(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)

Municipality of the District of Clare
COUNCIL-IN-COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 7:00 pm
Meeting held at 1185 Highway 1, Little Brook

PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc, Councillors, Nil Doucet, Philippe Gaudet, Carl Deveau, Brian Comeau, Danny Hill, and Eric Pothier
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, and Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks
Presenters:
ABSENT:  

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

2) Approval of the Agenda
The Warden asked that the following items be removed from the agenda:

  • 4.1 Société édifice Sainte-Marie de la Pointe
  • 7.10 Concrete Pad, Clare Veterans Centre

The CAO asked that the following items be added to the agenda:

  • 7.10 Fédération des Associations de Familles Acadiennes
  • 7.11 New Road Name - Perseverance Street

MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted revisions.
MOTION CARRIED           

3) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
The Warden declared a conflict of interest with item 7.3 Track and Field Facility.

4) Presentations
None.

5) Staff Reports
5.1 Financial Update – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff         
The Director of Finance provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)

The Director of Finance raised the issue of the Municipality’s deed transfer tax rate with Council. Currently, the Municipality of Clare has a deed transfer tax rate of 0.5%. This rate has remained unchanged for some 40 years. It is the lowest in South West Nova Scotia and one of the lowest in the entire Province, with most other municipal units having a rate of 1.0% or 1.5%. Based on current budgetary projections, increasing the Municipality’s deed transfer tax rate to 1.0% would generate $125,000 in incremental revenue. To be clear, the deed transfer tax is only collected on the sale of property, it has no impact on either the residential or commercial tax rates currently in place. Given increasing budgetary pressures faced by the Municipality, both the CAO and the Director of Finance are recommending Council proceed with a modest 0.5% increase of the deed transfer tax, from 0.5% to 1.0%. Council agreed to consider this recommendation.

6) Business arising from Previous Meetings
6.1 Funding for Outdoor Courts – École secondaire de Clare
On May 19, 2021, Council passed a motion to provide $8,280 in funding to École secondaire de Clare (ESDC) for the purchase and installation of fencing around its outdoor tennis courts. Immediately after this amount was approved, the CAO was informed by ESDC that the cost of materials had increased. ESDC is proposing to split this increase equally amongst the three funding partners and as such, is requesting an additional $320 from the Municipality, thereby increasing its total contribution to $8,600. This increase notwithstanding, the rationale for supporting this project remains sound. A new motion will be presented at the July 21, 2021, Regular Council Meeting.  

6.2 Meteghan Sidewalks
In order to finalize the specifications for the proposed improvements and extension of the Meteghan sidewalks, Council must choose between asphalt and concrete construction and communicate its decision to the project engineers. The asphalt option is estimated to cost approximately $1.2 million plus HST, while the concrete alternative is estimated at $1.6 million plus HST. The life expectancy for both materials is very reasonable. Given this price variance, and the fact that all current municipal sidewalks are asphalt and in relatively good condition for their age, Council chose to proceed with the asphalt option. The CAO will inform the engineers accordingly.

6.3 Beach Access Project
The Luke Boudreau Road (leading to Grandy Beach) was included in the Municipality’s Beach Access Project. This is a relatively short road with little to no parking. Recently, Councillor Philippe Gaudet was approached by a nearby resident with concerns of strangers parking on her property due to the lack of parking. To address this parking issue, Councillor Gaudet is suggesting Council proceed with the take over of the Luke Boudreau Road, as part of its ongoing Beach Access Project. Council agreed and asked the CAO to commence this process.

7) New Business

7.1 Capital Investment Plan 2021-2025
The CAO presented the Municipality’s proposed 5-year Capital Investment Plan (2021-2025) for Council’s review and consideration. (pdfSee attached)

This annual document must be approved via motion of Council and submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia no later then September 1, 2021. The plan itself is subject to change should new project opportunities present themselves or if a decision is made to no longer move forward with a specific project. Council was supportive of the proposed plan and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the Municipality’s five-year Capital Investment Plan (2021-2025), as presented.
MOTION CARRIED

7.2 Wentworth Municipal Park
ACOA has recently launched its Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF). This fund focuses on building or improving community infrastructure through the expansion, improvement, or creation of community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions. Program priorities include outdoor spaces, green projects, and accessibility. The CAO and staff met to discuss possible project opportunities for application to the CCRF and all agreed that Wentworth Park was the best fit. The project is defined in the Municipality’s Tourism Public Spaces

Master Plan and is shovel ready, subject to Council approval and funding assistance from ACOA. The cost for the proposed improvements and additions to Wentworth Park are estimated at $270,000. The CAO is proposing applying to the CCRF for $200,000 with the understanding that the Municipality would provide the remaining $70,000. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend contributing $70,000 towards the proposed project for Wentworth Park, as part of its application to the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Reserve.
MOTION CARRIED

7.3 Track and Field Facility
The Warden excused himself from this portion of the meeting. Deputy Warden LeBlanc chaired the meeting in his absence.

The tender for this project closed on June 28, 2021. Two bids were received and subsequently evaluated by the CAO, Tate Engineering Inc., and Université Sainte-Anne. All parties were unanimous in their recommendation to award the tender for the running track and sports field to Mid Valley Construction (1997) Limited in the amount of $2,807,000 plus HST. Council agreed and passed the following motion 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 awarding the tender for the Running Track and Sports Field to Mid Valley Construction (1997) Limited in the amount of $2,807,000 plus HST and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Reserve.
MOTION CARRIED

7.4 Appointment of Development Officer – Daniel Gaudet
Warden LeBlanc returned to chair the meeting.

With the planned departure of Gary Sullivan later this year, the CAO would like to appoint Daniel Gaudet, the Municipality’s Assistant Building Inspector, as a Development Officer. Doing so will increase efficiency and capacity within the department. It should also be noted that Mr. Gaudet has successfully completed all required training for this appointment. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend appointing Daniel Gaudet as a Development Officer for the Municipality of Clare.
MOTION CARRIED

7.5 Fire Hole – Clare Veterans Centre, Saulnierville
Councillor Philippe Gaudet was approached recently by the Little Brook Fire Department regarding the state of the fire hole at the Clare Veterans Centre. More specifically, the site needs to be grubbed and the fencing replaced. The CAO was approached previously by the Meteghan Fire Department with similar concerns. Given the proximity of large commercial structures, the unhindered availability of this fire hole is of strategic importance. Council agreed and asked the CAO to consult with both Meteghan and Little Brook Fire Departments as to the needed repairs / maintenance and to also explore pricing for Council’s consideration.

7.6 Housing Action Plan
The Housing Action Plan is now complete. A copy will be forwarded to Council for final review and approval. If Council agrees, a motion will be made at the July 21, 2021, Regular Council Meeting authorizing the public release of the plan. 

7.7 Tourism Public Spaces Master Plan
The Tourism Public Spaces Master Plan is now complete. A copy will be forwarded to Council for final review and approval. If Council agrees, a motion will be made at the July 21, 2021, Regular Council Meeting authorizing the public release of the plan.  

7.8 Event to Welcome Newcomers
While campaigning during the October 2020 municipal election, Councillor Nil Doucet met many newcomers in his district. Many of these new residents moved to the area from away because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The same trend has been seen in the Municipality’s other districts as well. In light of this recent influx of newcomers, Councillor Doucet is proposing the Municipality organize an event welcoming them to the area. Council liked the idea. The CAO will meet with staff in the coming weeks to begin planning.

7.9 Bangor Sawmill
The Bangor Development Commission is asking for a letter from the Municipality in support of its funding application to the Province of Nova Scotia for needed repairs to the sawmill. Council agreed to this request and passed the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend sending a letter to the Bangor Development Commission in support of their efforts to repair the damaged Bangor Sawmill dam.
MOTION CARRIED

7.10 Federation of association of acadian families
The CAO read a letter from the Fédération des Associations de Familles Acadiennes. (pdfSee attached) Council is supportive of this effort and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend sending a letter to the Fédération des Associations de Familles Acadiennes in support of their proposed Acadian Families Centre in Port-Royal.
MOTION CARRIED

7.11 New Road Name – Perseverance Street
The CSAP office in Meteghan River is getting a third civic number on their property which allows them to name their driveway / road. Their first name choice conflicted with an existing road within the Municipality and was declined. Their second choice - Perseverance Street/rue de la Persévérance – satisfies all the requirements of the Municipality’s Road Naming Policy. Council made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the request to name the road on PID (Property Identification Number) 30274864 as follows:
In English: Perseverance Street
In French: rue de la Persévérance
MOTION CARRIED

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 Public Security
9.2 Acquisition and Sale of Municipal Property
9.3 Personnel Matters

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

10) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on September 1, 2021, at 7:00 pm.

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

Submitted by

Ashley Hanks
Executive Assistant