Municipality of the District of Clare
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Wednesday April 15, 2015
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc; Deputy Warden Brian Comeau; Councillors Russell Comeau, Lester Doucet, Nil Doucet, Danny Hill, Hector Thibault and Robert Thibault. Staff: Chief Administrative Officer Connie Saulnier, and Administrative Assistant to the CAO Colette Deveau. Public: numerous residents.
1) CALL TO ORDER
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Council reviewed the Agenda.
Requested by Warden Ronnie LeBlanc the topic "UNESCO Letter of Support" (5.2) be added to the Agenda.
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill
that the proposed Agenda be approved with the above noted removal and addition.
(b) CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATION
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest from
the floor. None declared.
4) ADOPTION OF THE MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETINGS
4.1 March 25, 2015: Regular Council Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that the Minutes of March 25, 2015 be accepted as circulated.
4.2 April 1, 2015 : Committee-In-Council meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that the Minutes of April 1, 2015 Council-In-Committee Meeting be accepted as circulated.
5) BUSINESS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS
5.1 Committees of Council Structure
Council briefly discussed the structure of the Committees of Council, being Economic Development, Recreation and Tourism. As per one of the recommendations in the Organizational Review, the structure of these will change. Council will discuss this further at a later date.
5.2 UNESCO Letter of Support - Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
Councillor Lester Doucet, on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association, indicated that the Board is seeking a letter of support from the Municipality regarding the Association's idea that UNESCO's Annual General Meeting in 2016 be held in Clare. Council discussed and was in agreement with providing a letter of support, indicating an interest in the idea (but no financial commitment at this point).
MOVED BY Councillor Lester Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Robert Thibault that the Municipality of Clare provide a letter supporting the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association's idea that UNESCO's Annual General Meeting be held in Clare in 2016 (with no financial commitment at this point).
6) Warden’s Activity Report – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc listed the meetings and events he attended since the last Council meeting: which included Southwestern Region UNSM meeting with the municipal units from Digby, Clare and Argyle; a meeting with Cliff Drysdale (Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association) and Allister Surette (Université Sainte-Anne); lunch with the student winners of a Waste Check recycling contest; and a meeting with the Digby Dr. Recruiting Committee.
7) Official Statements from the Members of Council
8.1 Financial request from Digby Choral Federation
CAO Connie Saulnier read an email from the Digby Choral Federation sent to Warden Ronnie LeBlanc (dated April 10, 2015) regarding the High Cs Festival in May. The correspondence indicates the goals of the non-profit organization, details about the Festival, the list of the Board of Directors, 2014 Financial Statements and their 2015 Budget (see attached documents).
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc suggested that this financial request be added to Grants to Organizations, even though the deadline for applications is past, and added to the other applications and addressed during the grants review process. Council was in agreement.
8.2 Recreation Nova Scotia
CAO Connie Saulnier read a letter from Recreation Nova Scotia sent to Warden Ronnie LeBlanc (dated April 14, 2015). The correspondence provided information relating to recreation within the province and the importance of recreation services.
9) Chief Administrative Officer's (CAO) Report – CAO Connie Saulnier
CAO Connie Saulnier provided a report regarding the new Provincial Budget and how the changes will affect the Municipality of Clare specifically. CAO Saulnier pointed out that the Deeds Office in Digby will move to Lawrencetown, and the Court in Comeauville will be closing, with Digby as the nearest Court House.
10) Committee Reports
10.1 Building Permits Report – Councillor Danny Hill
Councillor Danny Hill presented the building permits reports for the previous month, as submitted by the Building Department.
Year Permits Value of Construction
2014 55 $2,528,089
2015 21 $1,512,484
10.2 Clare Economic Development Committee – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
10.3 Communication Committee – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
10.4 Planning Advisory Committee – Councillor Danny Hill
10.5 Recreation Committee – Councillor Nil Doucet
10.6 Tourism Committee – Councillor Robert Thibault
10.7 Villa acadienne – Deputy Warden Brian Comeau
10.8 Waste Check – Councillor Robert Thibault
CAO Connie Saulnier reported that Waste Check had their Annual General Meeting, and the focus was on streamlining the budget. More information will be provided.
11) New Business
11.1 Second and Final Reading, and Motion to Enact Dog By-Law 12-2014 – MOTION
Deputy Warden Brian Comeau explained that on February 18, 2015, the Hearing of Objections was held regarding Dog By-Law 12-2014. Deputy Warden indicated that the draft By-Law had been posted on the Municipal Website late, and some members of the public had indicated that it did not provide enough time for the public to review the draft By-Law. He suggested that the Final Reading be postponed until the Council Meeting in May in order to permit the public to submit concerns in writing (emails or letters) within the next 2 weeks so Council may have time to review them. Council discussed and agreed to provide the public until May 6 to send in their written concerns regarding By-Law 12-2014.
11.2 Recommendations from Organizations Study – MOTIONS
CAO Connie Saulnier explained that many recommendations had been made in the Municipality of Clare's Organization Study Report, some of which pertain to employee changes. CAO Saulnier indicated that Council wished to proceed with the following: the elimination of 1 vacant position, the creation of 2 new positions, and the reclassification of 4 existing positions.
a) Elimination of 1 vacant employee position, and
b) Approval of 2 new employee positions
Council proceeded to the following Motion:
In accordance with the Municipality of Clare Organization Study Report, which was accepted by Motion of Council at a Special Session of Council on March 4th, 2015,
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Municipality of Clare eliminate the existing position of
“Payroll Clerk/Accounts Payable Assistant”, which is currently vacant, and
create the following two (2) new employee positions: a) Director of Finance,
and b) Director of Community Development.
c) Reclassification of 4 existing employee positions.
Council proceeded to the following Motion:
In accordance with the Municipality of Clare Organization Study Report, which was accepted by Motion of Council at a Special Session of Council on March 4th, 2015, MOVED BY Councillor Robert Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Municipality of Clare reclassify the following 4 employee positions:
From Existing Title To New Title
Deputy Clerk Accounting Clerk
Tax Collector Tax Clerk
Tourism Director Tourism Manager
Director of Leisure Services Recreation Manager
AND that the current duties of the Economic Development Officer be incorporated into the newly approved position of “Director of Community Development”.
11.3 Approval of funds for local agricultural producers Information Session – MOTION
Councillor Lester Doucet explained that an Information Session for local agriculture producers was planned for April 28 (2015), a partnership with the Chambre de commerce de Clare, the CDÉNÉ and the Municipality of Clare. The funding request is for the amount of Seven Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($750) from the Municipality of Clare (see attached email from Pam Doucet).
MOVED BY Councillor Lester Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Municipality of the District of Clare approve the amount of Seven Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($750) in funding to be used towards an Information Session for local agriculture producers scheduled for April 28, 2015.
11.4 Request for Tax Write-Off
Council was informed that a request had come in from homeowners of a house that had been destroyed by fire in August 2014 and they were requesting that their property taxes be written-off. Council proceeded to the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Russell Comeau that Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare write-off the municipal property tax of Assessment Account Number 01285661 following the tax amount of $546.16 given the fact that the home on the property was destroyed in a fire in August 2014 and also write-off the portion of the 2015 municipal property taxes that would apply to the house only.
11.5 Request to remove gravel from sidewalks – Deputy Warden Brian Comeau
Deputy Warden Brian Comeau indicated that he had received calls regarding the gravel on the sidewalk on Placide Comeau Road (known as the High School Road). He indicated that students participating in the Jeux de l'Acadie were using the sidewalk for training and had indicated that there were many rocks. Deputy Warden Comeau asked if the Municipality could contact the Department of Transportation to ask if they could clear the gravel from the sidewalks. Warden LeBlanc and CAO Saulnier indicated that DOT cleans them every year, usually in May, however the CAO could contact them and ask that they be cleaned earlier than usual. Council agreed.
12) IN CAMERA SESSION
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that Council proceed to an In Camera Session.
Topic discussed: 12.1 Land Purchase (Beach Access); and 12.2 Funding Agreement.
MOVED BY Councillor Russell Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Lester Doucet that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
13) DATE AND TIME OF NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
The next Council meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 7 pm.
The meeting was adjourned with a Motion by Councillor Nil Doucet.
Administrative Assistant to the CAO