Council in Committee Minutes

Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm

PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Danny Hill, Hector Thibault, Carl Deveau, Brian Comeau, Eric Pothier and Yvon LeBlanc.

Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr; Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, Community Development Officer, Réanne Flynn, Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus, Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet, and Tourism Manager, Larry Peach

Presenters: None


1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

2) (a) Approval of the Agenda

Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked that the following item be added to the Agenda:

  •  8.3 Contract Negotiations, under “Closed Session”

MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau 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.

Deputy Warden Nil Doucet declared a conflict of interest for item 6.9 Request for Funding – École secondaire de Clare.

3) Presentations

4) Staff Reports
4.1 Event Overview, Gran Fondo 2018 – Community Development Officer, Réanne Flynn
Réanne Flynn presented a financial overview of the 2018 Gran Fondo Baie Sainte Marie. (See attached).

Interest in the event from prospective corporate sponsors remains strong. Given the relative success of the event, efforts are being made to add new, larger corporate sponsors in order to continue growing the event.

Looking forward to the 2019 Gran Fondo, the organizing committee is confident they can reduce the marketing budget for the current year given existing marketing collateral and the brand recognition built up over the past years. That said, the hospitality budget will essentially remain at par with 2018 levels as it is viewed as a core element of the Gran Fondo experience and key to the events success.

Councillor Thibault asked if the registration price could be raised to help offset costs. The current registration price has been fixed at $99 for the past 3 years. Committee members were hesitant to increase the price and felt $99 fairly represented what the market was prepared to bear for an event of this size and scope.

Deputy Warden Nil Doucet mentioned that the economic impacts generated by the Gran Fondo are substantial and should not be overlooked. Council agreed and thanked the committee members for their work.

During the Special Meeting of Council on April 9, 2018, Council approved a grant in the amount of $15,000.00 to Gran Fondo Baie Sainte Marie. As a condition of this grant, it was decided that the Committee had access (if needed) to the first $10,000. Access to the remaining $5,000 would be subject to Council approval. As per the overview presented by Ms. Flynn, the Gran Fondo 2018 generated an operating loss of $11,237.64 before any municipal contribution. After factoring in the aforementioned $10,000, the Committee is requesting approval for the remaining $1,237.64. The following motion was made:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that, in keeping with its deliberations of April 9, 2018, which concluded that any contribution request exceeding $10,000 would be subject to Council approval, the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend releasing an incremental amount of $ 1,237.64 for the 2018 Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie.

4.2 Application Review, Recreation Grants - Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus
Staff are currently revising application forms for the Municipality’s recreation grants. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure greater clarity and ease of use. An evaluation matrix has also been created to guide staff and to ensure a consistent and transparent evaluation process.

The proposed changes to the form were viewed by Council as being positive. Councillors wishing to offer additional comments were invited to forward those directly to the Recreation Manager for consideration. The revised forms will be implemented as part of the annual application process, set to launch at the start of the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

4.3 Financial Report – CAO, Stéphane Cyr
The CAO provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)

5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Subdivision By-law
There is currently no subdivision by-law in the Municipality of Clare. Persons wanting to subdivide their land must necessarily follow provincial regulations. The absence of a municipal by-law and the reliance on provincial regulations has been a source of much contention of late, particularly when the land in question is on unmaintained public roads or “K” roads. To address this issue and facilitate future subdivision development, the By-law Committee, in consultation with the CAO and the Municipal Solicitor, Lynette Muise, have drafted a Subdivision By-law for Council’s review and consideration. This by-law is based on best practices contained within existing municipal subdivision by-laws throughout South West Nova Scotia and is believed to be a good fit for the Municipality of Clare. Council members are invited to submit their questions and/or concerns regarding the proposed Subdivision By-law to the CAO. In the absence of any such questions or concerns, the proposed by-law will be put forward for first reading at the February 20, 2019 Regular Meeting of Council.

5.2 Seniors Housing, Havelock
In December of 2015, Council agreed to send a letter to Housing Nova Scotia to explore opportunities for seniors housing in Havelock. Community Development Officer, Réanne Flynn has since tried on several occasions to get in contact with the Housing Nova Scotia for updates on this file with no success. The Warden and CAO recently met with the representatives of Housing Nova Scotia to discuss housing needs and opportunities within the Municipality. At this meeting, representatives from Housing Nova Scotia indicated that the 2015 request regarding seniors housing in Havelock falls under the Housing Authority and unfortunately, they have no plans at present to build any new buildings. Rather, their focus is to renovate and improve the condition of the housing assets they currently own.

6) New Business
6.1 Request for Letter of Support – Upper Clements Park Society
The Upper Clements Park Society is requesting a letter of support from the Municipality of Clare to bolster its efforts to secure both operational and capital funding from the Province of Nova Scotia. More specifically, the Society is requesting $50,000 to support operations until April 2019, $100,000 to support operations from April 2019 until opening, and $260,000.00 for building materials as part of a planned job creation partnership with Nova Scotia Works whereby a 10 to 12-person workforce would be employed to perform various repairs to the facilities over a period of one year. Upper Clements Park attracts many visitors to the region, employs several residents throughout Annapolis and Digby Counties (including Clare) and contributes significantly to the economic wellbeing of the region. As such, Council passed the following motion:

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend writing a letter in support of the Upper Clements Parks Society’s request for provincial funding for the operation of and improvements to the Parks.

6.2 Tax Sale by Tender – Southwest Eco Energy Ltd.
The Tax Sale by Tender closed on January 18, 2019. The sole bidder was Tri-County Storage Ltd. with a bid of $10,510. Seeing as the municipal taxes owing by Southwest Eco Energy Ltd. are $104,690.56 + HST and the assessed value of the land and assets in question is much higher, Council voted to reject the offer. The property will again be presented for tax sale on March 9, 2019. The CAO will communicate Council’s decision to the principals of Tri-County Storage Ltd.

6.3 Meteghan Park – Temporary Closure
Due to recent vandalism, the Meteghan Park is closed temporarily. Harold Boudreau has indicated that the needed repairs will be carried out later this Spring, once the weather allows. Mr. Boudreau also mentioned that since the senseless vandalism and subsequent closure of the park, he has received tremendous support from the community including several offers to aid with the needed repairs and reopen the park. Council has also conveyed it support to Mr. Boudreau and its willingness to help if and when needed.

6.4 Council Renumeration – Advisory Committee
The issue of Council honorariums has been a contentious issue since the changes brought about by CRA, effective January 1, 2019. In response to this issue, the Municipality of Bridgewater put in place a committee, comprised of community members and former Councillors, to recommend the level of Council honorariums. Councillor Hill believes this approach may have merit going forward. The CAO will consult with representatives from Bridgewater and present his findings to Council at a later date.

6.5 Request for Funding – Havelock Community Centre
The Havelock Community Centre is requesting assistance from the Municipality to repair damage to their facility as a result of three break-ins in the past few weeks. The Building Inspector is expected to visit the site to assess the damage which is believed to be relatively minor. As the owners of the Centre, the Municipality will ensure the needed repairs are completed in a timely fashion.

6.6 Request for Funding – 2019 Woodland Conferences
The CAO read a letter from the 2019 Woodland Conferences. (See attached)

Whereas several woodlot owners from Clare will be participating in this conference, Council passed the following motion:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding a sponsorship in the amount of $500 to the 2019 Woodland Conferences (Western Conference).

6.7 FCM – 2019 Annual Conference
The FCM 2019 Annual Conference is being held in Quebec City from May 30 to June 2, 2019. Councillors interested in attending are asked to advise the CAO as soon as possible to allow for travel arrangements to be made.

6.8 Request for Funding – Weymouth Amateur Athletic Association
The Weymouth Amateur Athletic Association is asking for $5,000 from the Municipality of Clare and the Municipality of Digby to construct wheelchair accessible washrooms, a small meeting room and extra storage for equipment at Cricket Field. The field is used extensively by residents of both municipalities. While the project is believed to have merit, it is unclear if the amount requested is $5,000 to be divided equally between both municipalities or $5,000 per municipality. The CAO will contact the Association for clarification and report back to Council on February 20, 2019.

6.9 Request for Funding – École secondaire de Clare
École secondaire de Clare (ESDC) is requesting $1,500 to assist with the purchase of a badminton training system (BK Knight Trainer Pro). The equipment retails for $6,000. Balance of funding in the amount of $4,500 has been confirmed from Université Sainte-Anne, the CSAP (including ESDC) and the Clare Health Council. Furthermore, ESDC has confirmed the Municipality would have access to the equipment. The Municipality’s Recreation Manager has reviewed the proposal and believes the purchase will add value to her summer programming. Council passed the following motion:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding a grant in the amount of $1,500 to l’École secondaire de Clare for the purchase of a Badminton Training System (BK Knight Trainer Pro).

7) Questions and Comments from the Public

8) Closed Session

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.

Topics discussed:
8.1 Acquisition and Sale of Municipal Property – Ecoparc
8.2 Lease of Municipal Property – Clare Health Centre
8.3 Contract Negotiations

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council return to the Regular Council Meeting.

PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend accepting the proposal submitted by Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, in the amount of $13,477 plus HST, for the completion of an Enhanced Phase I Environmental Site Assessment at the EcoParc in Meteghan, Nova Scotia (PID 30319917, PID 30088025, PID 30276776 and PID 30087985).

9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on March 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

10) Adjournment
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m.

Submitted by

Ashley Hanks,
Executive Assistant

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