(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)

Municipality of the District of Clare
COUNCIL-IN-COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Meeting held at 1185 Highway 1, Little Brook, NS

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, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, and Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
Presenters:
ABSENT:

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

The Warden read the following statement:

National Francophone Immigration Week
We are celebrating the 8th edition of National Francophone Immigration Week from November 1 to 7 — our first week in Clare as a welcoming Francophone community. This year's theme, “Ma couleur francophone,” promotes the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, histories, and accents.

Francophone and Acadian communities have made Francophone immigration a national priority for their demographic and economic development needed to sustain the linguistic duality that defines Canada.

On behalf of Council for the Municipality of Clare, I would like to thank the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for entrusting our community with this promising three-year pilot project, in which more than $697,000 will be invested in Clare to promote the positive impact that French-speaking immigrants have on the Municipality of Clare.

National Francophone Immigration Week is a time for all Francophones to be proud of their thriving inclusive Francophone communities and to be involved in building an identity that is rich in its diversity.

2) (a) Approval of the Agenda

The Warden asked that the following additions be made to the agenda:

  • 6.4 Ryan Doucette – Prix Grand Pré
  • 6.5 Mutual Aid Agreement – Salmon River Fire Department
  • 6.6 Little Brook Fire Department – Scheduled Vehicle Replacement
  • 6.7 Draft Letter – Ongoing Lobster Fishery Dispute in St. Mary’s Bay
  • 6.8 Safe Restart Agreement Fund
  • 6.9 Concerns – Missing Speed Limit Signs

MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted additions.
MOTION CARRIED

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

3) Presentations
None.

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. (pdfSee attached)

5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Update – Rural Internet Project
The CAO provided Council with an update on Mainland Telecom’s Rural Internet Project. Phases 1 to 4 are complete with the exception of a highway and water crossing, both of which are expected to be completed shortly. Once these last remaining pieces are complete, Mainland will be in a position to provide services to approximately 1,200 homes and businesses, starting with the New Edinburgh area.

Other phases are progressing as follows:

  • Strand and fibre construction have started in Phase 5 (Concession, Patrice Rd, Little Brook Station). Currently waiting for trimmers and pole work before continuing.
  • Phase 6 (Concession, St. Joseph, PF Comeau Rd.) is currently undergoing tree trimming and pole work.
  • Scoping for Phase 7 (Meteghan River, d’Entremont Road, Placide Comeau Rd.) will be completed next week.
  • Phase 8 (Saulnierville, Saulnierville Rd., C. Saulnier Rd.) has been scoped by NSP. Waiting for the quotes prior to providing the purchase order to proceed with trimming and pole work.
  • Tree trimming in Phase 9 (Meteghan River, d’Entremont Rd., Placide Comeau Rd.) will commence in the next week or two.
  • Phase 10 (Meteghan Connector, Bonnie Rd., Peter Dugas Rd, John Thibodeau Rd.) has been submitted to Bell and NSP for approval.
  • Phase 11 will be submitted later this week, effectively covering the gap between Phase 7 and Phase 10 (Saulnierville Rd to the Maxwelton), along Second Division Rd.
  • Phase 12 will include the remainder of d’Entremont Rd. out to the Salmon Lake area.

Mainland has also submitted a few extension requests to Develop NS for some of the homes that were not included in its original map. Notable ones being Victor Lake Estates Rd, extending Bonnie Rd, and extending Hectanooga Rd.

The company’s website is now updated to show the service offerings and pricing details. They will also be updating their mapping server to be more interactive and show individual civic numbers for interested customers. This will allow residents and businesses to view their civic and know immediately if they are in an area that is available for service calls based on their label.

Councillor Deveau asked for the proposed completion date for this project. While we do not have an exact completion date, the CAO indicated that the work is progressing well, and Mainland remains comfortable with its initial 18-24 month timeline. That being said, individual phases/areas will be activated as soon as they are completed.

The Warden spoke with the WREN regarding their project on Highway 340. Limited information is available however they expect the project to be completed by 2022. The CAO contacted Develop NS for more details immediately following the project announcement and was told that Bell would be in contact with him. To date, he has not heard back.

5.2 Update – Capital Budget 2020-2021
The CAO provided an update on the investments made to date as part of the Municipality’s 2020-21 Capital Budget (pdfSee attached).

5.3 Ground Search and Rescue Building – Access to Water
The municipal building which currently houses Clare Ground Search and Rescue (CGSR) is currently without water. The water for this building is provided by Sea Crest Fisheries Ltd. However, due to significant water leak at their facility, the company was left with no option but to close the affected valves until such time as the needed repairs can be made. Despite Sea Crest’s much appreciated cooperation in addressing this issue in a timely manner, the Municipality’s dependence on a private sector business to provide water to the tenants in one of its buildings is less than ideal. With Council’s approval, the CAO (via the Public Works Supervisor) has contacted three well-drilling companies for quotes. Of the three quotes received, the CAO is recommending Council accept the bid from K D Rogers Well Drilling Ltd. at $22.00 per foot of drilling and with a 2-3 week timeline for completion. Council agreed 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 awarding the contract to construct a new well at the Clare Ground Search and Rescue building to K D Rogers Well Drilling Ltd., at a rate of $22.00 per foot of drilling, and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Reserve.
MOTION CARRIED

6) New Business
6.1 New Road Name – Neri Deveau Road
The Municipality has been approached by three brothers requesting to name their private road after their late father. They are the only property owners along this road and are all in agreement with the proposed name. The request is compliant with the Municipality’s Road Naming Policy. Council made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend that the road shared by the PIDs (Property Identification Number) listed below be named as follows:

In English: Neri Deveau Road
In French: chemin Neri Deveau

30367932 30367940 30367957
MOTION CARRIED

6.2 Signage – Road Names
Councillor Comeau was approached by residents in his district about the lack of bilingual road name signage in Clare. For example, Allée des Black in Bangor only shows the French version of the sign and not the English Blackadar Lane. Since the Municipality operates in both French and English, the residents would like to see both languages reflected on the sign. Councillor Comeau would like the CAO to follow up with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (NSTIR). The CAO clarified that private road names approved by Council are sent to NSTIR in both official languages.

6.3 Cell Phone Reception
Councillor Pothier was contacted by residents concerned with the quality of cell phone service along Highway 1 from Meteghan to Saulnierville, specifically the poor reception and the amount of calls being dropped. Whereas many people no longer have land lines, cell service is very important in the event of an emergency. The CAO had previously spoken with EMO NS before the last hurricane so as to try and prevent a loss off service. Bell sent additional resources to the area and were ready to increase service should the need arise. Bell tested the channels for Emergency Services Providers and 911 and confirmed that these were both operating normally. As such, network capacity was not increased, and cell phone reception remains poor. Seeing as how cell phone service is a matter of public safety, Councillor Pothier would like to send a letter to the cell service providers regarding the state of cell phone reception in Clare. Council 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 sending a letter to Bell Canada, Eastlink, and Rogers Communications regarding the state of cell phone reception in Clare.
MOTION CARRIED

6.4 Ryan Doucette – Prix Grand-Pré
Ryan Doucette was awarded the Prix Grand-Pré for 2020. This prize recognizes Nova Scotian artists whose work reflects Acadian cultural values while demonstrating excellence and originality. Council would like to send a congratulatory letter to Mr. Doucette and made 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 sending a letter of recognition to Ryan Doucette, the 2020 recipient of the Prix Grand-Pré Award.
MOTION CARRIED

6.5 Mutual Aid agreement – Salmon River FD
The CAO read a letter from the Salmon River Fire Department (pdfSee attached).

Council agreed to send a letter to the Municipality of Yarmouth regarding the possibility of entering into a mutual aid agreement. The following motion to recommend was made:

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Nil Doucet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend sending a letter to the Municipality of Yarmouth proposing the establishment of a Mutual Aid Agreement pertaining to the provision of fire services.
MOTION CARRIED

6.6 Little Brook Fire Department – Scheduled Vehicle Replacement
The Municipality was contacted by the President of the Little Brook Fire Department regarding the Municipality’s Vehicle Replacement Strategy and the Department’s scheduled vehicle replacement. At present, the Little Brook Fire Department is scheduled to have their pumper/tanker replaced in year 4 and their tanker replaced in year 6. The estimated cost of the pumper/tanker, as designed by the Department, is expected to be in excess of $415,000 plus HST. As per its Vehicle Replacement Strategy, the Municipality’s contribution is capped at $350,000. Having two trucks scheduled for replacement in the span of three years represents a challenge in terms of raising the remaining funds required for these purchases. As such, the Department is inquiring if the Municipality would consider the possibility of funding 100% of the pumper/tanker in year 4 and simply removing the tanker, scheduled for year 6, from the list altogether. According to the Department’s President, the tanker scheduled for replacement in year 6 is still working well, presents no serious issues in terms of maintenance or repair, and has many years remaining in terms of its useful life.

After discussing the matter at length, Council agreed to consider funding the entirety of the pumper/tanker and removing the tanker from the scheduled replacement list. No formal motion was made and any such motion would be conditional upon the Municipality agreeing to the cost of the proposed pumper/tanker beforehand and receiving reassurances from the Department that they are still in agreement with removing the tanker from the scheduled replacement list.

6.7 Draft Letter – Ongoing Lobster Fishery Dispute in St. Mary’s Bay
The Mayors, Wardens and CAOs of 11 municipal units in South West Nova Scotia have been meeting to discuss the ongoing lobster dispute. Following the last meeting, a draft letter was circulated to the participating councils regarding the ongoing lobster fishery dispute in St. Mary’s Bay. The letter underscores the concerns of the 11 municipalities involved, with a particular emphasis on public safety and the negative impacts to the regional economy. The intent is to have the letter signed by all 11 municipal units and sent to both the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, and the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Justin Trudeau. Council was supportive of the letter and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the proposed letter to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, and the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Justin Trudeau, regarding the ongoing lobster fishery dispute in St. Mary’s Bay.
MOTION CARRIED

6.8 Safe Restart Agreement Fund
The CAO informed Council that earlier today, as part of the Safe Restart Agreement (SRA), the Province of Nova Scotia announced that municipalities will receive $67.5 million. The intent of the SRA funding is to provide much-needed support in response to financial pressures brought on by Covid-19. These include:

  • Addressing increased operating costs resulting from a reduction in revenue due to COVID-19;
  • Continuing to implement social distancing and infection prevention and control protocols required to operate facilities, public spaces and effectively deliver services to citizens;
  • Supporting safe transit operations and innovative solutions required to adjust to modified capacity; and
  • Acquiring additional PPE.

As part of this funding announcement, the Municipality was advised that it would receiving $228,500 under the SRA and that these funds would be deposited later today. Provincial directives in terms of reporting requirements are expected shortly.

6.9 Concerns – Missing Speed Limit Signs
Councillor Pothier was approached by residents concerning the lack of speed limit signs on the d’Entremont Road (from Second Division Road to Salmon River Lake) and the Maxwellton Road (from Highway 1 to the shore). There are children and young families along these roads and the lack of a posted speed limit is a source of concern for many. As such, Councillor Pothier is requesting Council send a letter to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal asking them to review the speed limit on these roads. Council agreed 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 sending a letter to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal asking it to review the speed limit on the d’Entremont Road (from Second Division Road to Salmon River Lake) and the Maxwellton Road (from Highway 1 to the shore).
MOTION CARRIED

7) Questions and Comments from the Public
None.

8) Closed Session

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

Topics Discussed:
8.1 Acquisition and Sale of Municipal Property

PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden 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 December 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm.

10) Adjournment
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 pm.

Submitted by

Ashley Hanks,
Executive Assistant