(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)

Municipality of the District of Clare 
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm

PRESENT:   Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc, Councillors, Nil Doucet, Danny Hill, Philippe Gaudet, Carl Deveau, Brian Comeau, and Eric Pothier.
Staff: CAO Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet, Recreation Manager, Tori Comeau, Tourism Manager, Larry Peach.

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

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

  • 1 Tourism Public Spaces – Recreation Manager, Larry Peach

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

3) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
The Warden asked for any declarations of conflict of interest. None declared.

4) Business Arising from Previous Council Meetings
4.1 Tourism Public Spaces – Recreation Manager, Larry Peach
As a follow-up to the April 7, 2021 Council-in-Committee meeting, the Tourism Manager presented a summary of his recent conversations with both Upland and Maurice Comeau of the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forest. Both the Tourism Manager and the CAO were seeking Council direction and guidance as to there priorities for detailed design and engineering, in an effort to move this project forward. After much discussion, there seemed to be consensus amongst councillors to invest $50,000 towards this effort, with the intention of leverage additional funds (and some in-kind contributions) from both the federal and provincial government. A motion to this effect will be presented at the April 21, 2021 Regular Meeting of Council.

5) Correspondence

6) New Business
6.1 Review of Draft Budget
The session commenced with a review of the sub-budgets pertaining to the Department of Community Development.

The Tourism Manager presented his draft budget for 2021-2022. After removing the Tourism Public Spaces Project from the draft operating budget, revenue and expenses are similar to

2020-21 levels. Salary levels are noticeably lower which is reflective of the Welcome Centre Manager position being moved from the tourism budget to the Welcoming Communities project budget. Overall, revenues are projected at $31,639 with expenses of $154,249. Revenue numbers have been impacted for a second year because of Covid-19. Highlights include a continued focus on advertising and promotion as well as a refreshing of existing marketing collateral and a new Google map pilot project in partnership with YASTA. Council had no issues with the budget as presented.

The Director of Community Development presented the Administration Budget for the department. It is very similar to last year’s budget. Council had no issues with the proposed budget.

The Director of Community Development also presented the budget for Building Services. Again, this budget is very similar to the previous year’s budget in terms of expense categories and amounts. The only exceptions being a reduced allowance for training and conferences, in light of current Covid-19 related restrictions, and an increase to salaries in recognition of the need to hire and begin training a new full-time Building Inspector prior to the departure of the Municipality’s Senior Building Inspector in March 2022. Council had no issues with the proposed budget.

For the last sub-budget, the Director of Community Development presented the draft recreation budget for 2021-22. Revenue is down $11,400 from 2020-2021 levels due to Covid-19 related restrictions, and expenses are down by $24,623 due to some program and/or event cancellations. As per usual, Recreation will be hiring summer students (3). Council had no issues with the budget as presented.

The Director of Finance and the CAO presented the remainder of the Municipality’s proposed $9,518,648 operating budget for fiscal 2021-2022. The budget is balanced and calls for the residential and commercial property tax rates to remain unchanged from 2020-2021 levels, specifically $1.04 and $2.07 per $100 of assessment, respectively. Other highlights include a commitment to the provision of services in both official languages, a renewal of the low-income property tax exemption, continued focus on the Clare Health Centre and doctor recruitment efforts, and dedicated funding for various community organizations, services and events including Security for Seniors, the Transport de Clare, and the Festival acadien de Clare.

Council was pleased with the proposed budget and staff’s efforts to have this exercise completed prior to the April 21, 2021 Regular Council meeting.

7) Closed Session

PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to an in-camera session.

Topic discussed:
7.1 Grants to Organizations

PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that Council return to the Special Meeting of Council.

7) Date and Time of the next Regular Council Meeting
The next Regular Council Meeting will be held on April 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm.

8) Adjournment
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 pm.

Submitted by:
Stephane Cyr
Chief Administrative Officer