Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Danny Hill, Hector Thibault, Carl Deveau, Brian Comeau, and Yvon LeBlanc.
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr; Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, and Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet
Presenters: Gerald Comeau and Pierre Comeau
ABSENT: Councillor Eric Pothier
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
CAO Stéphane Cyr asked that the following items be added to the Agenda:
• 4.2 Clare Veterans Centre – Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet
• 6.4 Doers and Dreamers Guide
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted additions.
(b) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
Councillor Hector Thibault declared a conflict of interest with Item 3.1 - Société Édifice Sainte-Marie de la Pointe.
3.1 Société Édifice Sainte-Marie de la Pointe – Gerald Comeau
The Société Édifice Sainte-Marie de la Pointe is looking to take over l’Église Sainte-Marie from the Diocese and preserve it as a monument to Acadians. The Society has been given three years to raise just over $3,000,000 for repairs to the building, at which point it will be sold to the Society for $1.00. To this end, the Society is asking the Municipality for $10,000 to help with the cost of hiring a consulting firm ($50,000) to prepare a fundraising strategy. Warden LeBlanc thanked Mr. Comeau for his presentation and congratulated them on taking on a project so important to the community.
4) Staff Reports
4.1 Financial Update – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)
4.2 Clare Veterans Centre, Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet
The Director of Community Development presented a draft budget for proposed renovations to the Clare Veterans Centre. This project is dependant on infrastructure funding from the both the Provincial and Federal Government. Although not yet open, the funding mix proposed under this program is 40% federal, 33% provincial and 27% municipal. Project elements include a new wheelchair ramp, new air conditioning units, new downstairs washrooms, kitchen upgrades including a walk-in cooler, etc. The final costing for this project will be presented for Council’s consideration in May 2019 as part of the Municipality’s capital budget.
5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Funding Request – Electric City/La Nouvelle France Society
As per their presentation to Council on March 6, 2019, the Electric City/La Nouvelle France Society is seeking $5,000 to aid in the preparation of a business plan / feasibility study for a proposed interpretive centre. Given the cultural ties and rich history between Electric City/La Nouvelle France and the Municipality of Clare, Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend contributing $5,000 to the Electric City/La Nouvelle France Society to aid in the preparation of a business plan / feasibility study for a proposed interpretive centre.
5.2 Funding Request – Enhancing the Cultural and Historical Heritage of Acadians in Nova Scotia
On March 6, 2019, the Interim Coordinator for the Centre acadien, Stéphanie St-Pierre, presented a project concept to Council entitled Enhancing the Cultural and Historical Heritage of Acadians in Nova Scotia. This is a 3-year project in partnership with Historic Nova Scotia. The first year focusing on 1) researching and digitizing historical materials to make them more accessible and 2) developing new marketing collateral to further promote these materials. Council appeared supportive of this project including the year 1 funding request for $7,897. However, prior to rendering its decision, Council requested the CAO to contact the Municipality of Argyle (who was entertaining a similar request) as to their support for this project.
6) New Business
6.1 Municipal Landfill – Quarterly Water Testing/Monitoring
The Department of Natural Resources requires that the wells on the old municipal landfill be tested every three months and that the results be sent to the Province. Roland LeBlanc has been testing the 29 wells for several years now but has decided to retire. In an effort to ensure continued testing, the Landfill Supervisor, Wilfred (Junior) Stuart, accompanied Mr. LeBlanc for the March 2019 testing. According to Mr. Stuart, accessing the wells is nearly impossible due to the terrain and the overgrowth. If left unchecked, the ability of the Municipality to ensure quality, timely testing will be uncertain at best. In an effort to address this problem and ensure continued compliance with the requirements put forward by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, it is recommended that a road be built to access these wells by truck. Council agreed. The CAO will prepare a tender for release in May 2019.
6.2 Committee Membership Review
Councillor Brian Comeau suggested that this item be moved to a future meeting, as it is not time sensitive item. He also suggested the frequency of meetings be added to the document outlining committee membership. Council agreed.
6.3 Tender – Demolition of Buildings and Structures located at 7587 Highway 1, Meteghan
A total of 12 companies responded to this tender. After reviewing the bids, it is recommended by both the CAO and staff that Council accept the low bid as submitted by Spec Resources Inc. in the amount of $34,870 plus HST. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding the tender for the demolition of buildings and structures located at 7587 Highway 1, Meteghan to Spec Resources Inc. in the amount of $34,870 plus HST and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Fund.
6.4 “Doers and Dreamers” Travel Guide
Every year, the Municipality of Clare places a co-op ad with businesses in Clare in both the English and French Provincial “Doers and Dreamers” Travel Guide. This year, there was an error and the ad was printed in English in the French guide. Tourism Manager Larry Peach has been in contact with the Province and they have offered to correct the error in the PDF version of the guide and fully refund the ad. While the offer is appreciated, it does little to rectify the problem in the nearly 25,000 hard copies of the guide, the negative impacts of which could prove quite serious for the Municipality and its many tourism operators. Both Council and staff see great value in advertising in this guide and as such, would like to see a French insert added as a means of correcting this mistake. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend writing a letter to Tourism Nova Scotia asking them to correct the co-op advertisement for Clare’s Baie Sainte-Marie which was mistakenly printed in English and included in the 2019 French edition of the “Doers and Dreamers” travel guide, “Du rêve à l’aventure.”
7) Questions and Comments from the Public
Communications Officer Amy Paradis would like to advise Council that Friday morning at 6:15 a.m., there will be a segment about the students from the École secondaire de Clare on Radio Canada talking about their bilingual stop sign project.
8) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.
8.1 IT Audit
8.2 Rural Internet
8.3 Doctor Recruitment
8.4 Volunteer Fire Service – Vehicle Assessment
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on May 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 10:45 pm.