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Joint Council - Carberry Detachment close to proper strength

posted Sep 5, 2017, 9:54 AM by Kathy Carr
The Joint Councils of the Town of Carberry and the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford met at the municipal offices on Monday, August 28. Reeve Bob Adriaansen was in the chair, and most councillors were present, though a couple had sent regrets because of harvest commitments.
Order was called at 7:00, and some matters tidied up before the evening's delegation. The Buildings Committee has been looking for some casual help to work on some of their concerns, and the Recreation Depar­tment has a person already on staff as a casual worker at the rink. His duties there are pretty much finished, so Buildings were authorized to call him in where they need extra help.
Tax certificates for real estate transactions take up quite a bit of staff time at the office, and the fee for them has been unchanged for long enough that it is below the usual fee charged by other municipalities. At the CAO's suggestion, the fee was raised from $20 to $25.
The delegation for the evening was from the RCMP. Sergeant Wikan-der and Corporal McKin-non attended to present their latest Occurrence statistics and concerns, and to hear any questions or suggestions councils might have.
Corporal McKinnon began with a rundown of the occurrences of the past quarter, and was pleased to report that on the whole, there is a reduction or stability compared to the previous year.
Sergeant Wikander reported that the detachment is close to its proper strength, which makes it unusually well staffed for the area. He anticipates some departures, but is also training a new cadet.
He was asked about reports that the force will be doing some speed checks on gravel roads. He explained that police are aware that people are known to take to less travelled gravel roads to avoid being caught driving impaired. Techniques to crack down on this sort of behaviour are sometimes long shots, but attempts are being made to make an impression on possible impaired drivers.
The sergeant was asked if anything can be done about drivers who decide to take side streets so as not to be caught speeding in the school zone. He pointed out that so far he has received very few complaints about such behaviour, and his enforcement efforts are driven directly by complaints. Admitting that all drivers are on their best behaviour when in sight of a marked cruiser, he will do what he can to respond to direct complaints — especially if they are accompanied by a license plate number. He also has the ear of the traffic detachment who have some unmarked cars they can use to check up on this sort of thing.
Sgt. Wikander stressed that his efforts are directly driven by what he hears from the public. If you have a complaint, let the detachment know. Even if they can't respond quickly enough this time, the complaint statistics affect all decisions about enforcement, and even about staffing.
There have recently been a number of complaints relating to animals on the loose. Apparently some sheep have gotten loose, and for a couple of weeks have evaded capture.  There have also been reports of large white dogs at loose, but there is a chance they may be the same animals. When asked about the growing number of highway signs that are developing bullet holes, his answer was that though he knows it seems a faint hope to catch that sort of thing, you should always call if you see (or in this case hear) something of the sort happening — “you never know, we might be there in the middle of nowhere looking for sheep.”
Again, the sergeant repeated “Call us, even if we may be out of the area; we need the statistics. We can only respond to problems we can document.”
He noted that in a recent wave of car thefts, they had discovered that in every case, the vehicle had been left unlocked with the keys in it. He stressed that criminals are rarely so determined as to hot-wire a vehicle; they go for low-hanging fruit. Locking and putting valuables out of sight is a good way to stay untroubled.
Sergeant Wikander and Corporal McKinnon were thanked for their visit and their work, and councils returned to their business.
CAO Jones reported that Grady Stephenson had suggested that it would be valuable to have a lawyer check over contracts for major projects. Citing as an example the ice plant contract, where the basic contract had been as provided by the contractor, councils agreed that particularly for larger projects, it would be a possible saving of a lot of money to have a lawyer vet the contract for the municipalities' interests and recourse. Councillors agreed that at times it is worrying to be signing a document committing tens of thousands of dollars when you can't be confident that your own interests have been fully covered. The CAO was encouraged to look into some sort of retainer system that could secure legal services on an ongoing basis.
Jones also reported that there are some invoices for contractors using the nuisance ground to dump construction waste and failing to pay. If they are from out of the area, there is no chance of adding the fee to their taxes as may be done with local people. 
Winnipeg firms and some evasive travelling tradesmen have been sent letters, but where that has been ineffective, the CAO asked if the accounts could be sent to a collection specialist. Councils readily agreed.
The Arts Council sent a request for consideration for a lower rent of the Old Town Hall basement. They point out that they contributed $10,000 to the construction costs in order to have a floor surface in the basement suitable for their dance classes, and with the expiry of their fairly short half-rent grace period  are facing a situation where the costs of running the classes are making them unprofitable. The standard rent that they now pay is $60/day, which is prohibitive for a couple of one-hour classes. They are facing two days a week for a twelve-week season, which is $1440 added to their costs. Part of the costs faced by the Buildings Committee is that the place needs janitorial care each time it is used. The two representatives, town and rural, on the Arts Council were asked to find a compromise price that would see perhaps an hourly rate, or an undertaking to do more clean-up or whatever was needed to see both the Arts Council and the municipalities' interests covered.
With the departure of Tracy Deveau, her position on the Recreation Board was filled by the appointment of Tracy Saunderson.

Committee Reports
Among the committee reports tabled, the Chief Administrative Officer sent word that despite a large number of problems that have taken up undue amounts of time, she is welcoming back Trish Fraser from her maternity leave, and hopes to get back to completing some of the tasks that have been put off for some time. 
These include rationalizing the policies and by-laws, among the two rural municipalities and the town, performing some employee reviews, and shredding or archiving old files.
Recreation Director Andrew Smith reported on his plans for the Colour Run (which had been completed by the time of the meeting). A promotional video of the event is in preparation. He has a long list of new and old promotions and pastimes which will be accepting registrations on Sep­tember 6 & 7. He is hoping for student volunteers taking their volunteer credits to assist through the fall. He hopes to take a weekend Sport Manitoba coaching course in Win­nipeg that would have him away from the office on Friday, September 22.
Financial Officer McConnell reports that despite holidays and surgery, she has been working to complete the budget forecasts that will be needed over the next month, and that the final audit for 2015 ought to be completed before the next month's meetings.
Prairie Mountain Health will be sending in a team of mental health workers to assist where necessary with the after-effects of the Pearson family's tragedy. There has certainly been some serious worries that a sudden fatal catastrophe raises in the public and in emergency workers in particular.
Further on the health front, the region is hosting an information session on September 5, and the Health Committee has nominated Jason Falk and Fokko Buurma to attend. The town and the RM may send two representatives each, so in addition to the aforementioned, the mayor and a councillor will attend.
Evergreen Environ-mental have secured a grant from the Federation of Canadian Munici­palities to install an experimental gasification unit, which promises to reduce 10 tonnes of material to 300Kg of ash, and to generate heating fuel from it. The unit is modelled on the much larger units in place in some urban areas, but is the size of a sea container, and if successful will be portable, and able to be shared in several small communities. Ever­green's unit will serve as a test bed and display unit for a technology that already has many orders pending. In addition, Evergreen is working with biodigester units to compost many kinds of organic waste.
The Library Board was very happy with the 50th anniversary celebration they hosted during the Heritage Festival. The cake from Modern Bakery was both impressive and tasty, and it was good to see some of the former librarians out for the event. Local MLA and cabinet minister Eileen Clarke was on hand the previous day to present a commemorative certificate marking the occasion.
The Museum Board reported a very successful Strawberry Social, and received many accolades for their retrospective slide show “Glory Days.”

MP Robert Sopuck is concerned about the federal Liberals' latest tax plans to further tax small corporations, professionals, and farmers. He encourages everyone to make their voices heard, and protest to the finance department, who have a feedback website open until October 2.
Carberry Sandhills Golf Club asked for a sponsorship of their Big Hole Golf Tournament, and councils agreed to each sponsor a hole, at $100 per hole.
The Manitoba Plowing Association asked for sponsorship of their plowing match being held in the RM on September 23 & 24. Councils agreed to a $50 sponsorship to be shared.
The Neepawa Natives are asking for a primary sponsorship, which the RM of Langford used to take. They offer free admission to their games for students from Carberry and Brookdale schools for a $1000 sponsorship. Councils felt that this was a matter for the Recreation District, and forwarded the request to them.
Prostate Cancer Aware­ness requested that councils declare September to be Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the declaration was passed.

Around the Table
Mayor Olmstead asked if the computer server can be upgraded soon. The added speed of a new unit and the additional virus/firewall protection will be an asset. He updated Council's on various lobbying activities that the AMM is currently at work at.
Councillor J. Anderson asked what was being done for the Pearson family.  Private donations are being made, and other donations are being contributed.
CAO Jones reported that the Colour Run had been a very successful event, and a credit to Rec Director Andrew Smith. Nearly 100 participants registered, the DJs gave back their fees, and the whole event generated approximately $2000 for the Pearson family.
She also noted that it is not too soon to plan for the Christmas Party.  The purpose of the Christmas Party would be to reward and  honour staff for their work year round, not an extra task for staff to organize.  Asking around the table when it would be best to hold the event, she found that the preference was for Saturday, Decem-ber 9. She will proceed with the planning on that basis.
The Neepawa Cham­ber of Commerce will be holding an event on  December 12 to discuss proposed taxation changes. 
Reeve Adriaansen added the timely warning that with harvest upon us and the school year starting, everyone should be particularly careful on the roads.
The next Joint Council meeting will be on Sep­tember 25 at 7:00 p.m.