Council in Committee Minutes

Municipality of the District of Clare
COUNCIL-IN-COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm

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

ABSENT:

__________________________________________________________________________________

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 asked that the following item be added to the agenda:

  • 8.2 Purchase and Sale of Municipal Property – Ecoparc

Councillor Carl Deveau asked that the following item be added to the agenda:

  • 8.3 Human Resources

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

(b) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
None declared.

3) Presentation
None.

4) Staff Reports
4.1 Update on Municipal Tax Collection
The CAO provided a brief overview of the Municipality’s financial position with a particular focus on revenue levels and tax collection efforts this fiscal.

As of May 31, 2020:

  • The Municipality has recorded $7,970,772 in revenues versus $1,621,500 in expenses, for a surplus of $6,349,272.
  • The Municipality has a balance of $1,406,002 in its operating fund, $53,869 in its capital fund and a total reserve balance of $5,748,924 which can be broken down as follows:
    • Operating reserve - $856,253
    • Capital reserve - $3,450,904
    • Landfill closure reserve - $329,563
    • Gas tax reserve - $1,112,204
  • Total deposits of $1,920,226 were recorded during the first two months of fiscal 2020. A total of $1,998,934 was deposited for this same period last year.
  • A total of $1,508,103 was collected in residential and commercial taxes during the first two months of fiscal 2020. A total of $1,884,221 was collected for this same period last year.

All things considered, the Municipality’s financial position is sound. In light of the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impacts on the region’s economy, staff will continue to closely monitor the Municipality’s financial position and brief Council accordingly.

4.2 Re-opening Plan – Municipal Office
The CAO and other members of the Municipality’s Senior Management Team met on May 27, 2020 to discuss plans to re-open the municipal office. Several other municipal units across NS are doing the same and are at various stages of re-opening with most eyeing an early to mid-June reopening.

The following plan applies to the municipal office only:

  • There are currently renovations underway at the office. These are expected to wrap up by June 5th. The office will remain closed during this time however, staff can enter as per usual. In-person tax collection efforts will continue.
  • During the week of June 8th, staff will be asked to resume working from the office and in do so, respect social distancing measures.
  • This same week, there will be a soft opening for the public, i.e. allow a limited number of the public to enter but not advertise the municipal office as being open. The upstairs in currently limited to 2 members of the public. The downstairs will be the same.
  • During the week of June 15th, staff will advertise the municipal building as open. The number of people allowed to enter will still be limited and social distancing measures will be actively encouraged.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available throughout the building. Dispensers will be installed at both the upstairs and downstairs entrances.
  • A maximum of 3 employees will be allowed in the lunchroom at a given time.
  • Staff will be asked to regularly wipe down counter tops, tabletops , handrails, visitor chairs, door handles, etc., with a particular focus on the upstairs and downstairs entrance.

The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are very fluid. Should matters worsen, the Municipality will adjust accordingly. This may include once again closing the office and initiating work from home protocols

5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
None.

6) New Business
6.1 Capital Investment Plan 2020-2024
The CAO presented the Municipality’s proposed 5-year Capital Investment Plan (2020-2024) for Council’s review and consideration (see attached). This annual document must be approved via motion of Council and submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia no later then September 1, 2020. The plan itself is subject to change should new project opportunities presented 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 Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the Municipality’s 5-year Capital Investment Plan (2020-2024) as presented.
MOTION CARRIED

6.2 No littering signs
Deputy Warden Nil Doucet was contacted by a number of constituents requesting “no littering” signs be placed throughout the Municipality in an effort to curtail the amount of garbage being thrown in ditches and /or dumped illegally. In response to these requests, the Deputy Warden is requesting a letter be sent to the Honourable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment, for their assistance in initiating this effort. Council agreed and passed 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 sending a letter to the Honorable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment requesting the installation of no littering signs in Clare.
MOTION CARRIED

6.3 Belliveau Cove Lighthouse
To prevent future damage to the lighthouse from storm surges, the Belliveau Cove Development Commission is requesting the lighthouse be moved from the Northern Wharf to the Southern Wharf.

The Municipality has currently engaged consultants to complete new site plans for a number of its public spaces, including the Joseph and Marie Dugas Park in Belliveau Cove. Warden LeBlanc is recommending we allow the consultants to complete their site plans and submit their recommendations prior to making any changes. The site plans are expected to be completed later summer 2020. The CAO echoed these comments and suggested contacting Transport be Canada before any potential move since this is currently a working lighthouse. Council agreed.

7) Questions and Comments from the Public
None.

8) Closed Session

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

Topics Discussed:
8.1 Contract Negotiations
8.2 Purchase and Sale of Municipal Property – Ecoparc
8.3 Human Resources

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor 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 July 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm.

10) Adjournment
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 pm.

Submitted by

Ashley Hanks,
Executive Assistant

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1185 Highway 1

Little Brook, Nova Scotia
B0W 1M0

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