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Joint Council - Does arbitration trump litigation?

posted Apr 3, 2017, 11:37 AM by Kathy Carr
With budgets tight, and the scope of work large, the Board of the Carberry Plains Museum attended the joint council meeting to see if there was room for a few extra dollars in the budget for them. 
The councils of the Mun. of North Cypress Langford and the Town of Carberry met on March 27, with Mayor Stuart Olmstead in the chair. Acting Museum Chair, Gloria Mott and Alexis Dyck of the Board, plus former members, Ralph Oliver and Lea Hajnrych were in attendance.
Mott reviewed their almost $10,000 deficit, which was due to unbudgeted items, such as a new closet upstairs in the loft, a new cement pad in the garden, and the installation of a new alarm system, plus an overrun on wages. 
On the plus side, the display of wedding attire has garnered a lot of positive comments and the artifact collection is around halfway computerized, which has been a three-year project to date.
Ralph Oliver has been spearheading the renovations to the Gingerbread House. He explained the scope of the renovations and how Manitoba Culture and Heritage has been  supportive of the projects. He hopes the work will be completed soon, however, when you are working with a heritage building, it involves more than getting new materials to do it – sometimes you find old materials that will work, and sometimes you build something as a replica to the original.
Council, noting their tight budget, did not commit to more funding, but seemed pleased to have an update on all that the Museum Board is doing and commended their work.
Does arbitration trump litigation? Roy McPhail of Almitra came as a delegation to suggest that rather than solving disputes through litigation, which is an adversarial approach (and costly), there is a better way. His company provides a neutral arbitrator to help solve many issues, not just infrastructure.
Asked if he gets involved with union disputes, he said that was not his area of expertise.  He also suggested that binding arbitration be written into contracts, so that if a dispute arises, arbitration is the next step. Higher holdbacks were also discussed with Councillor Barry Anderson noted that some companies will not allow anything other than the standard industry rate. 
Unfinished business
The designation of properties just east of Carberry (south side of  Hwy 351), are currently “rural agricultural limited.” On the north side of 351, residential properties are designated “country residential 4.” 
It makes more sense to have properties both sides of 351 under the appropriate Rural Residential designation. Usually a change such as this is initiated by the property owners, not council, but with the Development Plan review being undertaken, this would be the perfect time to do so.
Reeve Adriaansen stated that he would like the people involved to be contacted. As long as there are no negative tax implications and the residents agree, he has no problem with renaming the zone.
General Business
Several attendances were authorized, each to be funded 50/50 by councils.
Council authorized Teresa McConnell and Sandra Jones to attend the MMAA Conference on April 24-26 in Brandon. McConnell will have completed her CMMA course and will graduate on April 25 at the conference. Council authorized one extra ticket for the graduation banquet.
Council authorized Grady Stephenson to attend the Aquatics Facility Operator’s course on May 5, 2017 in Bran­don. This is a follow-up to last year’s course.
Council authorized the attendance of K & A Loney and D & B Menzies to the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs’ Conference June 1-3 in Winnipeg. This is to come out of the Fire Operating Budget.
Councils discussed ice plant funding, and what method of coming up with the funds works best for each council. There was some talk of co-ordinating the two methods of funding the amounts, which has been discussed with the Recreation Board.
There was also some discussion regarding the campground proposed at the recreation site, and the fact that there is a need for those spaces now. Trees will be planted soon after appropriate ground work is done.
The by-law enforcement act will be applied under “protection services.” This is an ongoing plan to have by-law enforcement, sharing services with other municipalities to make it equitable.
Another issue that has been “hanging” is the setting of rates for the rental of the basement of the old municipal office.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has asked councils to participate in a legal fund to defend municipal interests ($63 NCL; $52.50 Carberry). Councils felt that should be included in the membership fees.
Committee Reports
Handivan: The small van is back in service. 
Service for Seniors: Good participation for a bus trip (shopping and movies) to Glenboro. Applications are being made for funding for kitchen renovations at the Drop-In Centre.
CDC: Tricia is busy working on grants.
Archives: Donations and search requests continue to come in. The new microfilm machine had to be returned as it did not work, and a replacement ordered.
Arts Council: They are hoping to have an Easter party with the kids that will include crafts, games and a picture with the Easter Bunny. They have also received funding for the Mosaic Mural for Canada's 150. Drama students will be presenting a play (“Flubbery”) April 21 and 22 at the Community Hall.
Fire: Training continues for members – hazmat operations and first aid. The one call in the last five weeks was for a CO (carbon monoxide) detection. All households, please check and test your CO and smoke detectors. Officer appointments are: Chief, Keith Loney; Deputy, Don Menzies; Co-Deputy, Grady Step­henson; Captains: Danny Udey, Jim Brereton, Bart Witherspoon, Clyde McCal­lum; Lieutenant: Billy Wright.
Firemen’s Breakfast will be held on June 17th. A table will be set up for those who have not signed up for CodeRed.
CAO Jones: The budgets are nearly complete. In her three years as CAO, there have been numerous changes – both with amalgamation and with personnel. Much has been learned!
Financial Officer: T. McConnell is also very busy with budgets which are coming along well, and work is continuing with the auditors.
Parks, Facilities and Sanitation Manager (G. Stephenson): Facilities – Foundation repair for the Old Town Hall was awarded to Scott Builders. Work will begin in the spring. Tin work on the Museum was waving in the high wind and the contractor (who instal­led it) will repair it.  
The sign for the municipal office is ready to install. Work to the building for the ice plant will begin as soon as the plant is turned off this spring.
Parks: The Bonspiel was a huge success – everyone did a great job! Thanks to all the staff involved. The Art Sear Park is slated to be developed this spring. The costs are higher than expected, so more grants are being sought. It will be phased in.
Sanitation: Summer dump hours will be: Monday & Tuesday – Closed; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – open 9-5; Thursday – Fairview 12-8.
An ongoing problem is misuse of the dumpsters. This happens in both town and rural. This creates hazardous conditions for staff when they clean up around the site.
Recreation: At spring mass registration, the spring break camp will be promoted. Golf lessons and ball hockey will run later in the summer.
The website is nearly ready, and hope to have it up and running by May 1st. Also in the works is a leisure guide for fall and winter.
Both youth soccer and the lacrosse association are being helped as they get off the ground. In the immediate future is the health promotion month, hopefully to be an­nounced in mid-April.
 Around the table
Councillor Ray Drayson had tickets for the Neepawa Health Lottery and noted that a new fire hall is underway in Neepawa, which Reeve Adriaansen echoed would be a good idea for Carberry as well. Glenboro has a beautiful facility that was built recently.
Council John Anderson noted that the MARR AGM is April 25.
Mayor Olmstead noted that there had been an inspection of the building next door prior to the meeting, as councils consider whether this would solve the problem of a shortage of storage.  Councillor MacGregor suggested that councils should be more particular about what comes to the office and what is stored there. 
Olmstead also brought attention to the old public works building that is storing joint equipment. Reeve Adriaansen stated that the NCL is already paying for storage in Langford, and paying to store more is not feasible for the municipality.  Mayor Olmstead questioned what the reaction would be if the Town were storing the same amount of joint equipment on NCL's property, would that be appropriate for both parties? Council's will consider options available.
Council adjourned. Both meetings in April will be on the 10th with the Rural meeting taking place at 9:00 and Town starting at 3:00 pm.

by Gloria Mott