Algonquin Highlands will need at least two more years to finish its septic system re-inspection program.
Greg Moore, the municipal chief building official, described to council during its regular meeting Sept. 15 how problems that contributed to the delay of the program’s completion started early in 2020, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Basically, because of the social shut-down brought on by the pandemic, the contractor encountered staffing difficulties. So council authorized the program to continue on a non-mandatory inspection basis as a means to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
As a result, initial anticipated inspections were not realized which put the program at risk of running over the contractual timeline.
And that’s what’s happened, said Moore.
Another hitch in the giddyup was software problems that hampered the distribution of information about property owners’ remedial action requirements. That’s created quite a backlog.
“We ended up with a little bit of a shortfall,” Moore said. “We’re probably not going to realize a completion by the end of this year. And, besides that, we are certainly going to have a bit of time to be able to look after the remediation (orders).
Property owners have generally complied with remedial action requirements indicated by the inspectors. But a few continue to require further action and follow-up by the township.
“The pandemic has thrown a wrench into all manner of business. And we did say to people it wasn’t mandatory and lots of folks took advantage of that,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt.
James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo