahead with Household Hazardous Waste agreement
There will be plenty of opportunities for Highlands’ residents to discard household hazardous waste this year now that all four municipalities in Haliburton County (Highlands East, Dysart et al, Minden Hills, and Algonquin Highlands) will accept waste from any of these municipalities on the Household Hazardous Waste Days, totalling 14 days throughout the county.
“It is awesome we are doing this. For public awareness will we post the days at the transfer stations and landfills?” asked Deputy Mayor Ryall. Charboneau said they can post notice in these locations and there will also be notices in local newspapers.
“Has the Township of Faraday been advised,” asked Mayor Burton. Hunter explained that HE still has the relationship with Faraday for HHW days so they will be doing both. “There will be specific days with Faraday that are separate from the days with the other four municipalities,” she said.

Council approves use of reserve funds
Economic development coordinator Joanne Vanier’s request to council for $1,000 from reserves was approved by council to hire a graphic designer to develop graphics for a composting education campaign this year. Vanier explained that copyright issues for current graphics mean that they need to create their own going forward.

Council appoints delegation of authority
Hunter explained the situations in which a “lame duck” period can occur during the last year of a council’s mandate. If during nominations there are not four existing council members planning to come back, or 75 per cent, the council may be in a lame duck position. According to the Ontario Municipal Act, council is required to appoint a delegation of authority to the CAO in case this happens. Council received the report and approved the delegation of authority to CAO Shannon Hunter.