Municipality of the District of Clare
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Wednesday, September 21st, 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, Accounting Clerk Jeannette Doucet
Public: Paul Comeau, Grant Thornton
ABSENT: Administrative Assistant to the CAO Alain Poirier
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
Councillor Nil Doucet asked that the following item be added under “New Business”
- 11.11 Letter of support for Upper Clements Park
MOVED BY Russell Comeau and SECONDED BY Hector Thibault 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 2015-2016 Audited Financial Statements – Paul Comeau, Grant Thornton
Paul Comeau from Grant Thornton presented the Audited Financial Statements for the 2015/2016 fiscal year.
Mr. Comeau mentioned that the auditors did not find any material misstatements of disclosure and that in their opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of the Municipality of the District of Clare as at March 31, 2016, and the results of its operations, changes in net financial assets and change in financial position for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards.
The 2015/16 budget was projecting $6,702,751 in revenue and $6,473,175 in expenses for an annual surplus of $229,576. Actual figures for the fiscal year were $7,135,165 in revenue and $6,454,590 in expenses, for an annual surplus of $680,575. In summation, the Municipality`s financial position is sound.
4) Adoption of the Minutes from Previous Council Meetings
4.1 July 20th, 2016: Regular Council Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Minutes of July 20th, 2016 be accepted as circulated.
4.2 August 24th, 2016: Special Session of Council
MOVED BY Councillor Lester Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Minutes of August 24th, 2016 be accepted as circulated.
4.3 September 7th, 2016: Council-in-Committee Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Minutes of September 7th, 2016 be accepted as circulated.
5) Business Arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Cultural Hub Project – CIFA Building
The CAO reminded Council that the initial budget for the Cultural Hub Project was projected at $200,000. Following an assessment of the indivual project components by the Municipality`s Building Inspector, the estimated project cost has been reduced to $175,000, including a healthy overrun contingency. The two major components of this project are 1) a new metal roof and 2) a new main entrance to the building.
In terms of occupancy, the CAO informed Council that the building is now fully tenanted.
5.2 Société acadienne de Clare – Monument for those lost at sea
The CAO read a letter from the Société acadienne de Clare confirming the Monument for those lost at sea would be placed on the site of the Cape St. Mary Lighthouse and requesting that the Municipality of the District of Clare take ownership of said monument. (See attached) Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Robert Thibault and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Brian Comeau to accept long term ownership of the monument and that it be placed on the site of the Cape St. Mary Lighthouse, conditional upon the successful divestiture of the lighthouse from the federal government to the Municipality.
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.
June 22nd Conference call with John Ferguson, several Municipalities and the NS Department of Business concerning Rural Broadband.
August 16th Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Bridgetown NS to announce both infrastructure plans and individual project funding. The Municipality of the District of Clare was one among several recipients of project funding relating to municipal wastewater infrastructure.
August 20th Presentation of a certificate of recognition, on behalf of the Municipality, at the Gala to celebrate the Clare Golf and Country Club`s 50 year anniversary.
September 1st CDENE board meeting in Halifax.
September 5th Unveiling of an interpretive panel, hosted by la Société acadienne de Clare, to commemorate the Acadian Deportation.
September 7th Interview with André Magni to discuss municipal involvement in the Réseau des Francophones et Francophiles d’Amérique.
September 8th Meeting in Halifax with John Ferguson and the NS Department of Business.
September 13th Participation in the tour of Tideview Terrace in Digby. There was also a meeting of the Weymouth Doctor Recruitment Committee regarding the organisation of a public information session to discuss the doctor shortage in Weymouth.
September 19th The AGM of the Société acadienne de Clare.
7) Official Statements from Members of Council
The Deputy Warden would like to congratulate Mr. Bernie Boudreau & Mrs. Ruth Boudreau who celebrated their 50th anniversary on August 13th, 2016.
8.1 Letter from Road Solar Lighting – Managing Director, Carl Lambert
The CAO read a letter from Mr. Carl Lambert highlighting Road Solar Lighting`s mission and past projects. (See attached)
8.2 Thank you letter – Yarmouth Hospital Foundation
The CAO read a thank you letter from the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation. (See attached)
8.3 Thank you letter from Denise Stuart
The CAO read a thank you letter from Mrs. Denise Stuart. (See attached)
8.4 Letter from Oshawa’s Mayor – John Henry
The CAO read a letter from Oshawa’s Mayor, Mr. John Henry (See attached)
8.5 Thank you letter – Statistics Canada
The CAO read a thank you letter from Statistics Canada concerning the 2016 census.
8.6 Thank you letter – Rails to trails
The CAO read a thank you letter from Rails to Trails. (See attached)
9) CAO Report – Chief Administrative Officer - Stéphane Cyr
The CAO read his report. (See attached)
10) Committee Reports
10.1 Building Permits Report: Councillor Danny Hill
Councillor Danny Hill read his report for the month of August.
Year Permits Construction Value
2015 21 $392,000
2016 22 $905,000
10.2 Planning Advisory Committee: Councillor Danny Hill
10.3 Police Advisory: Councillor Nil Doucet
The Police Advisory Committee had a meeting on September 12th 2016. The RCMP will deliver a presentation at Université Sainte-Anne to international students on the subject of laws surrounding vehicle ownership.
A drop in property crime has been recorded for 2016, in comparison to the previous year.
There will be two RCMP officers at the Gran Fondo on Sunday September 25th, 2016.
10.4 Villa Acadienne: Deputy Brian Comeau
10.5 Waste Check: Councillor Robert Thibault
11) New Business
11.1 Motion to Approve the 2015/2016 Audited Financial Statements
MOVED BY Councillor Russell Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Municipality of the District of Clare approve the 2015/2016 audited consolidated financial statements for the Municipality of the District of Clare, as prepared by Grant Thornton and as presented to the Audit Committee on September 19th, 2016.
11.2 Motion to Amend By-Law No. 12 – A By-Law Respecting Dogs
The CAO mentioned that the By-Law Committee has met on many occasions during the summer in order to review the Dog By-Law. An amendment to the by-law has since been prepared and is being presented to Council for first reading. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Deputy-Warden Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Municipality of the District of Clare read By-law No. 12 Amendement No. 12-01-2016, a By-Law Respecting Dogs and that the By-law be read for the first time by Title only.
11.3 Motion to Amend By-Law No. 9 – A By-Law Respecting Noise
Similar to section 11.2, the CAO explained to Council that the By-law Committee has prepared an amendment to By-law No.9 - a By-law Respecting Noise - which is being presented for first reading. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Russell Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Municipality of the District of Clare read By-law No. 9 Amendment No. 9-01-2016, a By-law Respecting Noise and that the By-law be read for the first time by Title only. MOTION CARRIED
11.4 Legion Branch 52 – Grants to Organizations
Given the lack of information pertaining to this request, it has been deferred to a future meeting of Council, so as to allow for proper due diligence
11.5 Motion to Give More Flexibility to Employees in Relation to their Pension
The CAO explained that following a discussion with both Maritime Wealth and RBC Group Advantage (RBC Royal Bank), both parties suggested that the Municipality give more flexibility to its employees regarding the manner in which the employer portion of their individual pension contributions is invested. Should the Municipality accept, employees would have the option of either keeping the status quo or tailoring their employer contribution to match their individual investor profiles (in terms of risk tolerance). Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Robert Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Municipality of the District of Clare direct its CAO to give more flexibility to its employees as it relates to their pension, by giving them control over the investment allocation of the employer contribution, in addition to their member contributions, within the bounds of provincial and federal regulations and laws.
11.6 Motion to Contribute to the Cultural Hub Project
The CAO explained that he required confirmation of balance of funding prior to submitting an application for financial assistance to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Therefore, a request was made to Council for up to 50% of the project costs, up to a maximum of $100,000, with the understanding that subsequent requests for funding would be submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia in an effort to reduce the Municipality`s contribution. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Municipality of the District of Clare contribute up to 50% of the cost related to the Cultural Hub project, up to a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
11.7 Motion to Grant a Formal Right of Way
The CAO explained that Mr. Richard Thimot and Mrs. Francine Thimot are asking that the Municipality grant them a formal right of way in order to access their property. Council agreed to this request with the understanding that the Municipality was in no way responsible for maintaining the road. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Russell Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Municipality of the District of Clare grant a formal Right of Way to allow Mr. Richard Thimot and Mrs. Francine Thimot access to their property located on Third Lake in Meteghan (PID #30081731).
11.8 Motion to Transfer Funds from the Municipal Finance Corporation
Initially, the Municipality had intended to borrow $440,000 from the Municipal Finance Corporation (MFC) as its contribution towards the Meteghan Sewer Extension project. However, given the Municipality`s sound financial position, the CAO is recommending it not borrow from the MFC but rather take these funds from its own Capital Reserve Fund. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Municipality of the District of Clare transfer funds (up to $440,000) from the Capital Reserve Fund to cover the Municipality`s portion of the capital expenses relating to the Meteghan Sanitary Sewer Extension and Sewer Treatment Plant Sludge Dewatering Project and to send notice to the Municipal Capital Borrowing Board that the Municipality no longer intends to borrow funds for this project.
11.9 Motion to Appoint Auditors for fiscal year 2016/2017
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Municipality of the District of Clare appoint Grant Thornton as the Municipality`s auditors for the fiscal year 2016/2017.
11.10 Hectanooga Fire Department
The CAO explained that he has been approached by Mr. Ralph Saulnier from the Hectanooga Fire Department. The group is looking to build a new fire hall. Currently, this project is not included in the Municipality`s five year capital plan. While additions to the plan are allowable, the CAO mentioned that there is nevertheless a process which must be followed and that projects will be considered in order of priority. That said, Council agreed to consider this project in the coming years and add it to the plan.
11.11 Letter of support for Upper Clements Park
Councillor Nil Doucet asked Council to write a letter to the Upper Clements Park Society in support of its funding application for Canada 150. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Robert Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Municipality of the District of Clare write a letter of support for the Upper Clements Park Society’s project, under the condition that the details of the aforementioned project are clearly defined before the letter is written.
12) Closed Session
13) Date and time of the next Regular Council Meeting
The next Regular Council Meeting will be held on October 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm.
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 8:35pm.