(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)
Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Hector Thibault, Brian Comeau, Eric Pothier, Yvon LeBlanc and Carl Deveau
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet and Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus
ABSENT: Counsellor Danny Hill
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
Warden LeBlanc asked that the following revisions be made to the agenda:
- Move item 6.1 - Nova Scotia SPCA Contract to 8.1 in Closed Session, under Contract Negotiations
- Add Public Safety Concerns - Meteghan River as item 6.1 under New Business
MOVED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted revisions.
(b) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Warden LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
3.1 2020 Municipal and School Board Elections – Returning Officer, Pam Doucet
Returning Officer Pam Doucet provided information regarding the upcoming municipal election in October 2020 including possible election scenarios for Council’s consideration (See attached).
Both the CAO and the Returning Officer are recommending offering a combination of electronic voting and paper ballots for this year’s election. However, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, special measures will have to be implemented to ensure the safety of both election workers and the general public. In order to implement these measures and adhere to current provincial directives, the Municipality will almost certainly have to limit the number of polling stations available to those wishing to vote in person. During the 2016 election, a minimum of 1 polling station was available in each of the Municipality’s 8 electoral districts. In 2020, the Returning Officer is proposing to reduce the number of stations to 3. In collaboration with the CAO, this scenario will be further developed, and a formal recommendation made for Council’s consideration and approval at the July 15th meeting of Council.
4) Staff Reports
4.1 Community Recreation Assistance Program, COVID-19 – Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus
The purpose of the Community Recreation Assistance Program is to help residents of the Municipality of Clare offset the costs of participating in recreational programs. In June 2019, the Municipality had already disbursed $9,600 of the total $13,000 budget available for this program. Thus far in 2020, no funds have been disbursed. The driving factor behind this year’s lack of take-up in the program is COVID-19.
In an effort to foster a greater level of physical activity and to aid these groups and/or organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Municipality’s Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus, is recommending the program criteria be amended to include assistance for those incremental costs directly associated to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $1,000, and that these changes remain in effect for the 2020-2021 fiscal year only. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:
MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend amending the eligibility criteria for the Community Recreation Assistance Program to include assistance for COVID-19 and that these changes remain in effect for the 2020-2021 fiscal year only.
4.2 Financial Update – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
The Director of Finance provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)
4.3 Pam Veterans Centre Update – Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet
The Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet, presented a proposed re-design of the Clare Veterans Centre façade, as prepared by RHAD Architects (See attached). The design focuses on modernizing the appearance of the facility while increasing both energy efficiency and accessibility. It is part of a larger renovation/modernization project being developed by the Municipality for the Centre.
The Clare Veterans Centre is used in excess of 300 times per year by various community groups. Furthermore, it is a key part of the Municipality’s Emergency Management Plan and was an integral component of the successful CMA 2024 bid.
Council was pleased with the proposed design, particularly the enhanced accessibility it provides, and agreed that the CAO and staff continue in their efforts to advance this project.
5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
6) New Business
6.1 Public Safety Concerns – Meteghan River
Many residents of the Municipality are concerned following the incident in Meteghan River on June 29, 2020. Council and staff have received many comments to that effect, followed by inquiries as to what (if anything) the Municipality can do. Warden LeBlanc has spoken with RCMP Sergeant Daniel Gaudet and MLA Gordon Wilson to convey these concerns. Council is recommending the matter be forwarded to the Municipality’s Police Advisory Board for further action. Councillor Hector Thibault, himself a member of the Police Advisory Board, agreed with the recommendation and will be contacting the Board Chair, Denise LeBlanc, to request a special meeting of the Board be scheduled as soon as possible.
6.2 Update – Volunteer Fire Service – Vehicle Assessment
The CAO provided Council with an update on the new fire truck purchases, as recommended in the Volunteer Fire Service – Vehicle Assessment commissioned by the Municipality in February 2019. The Assessment allows for the purchase of 1 truck per year and provides a listing, in order of priority, outlining which trucks should be replaced. Thus far, the following investments have been made:
- Meteghan Fire Department - The new tanker truck was ordered in 2019 and is expected to arrive by month’s end (July 2020)
- Southville Fire Department – A slightly used 2018 tanker has been purchased and is expected to arrive from Ontario later this summer
- Salmon River Fire Department – The frame for a new pumper/tanker truck has been order. The department is expected to take possession of the finished truck in 2021.
The Municipality remains on schedule in terms of implementing the recommendations contained in the Assessment.
6.3 Festival acadien de Clare – 2020 Funding
Like many other organizations, the Festival acadien de Clare has been forced to amend its programming and its budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, this year’s version of the Festival will be completely virtual. Rather than its traditional budget of $175,000, this year’s Festival will be operating with a reduced budget of $96,000, caused largely by a drop in corporate sponsorships (again due to COVID-19) and the absence of ticket sales. In an effort to offset these shortfalls, both the Federal and Provincial governments have increased their level of funding this year. As per usual, the Municipality has budgeted a contribution of $20,000 for the Festival in fiscal 2020-2021. Despite the change in format, the CAO is recommending Council honor its commitment as outlined in its operating budget. Council agreed unanimously.
6.4 Western REN Inter-Municipal Agreement
The WREN Inter-Municipal Agreement is up for renewal and must be signed by its member municipal units by September 2020. The draft document has been reviewed by members of the WREN Board, the Liaison and Oversight Committee, CAOs, municipal councils and the Province of Nova Scotia. Council made the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the Western REN Inter-Municipal Agreement as presented.
6.5 New Road Name – Chandlers Way
The Municipality received a request to name a private road. The request respects the current road naming policy in that its bilingual and not currently in use anywhere else in the Municipality. Staff is recommending the proposed name. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend naming the road shared by the properties PID (Property Identification Number) 30377592, 30377527, 30377618, 30377576, 30377568, 30377550, 30377543, 30377535, 30377527, 30377519, 30377501, 30377493, 30377477, 30377469, 30377451 and 30377444 as follows:
In English: Chandlers Way
In French: voie des Chandler
6.6 Exterior Doors – Clare Health Centre
The exterior doors for the Clare Health Centre (CHC) were flagged as needing to be replaced as part of the annual review conducted by the Public Works Committee. The downstairs set of doors was included in last year’s budget and subsequently replaced. However, due to oversight, the upstairs doors were excluded from the budget and as such have yet to be replaced. In speaking to the Assistant Building Inspector, the need to replace these doors is pressing. As such, the CAO is recommending they be replaced. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding the contract to replace the exterior doors at the Clare Health Centre to the Glassman Inc. in the amount of $6,660 plus HST and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Reserve.
7) Questions and Comments from the Public
8) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.
8.1 Nova Scotia SPCA Contract
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend renewing its Dog By-law Enforcement Contract with the Nova Scotia SPCA for another 3-year term.
9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on September 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 pm.