Municipality of the District of Clare
COUNCIL-IN-COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at 7:00 pm
Meeting held at 1185 Highway 1, Little Brook

PRESENT: Council: Warden Yvon LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Eric Pothier, Councillors Nil Doucet, Danny Hill, Philippe Gaudet, Brian Comeau, Carl Deveau and Nadine Comeau
Staff: CAO, Stephane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Executive Assistant, Nicole Comeau, and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
Presenters: Rob Stephenson, WREN

ABSENT:

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

2) Approval of the Agenda

MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the proposed agenda be approved as circulated.
MOTION CARRIED          

3) Declaration of Conflict of Interest.
None declared.

4) Presentations
4.1 Business Transition Program – Rob Stephenson, WREN
Rob Stephenson, Business Now Lead with the WREN, spoke to Council about the organization’s Business Transition Program. (See attached)

The programs pairs business owners interested in selling their businesses with qualified consultants to help guide them through the transition process. Given the region’s aging population, it is believed that a growing number of business owners will be looking to exit their businesses in the coming years. By way of this presentation, the WREN is informing Council in the hopes they will share with their constituents and possibly generate referrals.

5) Staff Reports
5.1 Financial Update – Ginette Cheff, Director of Finance
The Director of Finance provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)

6) Business arising from Previous Meetings
6.1    Grand Réveil Acadien 2022
A letter was received from the Grand Réveil Acadien 2020 inviting the Municipality of Clare to attend its festivities, as a lead up to the CMA 2024. Unfortunately, the onset of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of this event. Now in 2022, the Grand Réveil Acadien has returned, and organizers have once again reach out to Council inviting them to attend the event in October. The CAO believes this is a valuable opportunity to promote both the CMA 2024 and the Municipality of Clare and as such, is recommending Council consider sending a delegation. Council agreed and will be sending a delegation comprised of:

  • Warden Yvon LeBlanc
  • Councillor Nadine Comeau
  • Councillor Phillippe Gaudet (to be confirmed)
  • Amy Paradis, Communication Officer
  • Stephane Cyr, CAO

Planning for the trip is currently underway with events scheduled for October 5th to 9th, including a renewal of the twinning agreement with Church Point, LA on October 8th.

The CMA 2024 is also sending a delegation to Louisiana. The CAO is currently in discussion with Vaughne Madden, Executive Director of the CMA 2024, to discuss opportunities for collaboration and cross promotion.

7) New Business
7.1 Capital Invest Plan (CIP) 2022-2026
The CAO presented the Municipality’s proposed 5-year Capital Investment Plan (2022-2026) for Council’s review and consideration.

This annual document must be approved via motion of Council and submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia no later then September 30, 2022. The plan itself is subject to change should new project opportunities present 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 Deputy Warden Eric Pothier that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the Municipality’s five-year Capital Investment Plan (2022-2026), as presented.
MOTION CARRIED

7.2    Flood Line Mapping – Meteghan Watershed
The Province of NS approached the Municipality with a request to partner on the mapping of flood lines in the Meteghan Watershed. The mapping exercise itself is managed by municipal staff and funded entirely (100%) by the Province of NS, with the goal of informing development opportunities within the Municipality and future revisions to its Land Use By-Law.

In response to the Province’s request, the Municipality issued a tender for flood line mapping of the Meteghan Watershed. The closing date for this tender was July 29, 2022. A total of 4 bids were received. Following a review of these bids by both the CAO and provincial representatives, it is recommended the tender be awarded to WSP Canada Inc in the amount of $80,647 plus HST. Council agreed and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding the tender for Flood Line Mapping – Meteghan Primary Watershed to WSP Canada Inc. in the amount of $80,647 plus HST.
MOTION CARRIED

7.3 Conceptual and Interpretation Plan – Rendez-vous de la Baie
This project is essentially a plan to refresh the existing museum at the RVB, something which has not been done since its opening in 2010. The tender for this plan closed on August 12, 2022. A total of 2 bids were received. Following a review of the bids, both the Tourism Manager and CAO are recommending the tender be awarded to Denise Saulnier Design in the amount of $20,000. The Province and Université Sainte-Anne have already committed $10,000 and $5,000 respectively towards this plan. The other $5,000 was already accounted for in the Municipality’s 2022-23 operational budget. Council agreed and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding the tender for the Conceptual and Interpretation Plan – Rendez-vous de la Baie to Denise Saulnier Design in the amount of $20,000.
MOTION CARRIED

7.4 GICB Funding Application - Clare Veterans Centre
During a virtual meeting on August 11th with representatives from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program (GICB), the Municipality was asked to update its numbers and increase its proposal from roughly $2.3M to $3M (the max. allowable under this particular program stream), in order to account for inflation and rising construction costs. Doing so would mean 80% federal funding or $0.20 dollars, the maximum allowable (excellent leveraging). Although the individual in question was clear that they were not the one making the final funding decision, they indicated announcements would likely come down in October and strongly recommended the Municipality increase its numbers now and get these in quickly given that it cannot go back for additional funds once the project is approved. However, in order to do so (and apply for the full $3M), the Municipality would need to increase its original contribution by $62,557, from $537,443 to an even $600,000, in order to equal 20% and maximize available project dollars. The CAO strongly recommends moving forward with this increase given recent conversations with GICB. Council agreed and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend increasing the municipal contribution to the proposed Clare Veterans Centre Revitalization Project from $537,443 to $600,000 and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Reserve.
MOTION CARRIED

7.5 Preparation and Paving of Parking Lot – Cultural Hub
A tender was issued for the preparation and paving of the parking lot at the Cultural Hub. The closing date for the tender was August 26, 2022. A total of 3 bids were received. Following a review of the bids, it is recommended the tender be awarded to Aberdeen Paving Ltd. in the amount of $58,300 plus HST and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Canada Community-Building Fund Reserve. Council agreed and made the following motion to recommend:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding the tender for the Preparation and Paving of the Parking Lot at the Cultural Hub to Aberdeen Paving Ltd. in the amount of $58,300 plus HST and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Canada Community-Building Fund Reserve.
MOTION CARRIED

7.6 Disposal of Surplus Asset Policy (Draft)
The CAO circulated a draft policy to Council for its review and consideration. The policy focused on the orderly disposal of surplus assets owned by the Municipality. Acceptable disposal methods, as outlined in the policy, would be at the discretion of the CAO. Following a review of the policy, Councillor Brian Comeau recommended a $10,000 limit be established for asset value which if attained, would require consultation with Council prior to disposal. Both the CAO and Council, agreed. No other revisions were put forward. The CAO will incorporate this recommendation into the current draft policy and present it to Council at a later date.

7.7 Property Tax Write-Off
It is the practice of Council to refund a pro-rated tax amount in the case of fire. Council passed the following motion to recommend moving forward with this process:

PROPOSED BY Councillor Phillippe Gaudet and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare refund the following tax amount in accordance with the assessment reduction of the Property Valuation Services Corporation for the reason described herein:

Account #       Assessment Amount     Tax Refund       Year       Reason
02622874        $22,300                           $870.09                   2022        Fire Damage

MOTION CARRIED

7.8 Dangerous and Unsightly
The Municipality has received complaints under its Dangerous and Unsightly By-law regarding the properties located at 9121, 9125 and 9127 Meteghan River. The Municipality’s By-law Officer has visited the site and recommended a follow-up visit be conducted by the Municipality’s Building Inspector. Once this visit complete, the owner(s) will be contacted regarding required mitigation measures.

7.9 Track and Field Facility
Following a number of comments regarding the lack of lighting at the new Track and Field Facility, Councillor Philippe Gaudet inquired if this was something Council may want to pursue in discussion with Université Sainte-Anne. According to the CAO, Université Sainte-Anne has received similar comments and is currently pursuing different lighting options. Once viable options have been identified, these will be brought forward to Council. It should be noted that the necessary conduit to accommodate the possible future installation of lighting has been incorporated into the current design and is already in place.

8) Questions and Comments from the Public

9) Closed Session

PROPOSED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Nadine Comeau that Council proceed to closed session.
MOTION CARRIED

Topics Discussed:
9.1       Contract Negotiations
9.2       Personnel Matters

PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Eric Pothier that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
MOTION CARRIED

10) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 7:00 pm.

11) Adjournment
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 8:56 pm.

Submitted by
Nicole Comeau,
Executive Assistant