(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)

Municipality of the District of Clare
COUNCIL-IN-COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Meeting held Virtually via Microsoft Teams

PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc, Councillors, Nil Doucet, Philippe Gaudet, Carl Deveau, Brian Comeau, and Eric Pothier
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
Presenters:
ABSENT:  Councillor Danny Hill

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

2) Approval of the Agenda
The CAO asked that the following items be added to the agenda:

  • 5 Housing Commission Operating Deficit 2021-2022
  • 6 Housing Action Plan

MOVED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted additions.
MOTION CARRIED           

3) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Councillor Eric Pothier declared a conflict with item 7.2 Funding Request – École secondaire de Clare.

4) Presentations
None.

5) Staff Reports
None.

6) Business arising from Previous Meetings
6.1 Fire Truck Purchase – Little Brook Fire Department
Following the April 21, 2021 Council meeting, the CAO was notified by the LBFD that they committed an error in the pricing of the truck. More specifically, the quote they provided was from December 9, 2020. This was provided in error. The correct quote is dated December 21, 2020. This error represents an increase of $10,048 (including the non-rebated portion of the HST) to the approved municipal contribution of $512,112, bringing the total to $522,160. This unfortunate error notwithstanding, the merits of LBFD’s proposal have not changed and it is still very much in the Municipality’s advantage to proceed as planned. Council agreed and passed the following motions to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend rescinding its motion from April 21, 2021, approving the purchase of a new fire truck for the Little Brook Fire Department in the amount of $476,383 plus the non-rebated portion of the HST, for a total cost of $512,112.
MOTION CARRIED

PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the purchase of a new fire truck for the Little Brook Fire Department in the amount of $485,730 plus the non-rebated portion of the HST, for a total cost of $522,160.
MOTION CARRIED

7) New Business
7.1 Review of 2021-2022 Draft Capital Budget
The CAO presented the Municipality’s proposed capital budget for fiscal 2021-2022. The proposed budget is highlighted by the Municipality’s continued investment in rural internet. The budget also contains investments in municipally owned facilities such as the Clare Health Centre, the Clare Veterans Centre, the Transfer Station, and the Meteghan Library, as well as continued support to municipal infrastructure including wastewater treatment plants and sidewalks. Council made 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 approving the 2021-2022 Capital Budget for the Municipality of the District of Clare as presented.
MOTION CARRIED

7.2 Funding Request – École secondaire de Clare
Ecole secondaire de Clare is planning a series of repairs and improvements to its outdoor basketball court, volleyball court and tennis courts. As part of this effort, they are seeking funding from the Municipality in the amount of $8,280 to assist with the purchase and installation of new fencing. Although on school grounds, the aforementioned facilities will be available to the broader community, outside of school hours. Given the benefits that will accrue from this project, Council made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the funding request from École secondaire de Clare in the amount of $8,280 for the purchase and installation of fencing around their outdoor tennis courts and that these funds be taken for the Municipality’s Operating Reserve.
MOTION CARRIED

7.3 Leave Request – Council Members
Two members of Council are running in the next provincial election. Since the date of said election remains unknown, the CAO is recommending Council grant a leave of absence to both Councillors, effectively immediately after the writ is dropped. Council agreed and made 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 approving a leave of absence for Warden Ronnie LeBlanc and Councillor Carl Deveau, both of whom are running in the upcoming provincial election, and that this leave commence immediately following the dropping of the writ, marking the start of the election.
MOTION CARRIED

7.4 Request for Speed Limit Reduction – Highway 1, Church Point to Saulnierville
Councillor Philippe Gaudet was approached by a group of six residents in his district inquiring as to a speed limit reduction along Highway 1, from Church Point to Saulnierville. Citing three deadly accidents along this stretch in the past few years, these residents are suggesting the speed limit be reduced from 80km/h to 50km/h. Council will raise the issue during their meeting with NSTIR representatives in September.

7.5 Housing Commission Operating Deficit 2021-2022
The CAO was informed of the Municipality’s mandatory contribution towards the Province’s 2021-2022 Housing Commission Operating Deficit. The number in question, ranging from $64,468 to $78,794, is much higher than expected with no explanation given for the increase. This is not unique to the Municipality of Clare. Several other municipal units have experienced the same increase with no explanation from or consultation with the Province, simply a requirement to pay. The CAO will follow up with the Province on this matter.

7.6 Housing Action Plan
The Housing Action Plan is completed and the response from both the Advisory Committee and Council has been positive. Whereas there are funds remaining in the project budget, the Municipality will proceed to implement some of the key recommendations contained in the plan. To this end, SHS Consultants is proposing the following 4 actions:

  1. An assessment of the development potential of the current Villa Acadienne site.
  2. An RFP to acquire new land for potential housing developments.
  3. An REOI / RFP process to select a developer for the proposed development of the soon-to-be former school sites, namely École Joseph-Dugas and École Stella-Maris.
  4. The creation of a new, non-profit housing corporation.

Council was in favour of the first three recommendations, commencing with the Villa assessment. The CAO will contact the President of the Villa’s Board of Directors to discuss this possibility. The other two items will follow shortly thereafter. The creation of a new, non-profit housing corporation will not be pursued at this time.

8) Questions and Comments from the Public
None.

9) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.
MOTION CARRIED

Topics Discussed:
9.1 Acquisition and Sale of Municipal Property
9.2 Public Safety

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

9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on June 2, 2021 at 7:00 pm.

10) Adjournment
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 pm.

Submitted by
Ashley Hanks,
Executive Assistant