Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Hector Thibault, Brian Comeau, Yvon LeBlanc, Eric Pothier and Carl Deveau
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, and Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus
Presenters: Pierre Boissonnault, École dans l’Anse Resto sur Mer
ABSENT: Councillor Danny Hill
1) Call to Order
Warden LeBlanc called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
Warden LeBlanc proposed the following items be added to the agenda:
• 6.4 New Road Name – Heron Lake Road
• 6.5 Request for Assistance - Special Olympics Storage
MOVED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted additions.
(b) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Warden LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
Councillor Brian Comeau declared a conflict of interest with item 6.5 Request for Assistance - Special Olympics Storage.
3.1 Pierre Boissonnault, École dans l’Anse Resto sur Mer – Sewer Hook up
Mr. Boissonnault is an active member of the community and the founder of “Les beaux vendredis” which have steadily grown into an important community event / tourist attraction over the past 13 years. École dans l’Anse Resto sur Mer is Mr. Boissonnault’s newest project. Apart from the restaurant, there are also apartments that will be used as Airbnb’s.
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. Mr. Boissonnault also referenced Riverside Lobster
(John Thibodeau Road) as an established precedent to further support his request.
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.” As a point of clarification, Warden LeBlanc stated that no exception was made to this by-law in the case of Riverside Lobster. The Municipality extended the municipal sewer along a section of the John Thibodeau Road to foster incremental commercial investment. This extension was funded by the federal government, the Municipality and Riverside Lobster. Furthermore, as per the municipal by-law, Riverside Lobster was responsible for the entire cost of connecting their buildings to the Municipal sewer system. In light of this important clarification, Mr. Boissonnault confirmed he was seeking an exception to the by-law, reiterating the important contributions made by the restaurant to the economic well-being of the local community.
Council thanked Mr. Boissonnault for his presentation and indicated they would take his request under consideration.
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)
4.2 Volunteer Fair – Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus
Réanne Titus presented the upcoming Volunteer Fair that will be taking place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on February 8, 2020. The purpose of the fair is to promote volunteerism, identify opportunities for volunteering and to find new volunteers within the community. Karrie-Anne Wilkie from Volunteer Nova Scotia will be on-hand to speak about their services and resources as well as volunteer opportunities across Nova Scotia. The fair may also server to help immigrants and newcomers to the Municipality make new connections and better integrate themselves in the community through volunteering.
5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Clare Veterans Centre – Funding Proposal
The CAO and staff have proposed a renovation project (with Council’s support) for the Clare Veterans Centre (CVC) with the intention of submitting it for consideration to the Rural and Northern Communities stream of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada Plan. Unfortunately, the launch of this program has been delayed for well over a year and no date has been given by either the federal or provincial government as to when applications will be accepted. This being the case, the CAO has contacted representatives of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) who have expressed interest in this project. Of particular interest to ACOA are the green or environmentally friendly elements of this project as well as the possibility of cash flowing some of these funds within this fiscal year. The funding split discussed was 66.6% ACOA and 33.3% municipal. At the Council meeting of November 13, 2019, Council asked the CAO to present a revised project with a budget between $400,000-$500,000. The proposal has since been revised. Core elements of the earlier proposal were retained with a focus on reducing operational costs while improving the buildings overall functionality. The total cost of the new proposal is estimated at $494,235. Council agreed with the revised proposal and made the following motion to recommend:
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 revised proposal for the Clare Veterans Centre, in the amount of $494,235, that its previously approved contribution of $218,700 be reduced to $163,098 and that this amount be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Fund.
5.2 Dangerous and Unsightly
Councillor Brian Comeau discussed two residences in his district. The first was a home on Eustace Comeau Road which was previously damaged by fire. The second site is immediately before the Placide Comeau Road. The Municipality had previously removed buildings from this site. Councillor Comeau asked that the CAO send the municipal Building Inspector to both locations and propose recommendations moving forward. The CAO agreed to send the Building Inspector to the second location. As for the home on Eustace Comeau Road, a site visit has already been conducted and the Inspector’s conclusion is that the home is both dangerous and unsightly in its current state and that it should be demolished. A letter to that effect will be issued to the owner(s).
6) New Business
6.1 Regional Planning Services
CAOs from Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne Counties have met to discuss current planning efforts and opportunities for regional collaboration in an effort to (among other things) ensure compliance with the newly revised provincial planning standards. Ideas regarding a regional planning service were discussed including the possibility of applying for provincial funding to explore the development of a regional planning model. Of the 9 municipal units at this meeting, eight have agreed to move forward. As the sole remaining municipality yet to render its decision, the CAO is asking Council how they wish to proceed.
Contrary to the other eight municipal units, the Municipality of Clare’s planning requirements are modest given that it does not have any zoning and does not own any roads. Furthermore, the Municipality had participated in a shared planning service years ago with less than favorable results. For these reasons, Council is choosing to not participate in this regional planning effort but rather to maintain its current practice of hiring planning resources on a project by project or as needed basis.
6.2 Civic Addressing By-Law
The idea of a civic addressing by-law was discussed at a recent Clare Firefighters Association (CFFA) meeting. CFFA members would like to see a reflective civic number sign on every property at the end of their driveway. The Municipality of Clare currently has no such by-law.
Councillor Yvon LeBlanc mentioned that the Municipality of Barrington currently has a civic addressing by-law and issues fines when residents are found to be non-compliant. In terms of new construction, Councillor LeBlanc recommended making civic numbering signs a condition of receiving the necessary building permit.
Councillor Carl Deveau stressed the importance of having a visible civic number sign. As a paramedic, Councillor Deveau relies on these signs to properly identify residences in case of emergency.
Councillor Danny Hill recommended the issue be sent to the By-law Committee for further study. Council agreed and will revisit the issue at a later date, pending Committee recommendations.
6.3 Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie Jersey / T-shirts 2020-2022
In preparation for the 6th edition of the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte Marie, the Municipality of Clare issued a tender for the event jersey. The tender was for three years (2020-2022). Eight bids were received. Following a review of the bids, staff is recommending that Council accept the bid from Logica Sport (Corsino Sport) in the amount of $26.95 plus HST per jersey. Logica Sport was the second lowest bidder. The low bid was deemed ineligible as it did not meet all the requirements of the tender document. Logica Sport is known to the Municipality, having supplied the jerseys for this year’s Gran Fondo, the quality of which was well appreciated by event organizers and participants alike. Council agreed and made the following motion to recommend.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding the three-year tender for the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie Jersey / T-shirts (2020-2022) to Logica Sport (Corsino Sport) in the amount of $26.95 plus HST per jersey.
6.4 New Road Name – Heron Lake
The residents of Heron Lake are requesting their private road be named as follows:
In English: Heron Lake Road
In French: chemin du Lac Héron
The request is compliant with the Municipality’s Road Naming Policy in that the chosen name is bilingual and has 83% approval from those property owners whose land abutts the road in question. Council made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend that the road shared by the properties PID (Property Identification Number) 30079651, 30272033, 30079719, 30079768, 30079776, 30079784, 30079800 and 30080337 be officially named as follows:
In English: Heron Lake Road
In French: chemin du Lac Héron
6.5 Bobby Comeau – Special Olympics Storage
Bobby Comeau approached the Municipality last year on behalf of the Special Olympics to request storage in the Clare Veterans Centre. Unfortunately, no space was available, and the Municipality was unable to accommodate this request. These types of requests for storage from community groups are not uncommon and given the lack of available storage space in its buildings, the Municipality’s practice has been to respectfully decline them. On November 22, 2019 Mr. Comeau approached the Municipality asking if the Special Olympics could build a shed on the Clare Veterans Centre land in order to store their equipment. Unfortunately, the land in question is tentatively earmarked for a future development project and not available. This notwithstanding, agreeing to this request would go against Council practice and set a precedence for other groups to submit similar requests.
Given the prevalence of these types of requests, Warden LeBlanc asked the CAO to begin work on a policy formally outlining the Municipality’s position. In terms of the Special Olympics, Council is not
prepared to accommodate their request to house their shed. It is however prepared to consider the provision of financial assistance to help the organization with the construction costs of the shed via its Grants to Organizations program. The CAO will contact Mr. Comeau to discuss this possibility.
7) Questions and Comments from the Public
8) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden 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 January 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 pm.