OHSWEKEN – Inventor John Kearns and his corporate affairs and compliance manager Trudy Nguyen, were at Council chambers Monday and received the go ahead to bring in specialized help from Nova Scotia to complete the first phase of the agreement that would eventually bring a new 20 ton capacity waste disintegrator unit to Six Nations to replace the 10 ton, demonstrator model that has been at the Six Nations landfill site since November.
There has been some tension between certain members of council and the inventor over the chronic manpower attendance problems that Kearns says have prevented the system from running continuously for any extended duration. Minor repairs on the 10-year-old loaner system also accounted for some of the early delays.
Councillor Dave Hill was particularly upset that the unit has not been fully functional to date.
“A year ago we agreed to have it up and running for 30 days and now you are asking for an addendum costing us more money and more time,” councillor Dave Hill complained. “We’ve been through a bad time before you got here. To me, this is going down the same road. It should be up and operating now, not another 30 days to test it again.”
But the requirement to test the machine for 30 straight days and nights was not spelled out in the original contract’s wording and Council CAO Dale Bomberry corrected Hill on that note.
“In the original agreement there was never any specification about a 30-day trial run,” said Bomberry.
Even so, Kearn told council he has no problem in meeting that challenge, so long as he had the manpower to do so.
Speaking on Kearns’ behalf, Nguyen, told council, “I think the main issue I want everybody to understand is with that this new 30-day trial demonstration there are responsibilities on Six Nations side and certain responsibilities from our side, one being staffing issues. We want to clarify what constitutes a failure to operate. We have had maintenance issues when this machine had to get shut down for repairs.
“In this new addendum it specifies that if the repair time exceeds 8 hrs., it is a non-operational day and at the end of the 30-day period, it will get passed on. So we’ll make up that non-operational day.
“However, on the Six Nations’ side, if within the three shifts that we are going to have it running, manpower issues, if there is a shortage of staff, and we can’t find a replacement, within 8 hrs, it would count as a non-operation al day for SN. Which doesn’t go against us. I just wanted to know that we are all understanding that.”
With a split vote of 6-3, Council agreed and the new understanding was reached by way of a majority. Joining Councillor Dave Hill in voting against the new addendum to the agreement were Councillors Roger Jonathan and Sherri-Lyn Hill Pierce. Councillor Helen Miller was absent.
Once Kearn’s three men arrive, which will be in approximately 5 days, they will be tasked with overseeing and training Six Nations workers for the 30 day trial duration of the test. After that, they will return home to Cape Breton and the trained staff will be qualified to run it themselves.
At that point, the second phase will begin with the finer negotiations regarding payment and delivery of the custom built 20 ton unit.[Nova Scotia inventor John Kearns and corporate affairs and compliance manager Trudy Nguyen, address the Elected Band Council Monday morning. (Photo by Jim Windle)]