Jul 05, 2017
“KFL&A Public Health has no plans to get out of the septic inspection business,” Director of Programs Ed Gardner told Addington Highlands Council at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Flinton.
Reeve Henry Hogg said he’d invited public health officials to the meeting because “people were asking us why we weren’t doing it ourselves, which prompted this discussion.”
Gardner begin his brief presentation by giving a short history of septic inspection in Ontario highlighting that the responsibility was downloaded to the municipalities in 1998 and is now governed by the Building Code.
“(But) KFL&A has been doing septics since the early ’70s,” he said. “We do all nine municipalities in our catchment area.”
Coun. Tony Fritsch asked what effect there would be on the health unit if municipalities opted to do their own inspections.
“It would have a very deleterious effect,” Gardner said. “We have three septic inspectors as well as Public Health Inspector Gordon Mitchell and support staff.
“It would mean a big part of our budget would be gone.”
Gardner said they’d had to raise fees a few years ago to cover costs and costs are still rising but “we’d like to keep in it.
“We have no immediate plans to shelve the system.”
Coun. Bill Cox asked if there were any benefits to a Township for handling the inspections themselves.
Gardner conceded that townships could charge fees but suggested any profit gained would likely be more than eaten up by training people and especially with the inevitable litigation that occurs.
“We’ve had years and years of experience and we know what to do when it goes to court,” Gardner said. “It’s built into our fee structure.
“It’s very difficult to go cold into septic inspection and our inspectors train for years and are used to a lot of travel and litigation.”
Gardner said he didn’t know if there was a right or wrong answer to who should handle septic inspections but he’s seen municipalities take it over themselves or go to the conservation authorities, but most come back.
“Stone Mills opted out but ended up asking us to take over again because they were facing more and more litigation,” he said.
Mitchell said that of the 20-30 septic permits issued for Addington Highlands in an average year, most were for new systems and one-third to one-half are for replacement systems.
Overall, he said KFL&A issues about 550 permits in an average year.
New tandem truck, just shy of $200,000
Council approved the purchase of a tandem axle cab and chassis truck with complete roll-off hoist package plus an optional tarp system.
Road & Waste Management Supervisor Mark Freeburn told Council there was only one quotation received, that being from Winslow Gerolamy Motors Ltd. for $190,348 plus GST.
“I think this is money well spent,” Freeburn said. “Especially for the safety of the drivers.”
“Especially if we’re entertaining the idea of moving bulkier items ourselves,” said Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed.
Freeburn said they’re putting down dust suppressant as weather permits.
“This has been an abnormal year,” he said. “I can’t understand how a road gets so dusty when it’s raining all the time.”
Fire crews nice and quiet
Fire Chief Casey Cuddy told Council that aside from the Canada Day weekend, “it’s been quiet and call volumes are down.”