Minden reviewing fees and charges
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | May 22, 2019|
Fees and charges are being reviewed across a number of Township of Minden Hills departments, with many poised to go up, some slightly decreasing and others remaining the same.
Clerk Dawn Newhook presented a five-page review of fees and charges report to the May 9 council meeting. There was a public meeting on it and it’s expected council will pass the changes at its May 30 regular council meeting.
They affect: administration; cultural centre programs and facilities; planning; cemeteries; community services programs and facilities; water, sewer and landfills and local community insurance.
For example, the township is considering a new fee for brush, charging $30 per cubic yard. People getting rid of boat shrink wrap will now pay $26 per wrap, up from $5. The cost of disposing of boats would double up to a maximum charge. Getting rid of mattresses and box springs will now cost an extra $5.
Roads superintendent Travis Wilson, who is now looking after the environmental and property operations portfolio, defended the proposed increases.
He said Dysart et al charges $50-percubic-yard for brush.
“Staff feels it is a fair charge,” he said. “It costs us money to dispose of that material.”
He said boat disposal costs are now in line with Dysart et al.
While the shrink wrap increase seems large, there is a cost to the township to have it collected and taken away, he said. There were 28 last year and the township paid $730 in disposal fees. As for the mattresses, Wilson said they take up a lot of space at the landfill and the township pays to have them shipped to Mississauga before being sent to Montreal for recycling.
Other changes at the landfill include: people can drop off four tires, not five for free; a $1 increase fee per bag over the three-bag limit and for unrecycled and unsorted bags.
Coun. Jean Neville asked how they would measure a cubic yard of brush. Wilson said guidelines would be sent to the landfill contractor and common sense used. He also advised the public to take the time to cut brush into smaller pieces to compact it down. Marriage license fees, and the cost of ceremonies, are going up $25 as are photocopying charges. There’s a new fee for people requesting tax or water statement accounts. At the cultural centre, there is a new image reproduction fee of $10 per image for black and white.
Jim Mitchell of Canning Lake asked council to reconsider this fee during a public meeting. He said the Haliburton Museum does not have a fee for local authors and he would like that to continue in Minden. There’s new photocopy, a speakes fee and a new wedding package at $1,000.
Planning fees are slated to increase for minor variance applications, official plan amendments, zoning amendments and increased administration fees. There are also some decreases.
There’ll be changed prices for recreation programs and an increase in portable toilet rentals.
For a full list of the changes, go to mindenhills.ca to find Newhook’s report.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.