Seeking more info on public art show 

By Chad Ingram

Staff Reporter

April 25 2017

The following are brief reports of items discussed during an April 24 meeting of Dysart et al council.

Councillors are seeking more information on a request from the Arts Council Haliburton Highlands and Art in Public Spaces Committee to hang works by local artists in public spaces during the year in celebration of Dysart’s sesquicentennial anniversary.

“Our goal is to display artistic works that are representative of the municipality at various public and business locations throughout our community” read the request. “Each piece will be accompanied by a description of how the work relates to the area an artist’s biography and a QR code that will enable viewers to access additional information including a map of all the participating venues via their smartphones.”

The artworks would hang from June 26 through Oct. 10.

Some members of council had concerns that having art hanging in the township office especially in council chambers might be distracting.

“This is a public room but it’s council’s room” said Councillor Walt McKechnie. “Once we start doing that what comes next? What are we going to start selling vegetables?”

Reeve Murray Fearrey pointed out that some businesses already act as de facto art galleries displaying and selling the works of local artists.

“Pinestone puts them up all the time” Fearrey said. “Baked and Battered puts art up all the time.”

“I think it needs to be better defined” said Councillor Dennis Casey referring to just how much art might be placed in the township office.

Council will wait for more information before making a decision.

Winter maintenance request

Residents of Bonnyville Road near Cruiser Lake would like the municipality to start maintaining the municipally owned road during the wintertime which it traditionally hasn’t.

“It’s very short. It’s a very short road” resident Lynne Tate told councillors. “It just seems like it would be really simple for the plow guys.”

The road is approximately 1.5 kilometres long and is now home to four year-round families as well as a number of cottages.

“We’re all retired seniors” Tate said. “It would be great if that bylaw could be amended to include winter maintenance.”

Currently residents hire a contractor for snowplowing but Tate said it’s getting increasingly difficult to find someone for the job since the road is so short.

She stressed the road could accommodate a snow plow.

“It was beautifully built” Tate said.

“It’s a well-built road” agreed Reeve Murray Fearrey who said council would consider adding the road to the township’s winter maintenance schedule. “The issue for us is if we have time on that run.”

Fearrey said residents could expect a response in the fall.

Passing on free parking

Council passed on a suggestion from the Haliburton BIA that there be free parking in the village for its Come to Town Tuesday events which take place in Haliburton during the summer months. While the idea would be to attract more people to town “on those particular days there is no [available] parking” said Reeve Murray Fearrey. “So I don’t think it’s going to change anything. For one dollar for one hour I don’t think that’s a deterrent.”

“People are coming to town” agreed Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts adding that there was parking near Rotary Beach that was underutilized.

Commemorative garden

Council gave the Haliburton Lions Club the green light for a commemorative garden in Head Lake Park in honour of Dysart’s sesquicentennial anniversary and the 100-year anniversary of Lions Club International.

All costs work and maintenance will be borne by the Lions Club whose members will meet with township staff to select an appropriate location.

An opening ceremony is tentatively scheduled for July 1.

PTSD policy

Councillors approved a post-traumatic stress disorder prevention plan and anti-stigma policy for the Dysart et al fire department. The Ministry of Labour has mandated that all municipalities employing first responders draw up such plans. The fire chiefs of the county’s four municipal fire services worked together on the plan and a county-wide peer support team will also be created.