Skatepark vandalized, camera goes up
By Chad Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a June 25 meeting of Dysart et al council.
“The parents contacted the OPP,” she said. “They wanted to make sure those kids understood this was a very serious offence.” Mueller said the parents banned their child from the the skatepark for a month, and that the youth performed some volunteer hours with Mueller’s department.
In the second incident, the vandal had not been identified. Mueller said the municipality already has a surveillance camera that will be installed on a light post overlooking the skatepark. Mayor Andrea Roberts said that two cameras in Head Lake Park that had been de-activated will also be reactivated following a homicide in a private residence in Haliburton Village on June 18.
“It’s not just to spy, it’s for our security,” Roberts said.
Cannabis fair proposed for Head Lake Park
Councillor Larry Clarke, who sits on the municipality’s events and recreation committee, told his colleagues about a proposal for a three-day marijuana fair to be held in Head Lake Park in September of 2020.
Clarke stressed the proposed event was a wellness and vendor type of fair.
“As a community, we have certain guidelines, I guess, that need to be followed,” Clarke said. “It’s not a big festival, it’s a wellness fair.”
A report indicated that organizers had been informed that smoking and vaping is not permitted within Head Lake Park, and should the event proceed, organizers would also need to obtain a park use permit, and the park would need to be gated to prevent underage attendees.
Organizers are scheduled to make a delegation to council in the fall, and while there was apparently an offer that they would give some proceeds back to community organizations, Mayor Andrea Roberts said she was concerned about the optics of a municipally sanctioned event involving marijuana.
“So, we haven’t said yes to that event,” Roberts said.
Bring Harcourt plowing in-house
Council voted to bring snowplowing operations in the Harcourt area, which have been performed by a contractor, in-house.
A staff report indicated there could be operational savings of $11,000 to $36,000, although there was some disagreement at the council table about the validity of these numbers.
“If we make these decisions without understanding the costs, I think we’re not doing our job,” said Councillor John Smith, who took issue with the figures as they had been presented.
However, most of his colleagues were more concerned about level of service than cost.
“Ward 3 shouldn’t be treated any differently than anywhere else,” said Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy, adding he was comfortable with the costs.
“I believe the level of service is a bigger priority than anything else,” said Councillor Nancy Wood-Roberts.
The costs will include the purchase of a new plow for approximately $265,000 and the hiring of an additional staff person, whose time will be split between plowing and the landfill. Wages and benefits for that position will cost more than $70,000.
Terry Moore, who’s made delegations to each of the county’s four lower-tier township councils, made a presentation requesting the municipality consider designating areas for green burials within the cemetery, as well as consider options for winter burials.
Moore and his wife Shirley lost their son Kyle this past February, after a decades-long battle with brain cancer. As Moore explained to councillors, Kyle’s strong environmental convictions meant his family tried to seek out environmentally-friendly burial options locally. Green burials do not include the use of embalming chemicals, steel, fibreglass or cement vaults, Moore explained, but rather use biodegradable shrouds, coffin-shaped baskets or unfinished wooden coffins.
“Along with the exclusion of winter burials, existing bylaws in all four [Haliburton County] townships also require bodies being stored for spring burial to be either embalmed or stored with steel, fibreglass or concrete vaults, which cannot be reopened once sealed,” reads a report Moore submitted to council.
While the Moores were able to find cemeteries offering green winter burials in places such Roseneath, Cobourg and Kitchener-Waterloo, they struggled with the idea of burying their son in a place far from home, that he didn’t know. Ultimately, the Moores chose to have their son’s body embalmed for spring burial at St. Stephen’s cemetery, which Moore stressed was a very difficult decision for the family.
Moore told councillors he was requesting the municipality designate an area within Evergreen Cemetery, as well as consider practices for winter burials, so that other families may be spared the experience his has gone through.
“It would not be re-inventing the wheel,” said Moore, who added there is a property owner in Dysart with a five-acre property that has been offered as a conservation burial area. He also urged council to look into the logistics of permitting that facility to be created, and requested a township rep sit on a county green burial working group being created by Environment Haliburton.
“I don’t know much about cemeteries, but I know they’re heavily regulated,” said Roberts, adding the matter would be referred to staff.