Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Councillors, Eric Pothier, Hector Thibault, Brian Comeau, Carl Deveau, and Yvon LeBlanc.
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
ABSENT: Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and Councillor Danny Hill
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 proposed the following items be added to the agenda:
• 5.3 Chemin de la Montagne
• 5.4 Community Flagpole
• 6.6 Property Tax Adjustment
MOVED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault 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. None declared.
4) Staff Reports
4.1 Financial Update – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
The Director of Finance provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)
5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Derelict Boat, Comeauville Wharf
Councillor Carl Deveau has been approached by residents and business owners frustrated with the delays surrounding the clean-up of the derelict boat at the Comeauville Wharf and concerned by the safety risks posed by this same vessel. Councillor Deveau is looking for direction on this file, more specifically regarding options available to the Municipality regarding the necessary clean-up.
The boat in question is currently subject of an investigation being led by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. The Municipality’s CAO has been in constant contact with the Department and has repeatedly been advised not to clean-up or interfere with the scene as it is subject to an open investigation. As of July 3, 2019, the Department continues to work on this file and has brought this matter before the Court but remains unsuccessful in locating the boat’s owner.
Warden Ronnie Leblanc proposed sending a letter to the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment, outlining Council’s concerns regarding the derelict boat. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend writing a letter to the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment, outlining its concerns surrounding the remains of the derelict boat at the Comeauville Wharf.
5.2 Clare Veterans Association
On May 6, 2019 Community Development Officer, Réanne Flynn, made a presentation to Council which touched on the need for more storage at the Clare Veterans Centre. Since then, municipal staff have met with representatives of the Clare Veterans Association regarding opportunities for collaboration and a possible reallocation of space. The Association was very receptive to the ideas proposed by staff and once again thanked the Municipality for its ongoing support. The CAO read a letter to this effect from the Association President, Mr. Russell Comeau. (See attached).
5.3 Chemin de la Montagne
Councillor Brian Comeau met with the residents of Chemin de la Montagne as well as members of the RCMP and a representative from the Department of Lands and Forestry, Ryan Porter, to discuss ongoing concerns along the Chemin de la Montagne. Councillor Comeau is looking for more options to address the concerns and frustrations expressed by the residents of Chemin de la Montagne and would like to invite the Department of Lands and Forestry to a Council meeting to pursue this discussion. Mr. Porter has conveyed his willingness to present to Council. Council agreed to invite Mr. Porter at a future meeting.
5.4. Community Flagpole
The purchase of a community flagpole was included in the Municipality’s 2019-20 capital budget. The amount budgeted ($2,500) was based on the price of the flagpole installed in 2018 at the Cape St. Mary Lighthouse Park. Since then, the price of the flagpole has increased and, in this case, the installation is more complex. Quotes for both the purchase of the flagpole and the installation have been obtained in the amounts of $2,239 plus HST and $3,265 plus HST respectively. The CAO sees much value in the installation of this flagpole in terms of communication and advocacy and is therefore recommending the acceptance of these quotes to move this purchase forward. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the purchase of a community flag pole from Flag Emporium, in the amount of $2,239 plus HST, and its installation by Spec Resources Inc., in the amount of $3,265 plus HST, for a total of $5,504 plus HST, and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Fund.
6) New Business
6.1 Capital Investment Plan 2019-2024
The CAO presented the proposed 5-year Capital Investment Plan (2019-2024) for the Municipality of Clare. This plan is submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia each year and is usually due by September 1st. The plan itself is subject to change if new project opportunities become available or if for some reason, a decision is made to not move forward with a specific project. Among other things, the current draft focuses on rural internet, sidewalks and upgrades to municipal buildings / parks. Council was supportive of the proposed capital investment plan and made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the Municipality’s five-year Capital Investment Plan (2019-2024) as presented.
6.2 Fire Departments – 2019-2020 Capital Funding
The CAO presented the proposed 2019-2020 capital funding expenditures for the volunteer fire departments. (See attached). These expenditures are taken directly from each fire departments’ 5-year capital plan. These capital plans are updated annually by each department and submitted for consideration. Council reviewed the proposed purchases and made 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 approving the 2019-2020 volunteer fire department capital funding expenditures as presented.
Discussion on the motion:
Currently, there is no capital funding slated for the Richfield Fire Department. If Richfield is to receive funding, Councillor Carl Deveau would prefer this funding be used for necessary equipment and not improvements to the firehall as stated in their request.
6.3 Memorandum of Understanding – Belliveau Cove Development Commission
The CAO presented Council with a draft memorandum of understanding between the Municipality of Clare and the Belliveau Cove Development Commission (BCDC) regarding the use and maintenance of the Joseph and Marie Dugas Park in Belliveau Cove. The park is owned by the Municipality and co-managed with the BCDC. This agreement clarifies the responsibilities of each party and is an update to a previous agreement. At the request of the CAO, it has been vetted by the Municipality’s solicitor. Council made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Municipality of Clare and the Belliveau Cove Development Commission as presented.
6.4 CMA 2024
The CMA 2024 Bid Committee is preparing for the eventual transition to the new CMA 2024 Board of Directors. Ensuring a proper governance structure and effective representation is key to this effort. To this effect, the CMA 2024 Bid Committee is communicating with la Société Nationale de l’Acadie and will be participating in a joint meeting with Councils of Argyle and Clare. At this same meeting, the expected participation in CMA 2019 activities later this summer will also be discussed. In order to do so, the CMA 2024 Bid Committee is respectfully requesting the remaining funds from its bid preparation budget ($11,160) be made available to offset these costs. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend allowing the CMA 2024 Bid Committee to use the remaining $11,160 from its bid preparation budget for the promotion of the CMA 2024, including ensuring a presence at the upcoming CMA 2019 in Prince Edward Island and Southern New Brunswick.
6.5 Project Update – Landfill Roads
The necessary bush hogging to create access paths to the Municipality’s 29 wells at the landfill has been completed at a cost of $2,900. Additional grubbing and the installation of two culverts is required to properly complete these paths. While all quotes for this work have not yet been received, it is believed the cost will be under $10,000. The original budget for this project was $50,000. The last remaining element of this project is the purchase of a side by side vehicle to facilitate ongoing water testing and site monitoring. Three quotes have been obtained including one from Leonard C. Comeau Ltd. for $16,643 plus HST. The quotes were reviewed for value and compliance with the Municipality’s procurement policy. Following this review, staff is recommending accepting the quote from Leonard C. Comeau Ltd. in the amount of $16,643 plus HST. Council agreed and made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend purchasing a 2020 Honda 700 Pioneer Side by Side with dump box from Leonard C. Comeau Ltd., in the amount of $16,634 plus HST, to be used for mandated water testing and site monitoring at the Meteghan Landfill and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Fund.
6.6 Property Tax Adjustment
Staff was approached by Paul F. Kelly asking for a reduction in property taxes as the house on the family’s property in Meteghan was demolished on June 28, 2019. The Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, provided a breakdown of the assessment value and taxes and recommended a prorated reduction in taxes for AAN 04002148 in the amount of $762.38. Council made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving a $762.38 reduction in taxes for 2019 for AAN 04002148, as a result of the demolition of the house in question by the property owner in June 2019.
7) Questions and Comments from the Public
8) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that Council proceed to closed session.
8.1 Former Saint-Albert Elementary School
PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council-in-Committee Meeting.
9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on September 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 pm.