(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)
Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Hector Thibault, Brian Comeau, Yvon LeBlanc and Eric Pothier
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
ABSENT: Councillors Danny Hill 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:
- 5.3 École secondaire de Clare – Funding Request
- 6.4 Major Point Road – By-law 34
- 6.5 Letter of Support – Track and Field Facility, Université Sainte-Anne
- 8.1 Rural Internet
- 8.2 Contract Negotiations
MOVED BY Councillor Brian Comeau 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 Eric Pothier declared a conflict of interest with item 5.3 École secondaire de Clare – Funding Request.
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 Pierre Boissonnault, École dans l’Anse Resto sur Mer – Sewer Hook-up
Mr. Boissonnault is asking the Municipality to share in the cost incurred by the restaurant to connect to the municipal sewer system. More specifically, he is asking the Municipality to reimburse $8,000 (or 50%) of the nearly $16,000 spent to hook-up. These costs are net of HST. As part of his rationale for this request, Mr. Boissonnault is citing the economic impacts of his restaurant in terms of job creation, the benefits to the tourism industry, and the incremental tax revenue which will accrue to the Municipality as a result of his new establishment.
These impacts/benefits notwithstanding, Mr. Boissonault was made aware by staff before undertaking the work in question that any cost incurred would not be eligible for municipal support and would have to be born by the business. Currently, the municipal by-law states “every property or owner thereof is liable for the entire cost of the building service connection from his property to the street, highway or lane line.” In this particular case, Mr. Boissonault was also advised that he would be responsible for the cost of extending the sewer line from the street to the designated point of connection to the municipal sewer system.
While Council is certainly appreciative of Mr. Boissonault’s efforts to contribute to the economic well-being of the community, it is not prepared to grant an exception to the current by-law or provide retroactive funding for construction activity to a private sector entity previously deemed ineligible for municipal funding. That said, Council decided to respectfully decline Mr. Boissonault’s request. The CAO will issue a letter to Mr. Boissonault informing him of Council’s decision.
5.2 Conseil Sigogne – Request for Funding
As requested by Council at its meeting on December 18th, the CAO has spoken with representatives of the Conseil Sigogne regarding the group’s membership, finances and fundraising efforts moving forward.
As for their request for funding, Council would prefer to defer any municipal funding to the next fiscal year so as to allow for opportunities to leverage these funds with other provincial and/or federal sources, in an effort to complete the entire $50,000 project. Funding in this fiscal would likely we treated as a one-off by other levels of government and not allow for leveraging in fiscal 2020-2021, very likely resulting in another funding request to Council.
The CAO will speak with the group and will offer staff’s assistance to help coordinate their various funding requests, in keeping with stated project criteria and deadline, to move this project forward as quickly and effectively as possible.
5.3 École secondaire de Clare – Funding Request
On February 20, 2019, Council awarded a grant to the École secondaire de Clare (ESDC) in the amount of $1,500 to help with the purchase of a $6,000 Badminton Training System (BK Knight Trainer Pro). The balance of funding in the amount of $4,500 was confirmed from the CSAP, Université Sainte-Anne (US-A) and the Clare Health Council. Both the Municipality and the US-A would have access to the equipment.
The Badminton Training System was ordered in March of 2019. Unfortunately, the System was placed on backorder and only delivered in December 2019. Furthermore, the price of the equipment was roughly $1,000 more than expected.
Under the Municipality’s Grants to Organizations Program, funds must be expensed in the fiscal year in which they’re approved. The delays in receiving this equipment meant the previously approved funds were never spent in 2019-2020 as intended and thus returned to the municipal reserves. Whereas this circumstance was in no way caused by the proponent, the CAO is recommending Council honor its previous commitment and revise its earlier motion to allow a pro-rated increase to its funding contribution in light of the higher than expected cost of the System. Council agreed and 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 awarding a grant of 25% of the purchase price of a Badminton Training System (BK Knight Trainer Pro), up to a maximum of $1,750, to l’École secondaire de Clare.
6) New Business
6.1 External Auditing Services – Request for Proposals
A Request for Proposals for External Auditing Services for the next five fiscal years was issued on December 6, 2019 and closed on January 3, 2020. Grant Thornton LLP was the only firm to submit a proposal. Grant Thornton is the Municipality’s current auditor. Both the CAO and staff are very pleased with the quality of service received to date. The bid amount over the next five years closely mirrors what the Municipality is currently paying and in the CAO’s opinion, represents good value for money. As such, it is the recommendation of both the CAO and staff that Council accept the proposal submitted by Grant Thornton LLP. Council agreed and passed 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 accepting the proposal submitted by Grant Thornton LLP in response to the External Auditing Services Request for Proposal, in the following amounts for each of the next five fiscal years:
- $25,000 plus HST for the 2019-2020 fiscal year;
- $25,500 plus HST for the 2020-2021 fiscal year;
- $25,500 plus HST for the 2021-2022 fiscal year;
- $26,000 plus HST for the 2022-2023 fiscal year;
- $26,000 plus HST for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
6.2 Meteghan Wastewater Treatment Plant – Capacity Assessment
A capacity assessment of the wastewater treatment plant in Meteghan was included in the 2018-19 budget in light of expected pressures on the system stemming from the construction of the new home for special care to replace the Villa Acadienne. The assessment was never completed. Since then, the Municipality has been contacted by provincial engineers as to the plant’s capacity given the pending construction of the new elementary school by 2021. In consulting with the Municipality’s Public Works staff, they are unable to answer these questions or properly ascertain the Meteghan plant’s ability to handle the additional demand created by this new infrastructure without a thorough assessment.
In an effort to be proactive, staff has contacted EXP regarding the cost of such a study and the necessary timeline for completion. EXP was chosen given their recent work for the Municipality and their familiarity with our systems and has responded with a quote of $9,850 plus HST. This is very much an enabling piece which both the CAO and staff believe to be good value for money. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend accepting the proposal submitted by EXP for the Meteghan and Belliveau Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant Assessments in the amount of $9,850 plus HST.
6.3 Naming of Road in Saint Joseph – Patrice Lake Road
The residents of Patrice Lake are requesting their private road be named as follows:
In English: Patrice Lake Road
In French: chemin du Lac Patrice
The request is compliant with the Municipality’s Road Naming Policy in that the chosen name is bilingual and has approval from 66.6% or more of those property owners whose land abuts the road in question. In this particular case, support for the proposed name change was received from three of the four (75%) affected property owners. The fourth property owner has not responded to the letter issued by the Municipality. Council made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend naming the road shared by the properties PID (Property Identification Number) 30201131, 30013874, 30014567, 30014575 and 30013866 as follows:
In English: Patrice Lake Road
In French: chemin du Lac Patrice
6.4 Major Point Road – By-Law 34
The CAO received an email from Mr. Peter Evans on behalf of the residents of Major Point Road expressing their interest in moving forward with an application under By-law 34, a by-law respecting private road maintenance. Before initiating this process, Mr. Evans was seeking confirmation from Council that they were supportive of this effort. As per the by-law, responsibility for preparing and submitting the application for consideration lies with the residents. There is no cost to the Municipality per say. Its role is limited to simple administration. The application must however be approved by Council. If/when approved, either party may terminate the agreement upon giving the other party 3 months notice. The CAO is recommending Council support this request in principle. Council agreed unanimously. A formal motion will be made following a review of the final proposal by staff and Council.
6.5 Letter of Support – Track and Field Facility Université Sainte-Anne
Université Sainte-Anne (US-A) is in discussions with both the federal and provincial governments regarding a proposed track and field facility at their campus in Church Point. As part of this process, US-A is requesting a letter of support from the Municipality.
Council has previously discussed this project in 2018-2019. During this discussion, Council support was unanimous. At the time, a contribution of $25,000 per year over the next 4 years was tentatively budgeted in anticipation of a request for municipal funding. This notwithstanding, the project scope has since evolved, and the project budget has yet to be finalized. Although a request for municipal funding is likely, US-A’s current request is simply for a letter expressing the Municipality’s support in principle
for this project. Once the project budget is finalized and the prospective federal/provincial contributions are known, a more formal funding request will be made (if needed) to the Municipality. Council made
the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend writing a letter in support of the proposed track and field facility at Université Sainte-Anne.
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 Contract Negotiations
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 February 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 pm.