Delegations pepper HH council with questions 0
Delegations came to council on June 6 looking for answers to some tough questions. Jason Reynolds started his presentation by saying, "I don't want to cause any problems."
The local resident posed a long list of questions ranging from fire response time to status of needed repairs to fire vehicles.
"This is just a layperson looking from the outside," he said.
Reynolds wanted to know why there are only small numbers of responders to fires when there are 80 volunteers in the department.
"If we have so many people in the fire department where are they?" he asked. "Are they living in the area? Are they only allowed to fight fires that are not between the hours of 9 to 5?"
Reynolds finished by asking council why they were giving Bancroft $40,000 towards ice skating when the HH equipment is so poor "that our houses are burning down around our ankles?"
Reynolds was told that co-chief Robinson would respond fully in his next report and Reynolds was also informed of almost $600,000 that has been spent on the department this year.
Mayor Bloom also noted that there would be a motion coming forward for the approval of repairs to fire equipment.
Papineau Lake Community Association
Also presenting questions and concerns to council were representatives from the Papineau Lake Cottagers' Association. The PLCA shared the news that the "C" in PLCA now stands for community.
"Our community comprises over 1,000 members," reported Bob Ord. Ord did not clarify if these numbers related to membership of the PLCA or not.
"The community is upset," he continued. "It would appear we are going down the wrong path all this while."
Ord's presentation continued with encouragement to re-think an offer Ord suggested the Town of Bancroft made regarding use of their treatment plant.
Ord suggested that information has been withheld regarding a $2 million dollar loan from Bancroft that would have allowed Hastings Highlands to become a part of the Bancroft septage solution.
Ord did not report the source of this information.
Ord wrapped-up his presentation with a request to remove the Papineau site from the preferred list and suggesting that the municipality move towards building a waste site treatment facility rather than dewatering trenches.
Harold Harris followed Ord's presentation with his own, suggesting he had been present at the Papineau waste on May 29 when Dave Robb, safety/waste and facilities manager, was meeting with a consultant from WESA.
"When questioned about the present wells the engineer indicated that their location had been decided by accessibility, not water flow," Harris said.
Harris further suggested that water has been monitored flowing into the waste site and not out. He also asked that the Papineau site be removed from the list of possible dewatering trench sites.
In an interview after the council meeting, Robb explained that new wells are being added, by WESA, to the Papineau waste disposal site because the site is expanding.
"There have never been any of the existing wells that are dry," Robb said after being asked about Harris' claim that the wells were in the wrong location at the WDS.
"We are testing and the readings all fall under the breach of the threshold," Robb said.
"To say [the wells] are in the wrong spot is a stretch," he said. "With the expansion we need more. The municipality takes this seriously and our operation there has become even more compliant."
Concerns regarding bias
In a report delivered to council concerns were raised regarding bias shown from Ecovue Consulting.
At information day held in Madoc the Hastings County Planning Department provided a brief update on their goals for the year. The official plan has been in need of updating and since 2006 this has been an on-going goal.
During the presentation it was noted that the county is using the services of Ecovue Consulting. Ecovue has recently provided their expert advice in a legal action commenced against Hastings Highlands by Bill White from Bancroft Sport and Marine. Ecovue Consulting also works for the Town of Bancroft.
CAO Davidson continued, "as well council may recall the differing views of the Provincial Policy Statement by Ecovue and reported in Bancroft This Week last December."
Davidson continued asking council to consider, "if there was a need to inform the county that Ecovue has displayed a bias against one of their member municipalities, has included themselves in an action against one of their member municipalities and has shown a complete lack of integrity when interpreting the PPS and as such their involvement in the update of the county's official plan should be reviewed."
Council quickly passed a motion to send a letter to Hastings County outlining their concerns with the planning consultant assisting in the update of the official plan.