Security cameras will be installed at the Scotch Line landfill in Minden Hills to combat vandalism, trespassing and harassment.

At a June 30 council meeting, manager of waste facilities, Nikkie Payne, said the OPP encouraged the idea after staff reported harassment issues.

“They’re really supporting that we have some sort of video surveillance at the sites… to identify any perpetrators,” said Payne. “It’s to protect not only township and contract staff but the township’s assets.”

Payne said she was not permitted to disclose details of the harassment concerns.

Trail cameras were previously installed at the site, but since the video data is stored on the camera, it’s easy to steal or erase.

Payne suggested getting cameras with cellular capabilities or secure data storage so the files could still be viewed if the camera was stolen or broken.

Under municipal security camera guidelines, the data on the cameras would only be viewed by Payne or the director of public works if unauthorized activities were happening or suspected to have happened.

Minden Hills’ policy states security cameras must be protected from unauthorized access. Payne said technically this would not allow the cameras to be mounted on the landfill’s gates or to have data stored remotely.

Council approved the exception to the rule with the assurance that “staff would make all reasonable efforts to implement manual workarounds and to follow the video surveillance policy as much as possible.”

Iron Mine, Little Gull and Ingoldsby landfills don’t have cellular capabilities, so cameras would only be installed at the Scotch Line landfill. Payne said cameras could be installed at these sites later.

Minden Hills responds to short-term rental study

Councillors had a chance to review progress and give feedback on the County’s ongoing short-term rental review.

“I’ve been watching it unfold at the County level and I’m still so concerned,” Coun. Pam Sayne told Jason Ferrigan of J.L Richards and Associates (JLR), who delivered a report on the review.

Ferrigan said possible policy options include occupancy and stay duration limits, possible zoning rules and more.

More than 1,500 people responded to a short-term rental survey.

Ferrigan said it’s clear the community holds strong views for and against short-term rentals

“They are both influenced by and affect many aspects of community health and viability,” he said.

Sayne added that the lack of zoning rules unfairly prioritizes short-term renters over marginalized groups in the community.

“We are allowing it to happen as governance and yet when people are gathering in parks because they have nowhere to live, we’re kicking them out right away,” she said.

Coun. Bob Carter urged JLR to consider “responsible person” legislation. Municipalities such as the Bruce Peninsula require each short-term rental unit have a responsive contact able to deal with sound complaints, for instance.

“After the fact the township can go back to the owner and give them demerit points or pull their license…. I think the concept of a responsible person is a good way to control costs of enforcement,” Carter said.

Inflation impacts municipal operations

Minden Hills roads crews are feeling the impact of rising oil prices.

Director of public works, Mike Timmins, requested the roads capital project budget be boosted by $50,000 from the township’s reserves to fund road resurfacing projects.

“Not only does the process rely on equipment, but there’s also a lot of oil-based processes involved in the work… it’s been drastically impacted by these rising costs,” Timmins said.

Costs currently sit at $17,345.35 over budget, with another $32,654 added for other possible fees.

Council also approved a contract extension for landfill services in Minden administered by Watson General Contracting which will rise by four per cent in 2022.

It will cost the township $304,960.52 to run its landfills for the 12-month period, an $11,729.25 increase from the initial quote.