Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Hector Thibault, Brian Comeau, Danny Hill and Yvon LeBlanc.
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
ABSENT: Councillors, Eric Pothier and Carl Deveau
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:
• 6.3 Prix Grand-Pré – Daniel LeBlanc
• 8.4 Ecoparc
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.
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 Richfield Fire Department
On October 30, 2019, a meeting was held to discuss the closure of the Richfield Fire Department. Present at that meeting were the Fire Chiefs (and other representatives) for the Departments of Richfield, Havelock and Hectanooga, the President and Vice-President of the CFFA, Councillors Yvon LeBlanc and Danny Hill, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, CAO Stephane Cyr and residents of Richfield. After much discussion, it was agreed by all those in attendance that the Richfield Fire Department would close and that the territory in question would be split between the Havelock and Hectanooga Fire Departments, with the neighboring Carlton Fire Department also providing coverage. The 340 would serve as the line delineating the service coverage between Havelock and Hectanooga
however, a mutual aid agreement would be signed between both departments, as well as Carlton, so that in the event of an incident/fire, all 3 departments would be dispatched. Richfield residents in attendance appeared pleased with this solution, with some commenting they now have a better fire service than before. Once the proper motions are approved by Council, it was agreed that efforts would be made to communicate these changes to the residents of Richfield, via press release, letter, etc.
During these deliberations, it was also agreed that Havelock and Hectanooga would receive an additional $500 and $1,000 in operating funds respectively to help cover the incremental costs associated with the now larger coverage area. Furthermore, the fire truck and other fire-related assets belonging to Richfield (not including the hall) would be transferred to Havelock. Finally, it was agreed that the fire truck replacement schedule be amended to move the Havelock Fire Department from the 11th position to the 5th position which was formerly held by the Richfield Fire Department.
Upon further reflection, it was recommended by Warden LeBlanc and Deputy Warden Doucet that both departments receive the same $1,000 increase in operational funding. Council agreed and passed the following motions 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 closing the Richfield Fire Department and accept the revised service coverage areas for both the Havelock and Hectanooga Fire Departments.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend amending the fire truck replacement schedule to move the Havelock Fire Department from the 11th position to the 5th position which was formerly held by the Richfield Fire Department.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend increasing the operational funding for the Havelock Fire Department by $1,000 to help offset the additional costs stemming from the larger coverage area, as a result of the closure of the Richfield Fire Department.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend increasing the operational funding for the Hectanooga Fire Department by $1,000 to help offset the additional costs stemming from the larger coverage area, as a result of the closure of the Richfield Fire Department.
5.2 Municipal Parking Lot – Maxwellton Road
The Municipality recently acquired a parking lot at the end of Maxwellton Road to allow for improved beach access. With the winter approaching, the Municipality would like to install a stone barrier to protect the parking lot against erosion. To this end, the CAO issued an invitational tender and spoke with three local companies. Only two of the three companies responded to the tender. Questions remain regarding one of the received bids and as such, the CAO is not prepared to make a recommendation at this time. Clarification will be sought, and the CAO will report back to Council at its upcoming November 20, 2019 meeting.
6) New Business
6.1 Funding Application – Meteghan Park Development Association
The Meteghan Park Development Association approached the Municipality for funding assistance to repair the fence around the Meteghan Family Park. The condition of the fence has deteriorated significantly and now poses a safety risk. The cost to replace the fence is estimated at $7,000 and the Association is requesting 50% or $3,500 from the Municipality. In speaking with the Association, Warden LeBlanc suggested they apply to the Municipality’s Grants to Organizations program. Council agreed that the fence needs to be repaired and made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding a grant in the amount of $3,500 to the Meteghan Family Park Association for repairs to the fence surrounding the park.
6.2 Clare Veterans Centre – Funding Proposal
The CAO and staff have proposed a renovation project (with Council’s support) for the Clare Veterans Centre (CVC) with the intention of submitting it for consideration to the Rural and Northern Communities stream of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada Plan. As per this program, funding would be broken down as follows: 40% federal, 33% provincial and 27% municipal. Unfortunately, the launch of this program has been delayed for well over a year and no date has been given by either the federal or provincial government as to when applications will be accepted. This being the case, the CAO has contacted representatives of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) who have expressed interest in this project. Of particular interest to ACOA are the green or environmentally friendly elements of this project as well as the possibility of cash flowing some of these funds within this fiscal year. The funding split discussed was 66.6% ACOA and 33.3% municipal. Whereas this represents an increase to the Municipality’s previously approved contribution towards this project, the CAO is proposing 3 options for Council’s consideration:
1) Maintain the same project scope and budget and simply increase the municipal contribution from 27% to 33.3%
2) Increase the municipal contribution from 27% to 33.3%, add an updated building façade to the project, as suggested by ACOA, and remove other project elements of equal cost, so as to not increase the overall budget.
3) Split the project in two and address the most important items now as part of the possible ACOA project, with the remaining elements to be incorporated into a second project and submitted to the Rural and Northern Communities stream once open.
After much discussion, Council chose option 3 with a proposed budget ranging between $400,000 and $500,000. The existing project proposal will be revised accordingly, and the CAO will report back shortly with a revised list of project elements for Council’s consideration.
6.3 Prix grand pre
Councillor Brian Comeau would like to congratulate Daniel LeBlanc for winning the Prix Grand-Pré and proposed 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 sending a letter of recognition to Daniel LeBlanc, the 2019 recipient of the Prix Grand-Pré Award.
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.
8.1 Rural Internet
8.2 Human Resources
8.3 Legal Advice
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend appointing the following individuals to the Executive of the Organizing Committee of the Congrès Mondial Acadien 2024:
- President – Allister Surette
- Vice-President (Clare) – Natalie Robichaud
- Vice-President (Argyle) – Chris Frotten
- Treasurer – Nadine Comeau
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend obtaining trademark registration for the municipal logo.
9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on December 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 pm.