Moffatt floats housing task force

By Chad Ingram

The following are brief reports of items discussed during an Oct. 23 meeting of Haliburton County council.

Following a housing summit that took place in West Guilford on Oct. 18 Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt asked fellow county councillors if there was any interest in a county-created housing task force.

Moffatt noted there are a number of organizations working on the complex issue of more affordable housing in the community albeit sometimes in silos.

“I’m just looking for if there’s enough interest of the county councillors here today can we at a future meeting have some sort of conversation about what that would look like how it would operate who would be assigned to it” she said.

There seemed to be enough interest for the issue to be discussed at a future meeting.

“I’m interested in having a subsequent conversation” said Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin adding “But the caveat is not to add another process or layer of bureaucracy.”

Dysart et al Deputy Mayor Patrick Kennedy said he thought it was important for any task force to have very specific goals.

“I’m supportive of it but I want to know what this thing’s going to look like” Kennedy said. “A task force to me is you’re given a specific challenge with a specific job to do with specific delivery expectations. And what is that? I don’t want another committee.”

Moffatt said she wasn’t thinking of a county-run committee but rather a county-facilitated process of establishing a more centralized platform for housing work to get done.

“Just how do we facilitate the existing work that is being done into one place?” she said.

Moffatt said she’d also like to see increased information-sharing between organizations and an improved housing section on the county’s website with better and more complete information for residents.

The imagery for the county’s LIDAR mapping project has now been successfully captured and is being processed in Calgary and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has expressed interest in assisting the county with its flood mapping.

LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging uses a laser-based system to produce extremely detailed topographical images. Aerial images must be used to create LIDAR mapping and capturing those images required so many days of clear weather. While the images were not captured during 2018 county planner Charlsey White said that Airborne Imaging the consultant the county is using for the project had successfully captured the required images earlier this month and they are currently being processed in Calgary. It is expected that process will take place in stages over the next couple of months.

White said she’d also received a call from the MNRF. “They’re looking to partner with the County of Haliburton . . . and looking for ways in which we can collaborate” White said adding the ministry had expressed interest in assisting the county with its flood mapping.

“This is kind of a miracle” said Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin. “ … I hope it’s as good as it appears to be.”

In 2018 the county was approved for funding from the National Disaster Mitigation Program to assist with flood prevention planning. It received nearly $180000 funding half the cost of Phase 1 of a county flood mitigation project. The county provided the rest of the funding in its 2018 budget. Phase 1 of the project includes the Burnt River and lower Gull River watersheds which are prone to spring flooding.

The county has a new online public engagement platform where it is currently soliciting feedback from residents regarding the creation of a shoreline protection bylaw. County planner Charlsey White told councillors that response has been strong. To learn more or to participate visit