Municipality of the District of Clare
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Brian Comeau; Councillors, Lester Doucet, Nil Doucet, Hector Thibault, Russell Comeau, Danny Hill and Robert Thibault.
Staff: CAO Stéphane Cyr, Administrative Assistant to the CAO, Alain Poirier.
Public: Nicole Pothier
1) Call to order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the agenda
The CAO asked that the following items be added under “Closed Session”:
12.2 St. Bernard Fire Department
12.3 Eco Park
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted addition.
(b) Declaration of conflict of interest
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
3.1 UARB Review Hearing – Nicole Pothier
Since it was not possible to record and televise this meeting due to technical reasons, Nicole Pothier’s presentation was deferred to the next televised meeting.
4) Adoption of the minutes from previous council meetings
4.1 February 17th, 2016: Regular Council Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Nil Doucet that the Minutes of February 17th, 2016 be accepted as circulated.
4.2 March 2nd, 2016: Council-in-Committee Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Lester Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Minutes of March 2nd, 2016 be accepted as circulated.
5) Business arising from previous meetings
5.1 Carleton River Watershed Area Water Quality Monitoring Steering Committee – Brad Fulton
As a follow-up to the letter from the Carleton River Watershed Area Water Quality Steering Committee dated January 15 2016, the CAO spoke with the Committee Chair, Mr. Brad Fulton, who in turn clarified that their preference was to have a member of Council serve on their committee. Councillor Danny Hill expressed a willingness to represent Council on this committee. Council passed the following motion:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of Clare appoint Councillor Danny Hill to the Carleton River Watershed Area Water Quality Monitoring Steering Committee.
5.2 Road Sign on Norwood Road/Hectanooga
In response to correspondence from area residents claiming a lack of proper signage on the Norwood Road and in Hectanooga, the CAO informed Council that both the Building Inspector, Arnold Comeau and the Assistant Building Inspector, Gary Sullivan visited the site and conducted a preliminary assessment. In their opinion, the signage for the Norwood Road is adequate and readily visible. However, they weren’t able to find a proper village sign for Hectanooga and will conduct a more thorough assessment in the coming days. Should this second assessment yield the same results, the file will be referred to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
6) Warden’s Activity Report – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
The Warden provided a summary of the meetings and events he attended since the last Council meeting.
February 23, 2016- Meeting with the Villa Acadienne Board of Directors.
February 29, 2016- Meeting with the Meadows and Harbourside Lodge Board of Directors in Yarmouth.
March 1, 2016- NSUARB Public Hearing on the boundary review at the Clare Veterans Center in Saulnierville.
March 10, 2016- Meeting of the Joint Highway 101 Task Force in Digby. The Committee anticipates construction to start in the Spring of 2017, with the new section of highway to open Autumn 2018.
March 16, 2016- Special meeting with the US-A Governors’ Committee
7) Official statements from the members of Council
Councillor Hector Thibault stated that he would like to congratulate Trysten Deveau who recently won both a gold and a bronze medal, along with the senior sportsmanship award, at the National Karate Championship in Richmond, British-Colombia. Later this year, Trysten will be representing Canada at the Pan-American Karate Championship in Ecuador. Council will send her a congratulatory letter.
8.1 Request for Donation – Fire Service Association of Nova-Scotia
The CAO read a letter received by the Fire Service Assocation of Nova-Scotia (see attached). Council passed the following motion:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Robert Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that the Council for the Municipality of Clare grant a donation in the amount of $100 to the Fire Service Association of Nova-Scotia.
8.2 Letter of invitation from la Société acadienne de Clare
The CAO read a letter from ‘‘la Société acadienne de Clare’’ inviting members of Council to the Society’s 12th annual recognition dinner. (see attached)
8.3 Letter from Baie Sainte-Marie Animal Society
The CAO summarized a request for funding ($4,000) from the Baie Sainte-Marie Animal Society. (see attached). Whereas the request is for operational funding, it is not eligible for the Municipality’s annual Grants to Organizations program. That said, Council proposed that municipal staff meet with the Baie Sainte-Marie Animal Society to discuss the possibility of a service agreement.
8.4 Invitation from Transport de Clare
The CAO read a letter from le Transport de Clare inviting Council to attend the organizations 20th anniversary on May 14th at the Clare Veterans Centre in Saulnierville. (see attached). Council suggested a certificate be prepared for le Transport de Clare in recognition of this event.
8.5 Letter from Jeux de l’Acadie
The CAO read a letter from “la Société des jeux de l’Acadie” inviting those communities interested in hosting the 40th Games Final to attend a meeting on April 3rd in Petit Rocher NB. (see attached). Council agreed that the Municpality was not currently in a position to host the Final given the stated infrastructure requirements and as such opted to not submit a bid at this time.
9) C.A.O. Report – Chief Administrative Officer - Stéphane Cyr
10) Committee Reports
10.1 Building Permits Reports: Councillor Danny Hill
Councillor Hill presented the building permits report for the month of February 2016, as submitted by the Building Services Department.
Year Permits Construction Value
2015 2 $152,000
2016 5 $422,560
10.2 Planning Advisory Committee: Deputy Warden Brian Comeau
The Deputy Warden summarized the discussions which took place at the Committee’s March 8th meeting. This meeting focused on the Committee’s ongoing efforts to protect the Belliveau Watershed and the results stemming from a series of in-person meetings with various private sector stakeholders, as well as planning efforts for the upcoming public consultation session on April 13, 2016.
10.3 Police Advisory: Councillor Nil Doucet
10.4 Villa Acadienne: Deputy Brian Comeau
10.5 Waste Check: Councillor Robert Thibault
Councillor Robert Thibault indicated that the Committee did meet to review the organization’s financial statements. The organization’s financial position is sound. This notwithstanding, system / reporting errors have resulted in delays which are preventing the auditors from completing the statements. This being the case, the municipal administrators have been asked to meet in the goal of addressing these errors. In terms of budgeting for 2016-17, the Committee is recommending to its member municipal units that it keep the same budget and/or funding levels as approved for 2015-16.
11) New business
11.1 Motion to adopt the 'Procurement Policy'
The CAO stated this policy is identical to what was presented at the previous Council-in-Committee meeting, with the exception of the single recommendation put forward by Council regarding local preference and sustainability considerations. Council passed the following motion.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Russell Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of Clare adopt the 'Procurement Policy' for the Municipality of Clare and that it be added to the Municipality's Policy Manual.
11.2 Motion to adopt the 'Presentation to Council Policy'
The CAO stated this policy is identical to what was presented at the previous Council-in-Committee meeting. The intent is to clarify and formalize the process for delegations wishing to appear before Council. Council passed the following motion.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare adopt the 'Presentation to Council Policy' for the Municipality of Clare and that it be added to the Municipality's Policy Manual.
11.3 Motion to adopt the 'Salary Administration Policy'
The CAO stated this policy is identical to what was presented at the previous Council-in-Committee meeting. The intent is to maintain levels of compensation that are internally equitable, externally competitive and financially feasible. Council passed the following motion.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Lester Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Nil Doucet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare adopt the 'Salary Administration Policy' for municipal staff, effective April 1st 2016, and that it be added to the Municipality's Human Resources Policies Manual.
11.4 Motion for increasing Municipal disposal fees
The CAO provided a quick summary of the transfer station’s revenues and operational costs. It terms of its financial performance, the transfer station shows a loss every year which can’t be offset solely by increasing disposal fees. This notwithstanding, a modest price increase is recommended to commercial and industrial non-recyclable waste and unsorted construction and demolition debris. The new rates are in keeping with those charged by other municipal units.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Robert Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that, effective April 1st 2016, the fees at the Clare Transfer Station be increased in the following manner.
|Commercial and Industrial Non-Recyclable Waste||From $130.00 per metric ton to $135.00 per metric ton.|
|Unsorted Construction and Demolition Debris||From $130.00 per metric ton to $135.00 per metric ton.|
11.5 Motion – WREN, Municipal contribution 2016-2017
The Warden mentioned that this item is being put forward as part of the Municipality’s budgetary planning exercise. The Municipality’s contribution of $52,753 to the WREN’s 2016-17 operational budget is identical to what was allocated in 2015-16. Going forward, this annual funding request will be brought before Council for approval no later than January 31st, as outlined in the inter-municipal agreement pertaining to the WREN. Council passed the following motion:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Brian Comeau that Council of the Municipality of the District of Clare approve the amount of $52,753 as the Municipality's funding commitment towards the Western Regional Enterprise Network's 2016-2017 operational budget.
11.6 Motion – Reallocation of Budget Funds
The CAO explained that this motion is being proposed for internal control purposes only, in response to funds having been previously reallocated from a cancelled project to one not previously budgeted for. By way of this motion, Council is establishing a proper audit trail. Council passed the following motion:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that the Municipality of Clare re-allocate the following amounts in the Regional Tourism Budget: In GL 26981 (Regional Tourism Budget) remove $5,000 from the 1-8-3 Loop Marketing Project and re-allocate to GL 26981 (Regional Tourism Budget) for the design and printing of the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie/ Clare cycling map-brochure in the amount of $3,750 + HST payable and for the Travel Media Association of Canada June conference in Cape Breton in the amount of $1,100 + HST payable.
11.7 Community Infrastructures Improvement Program
The CAO informed Council that a new program – the Community Infrastructure Improvement Program – has been launched by the Nova Scotia Department of Community, Culture and Heritage. The goal of the program is to improve upon existing community infrastructure. Contributions are non-repayable up to a maximum of $50,000 or 75% of eligible project costs. In light of this new program, the Director of Community Development and the Building Inspector are currently working on a draft proposal, the details of which will be further discussed in closed session.
11.8 Dangerous and unsightly
The CAO informed Council that the Municipal office had received 3 complaints regarding dangerous and unsightly properties. The first is concerning an abandoned house located at 104 C Boudreau Road. This property was recently purchased. In an effort to address this complaint, the CAO will ask the Building Inspector to visit the site and contact the new owner regarding his plans for the property.
The second property in question is the old Irving garage in Meteghan. This particular complaint stated that the property has been abandoned by its current owners and is both dangerous and unsightly. The complainant goes on to say that having such a building in a highly visible location in Meteghan is a hindrance to ongoing efforts to attract new residents and/or professionals to the area and is simply unacceptable. Council asked that the CAO instruct staff to write a letter to Irving inquiring as to their plans for the building and asking them to send an engineer onsite to assess the structural integrity of the building.
The third complaint was received by Waste Check (Richie Nickerson) and later communicated to the CAO’s office. It is concerning an illegal dump site along the Isadore Thibault Road in Grosses Coques. The property owner (an elderly woman) was unaware of the problem. This is the second such occurrence on her land. Given the circumstances involved, Council is prepared to assume the costs for removing the garbage and will continue to discuss the possibility of preventative measures with both Waste Check and the affected landowner so as to actively discourage similar illegal activities in the future.
12) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that the Council proceed to an In Camera Session.
12.1 Community Infrastructure Improvement Program, 12.2 St. Bernard Fire Department
12.3 Eco Park.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that the Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
13) Date and time of next Regular Council Meeting
The next Regular Council Meeting will be held on April 20th, 2016 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 pm.
Administrative Assistant of the CAO