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Joint Council: Drop-In Centre needs more members

posted Jul 4, 2016, 9:51 AM by Kathy Carr
The councils of Carberry and North Cypress-Langford met on Monday evening, with all councillors but Don Hockin present, and Mayor Stuart Olmstead in the chair.
First delegation
There were some delegations to start the meeting, first Gordon Welbourne from the Drop-In Centre, who was asked to provide the councils with an overview of the Centre’s history and present situation.
The Drop-In was created by a by-law (Number 1877) in April of 1982, and is owned by the municipalities and administered by the membership. Neither the building nor the land may be disposed of without consulting the membership. The Centre was created for the use of residents over 55, but there is in fact no age requirement for membership, and indeed the group is eager to welcome new and younger members. At its peak in the nineties, the Drop-In had 150 members, but more have departed than joined in the ensuing years, and there are only about 40 members at the moment; barely enough to provide competition in the games the Drop-In organizes. Travel to distant competitions, which used to be a feature of the group’s activities, has dropped off completely.
Welbourne suspects that new members are scared off by the worry that they will at once have to take over responsibilities from an aging executive. There is also a problem bringing in new participants when the Centre doesn’t have a liquor license – younger prospective members feel they can have a more convivial time at home.
Other problems the group faces include the fact that their Hydro is billed at a commercial rate – $442/month – and no petition to Manitoba Hydro has been able to soften that expense. 
They have 34 light units that should be converted over to T8 fluorescents, but the cost can’t be covered by the present dues, even with the small rebate Hydro offers to encourage the conversion. Regular maintenance of the building is being deferred, and the few rentals of the space don’t increase the coffers much. 
Council discussed ways of helping, and offered that the Service for Seniors coordinator and the EDO would be able to help with applying for some of the many grants available to community services for the elderly. They thanked Welbourne for his time and his information.
Second delegation
Next delegation was made up of Debbie Steen and Ralph Oliver, who were present to discuss the Assisted Living initiative. With councils’ financial support they have been able to retain the services of Dale Walls and Associates to prepare a feasibility study and report.
To provide an overview of their report: There seems to be agreement that there is a real need in the community for accommodation to suit the elderly who require regular assistance but are not yet in need of a place in the care home.
An Assisted Living Facility provides hospitality services, and personal care services allowing the residents to live independently and make decisions on their own behalf. The facility provides a supportive environment that helps with physical and functional health challenges. Staff are on site 10-12 hours per day and provide daily meals, weekly laundry and housekeeping, social and recreational activities and personal care services. There would be a common area, a guest suite, a therapeutic tub, and parking facilities.
There are several ownership models; Walls prefers a public sector model, but the committee would also like to look into the possibility that a private sector contractor or entrepreneur might take up the chance. Ownership would most likely be a “life lease” model, by which the tenant makes a cash contribution of perhaps $60,000 at the start of tenancy, which is held and managed by a licensed trustee, and the tenant or his/her estate receives the contribution back when the tenant leaves the suite. Ongoing monthly rent is estimated at $1825-1925 for a single unit with the all-inclusive services, and $2300 for a couple’s unit. Building costs are estimated at $1.10 per square foot.
Forty such facilities exist in Manitoba, predominantly in the urban areas, but nearby there are units in Minnedosa and MacGregor.
A survey of the community was done, and 82% said “yes or maybe” to using an assisted living facility; 83% were willing to pay $1800-$2200 monthly; and 60% said “yes or maybe” to paying an entrance fee of $50–60,000.
The forecasts call for Manitoba’s population from age 65-74 to rise by 52% from 2013 to 2038, while the population from 75-84 will increase by 117%, and the population 85 and older will increase by 97%. Clearly this is a field in need of increased attention.
Walls and the committee identified at least four locations in town suitable for a 10-unit, two story facility. The figure of ten units is not by any means the limit, but it does mark the point beyond which the kitchen would fall into a more demanding category. 
Land prices are reasonable, and councils could perhaps even be persuaded to donate the land.
The committee feels that time is of the essence, and are talking to at least one private investor in the meantime but will return to other models if they don’t have an answer in the next three months.
If they are successful in getting the Assisted Living project started, Steen and the committee's next project would be to study a possible expansion of the present personal care home and what that may entail for feasibility and demand within the community.
Council was impressed with the feasibility study and their helpful and interesting presentation.  Thanks were extended to Steen and Oliver for their hard work and foresight in getting this project off the ground. 
Third delegation
Next delegation consisted of Grady Stephenson and Bill Kalinowich, with a request for support for an engineering study of the mechanical room at the Community Centre. They hope to go in and clear out the mechanical room as soon as the ice is out in the spring of ’17, and to have it made ready for the new ammonia refrigeration unit to be installed in time for fall of ’17. They want to have the room pass inspection on the first try. The changeover to the new ammonia system entails a different and higher standard for the engine room. Architectural, Structural, Engineering and Mechanical details must be ready to go.
Stephenson and Kalinowich had quotes from two consulting engineers in the region, both very similar. The slightly lower quote was from a local Brandon firm so councils voted to retain them to perform the necessary “class T Engine Room Assessment” for the quoted figure of $5700.
Councils thanked Kalinowich and Stephenson for their work to make sure the project goes off without a hitch.  Kalinowich left, while Works Foreman Stephenson remained to ask a further question.
Fourth delegation
Public Works have been in constant motion since the wind storms over the weekend, clearing up a lot of trees and branches, and they were struck by what a pity it was to simply burn at the transfer station all the wood and brush that was taken up. 
He wondered if it would be possible to hold out the larger trunks and branches and offer them to the public as firewood. His thought was to leave the cutting and transporting to whomever was interested, and charge perhaps a rate per truckload, the proceeds to go towards a chipper that could be used on the smaller branches to provide mulch the crews could use in various ways.
Apparently Evergreen Environmental has a chipper that could be brought in if there were work enough for it, but the price of a serious chipper would probably never be justified on the amount of work the transfer station could generate.
As to the use of the logs as firewood, there was agreement that it was better to let the public get the use of them than to have to burn them as waste. The key is to ensure that no extra work is caused for the works crew. If the ones who want to take them away do the cutting and loading, all well and good. Council left the amount to be charged with administration rather than debate how much a chunk of wood should go for.
Other business
CAO Jones reported that from a field of 42 applicants for Gill Davison’s job, five had been interviewed, and the choice had been made. A motion to hire Teresa Fiskel had been prepared and would be presented later.
Jones also asked that all councillors be timely in submitting their indemnity and expense reports. She asked that everyone get them in promptly now as we go into summer, and especially before the year-end. It is disruptive and very costly to pay out expenses and indemnities after the year end is closed off. The auditors are troubled by the necessary back-dating and revisions. She asked that all such claims go directly to her desk. Part of the problem has been that bills are going to various places rather than all going to one file.
The new legislated requirement that all services be accessible will have many consequences, but fortunately there is a bit of time in hand, along with a new Provincial government. There will be consultation with Neepawa, who have recently done some accessibility upgrades successfully.
Ambulance transfers are now governed directly by Manitoba Health, rather than by individual regions. This will result in considerable savings of time for local ambulance crews, and rationalize the non-emergent transfers.
Motions were presented and passed to appoint Trish Fraser as ACAO, and Teresa McConnell as Financial Officer. This formalizes the situation that already is in place.
Committee Reports
The Arts Council reports that “Paint Night” was such a success that they have decided to repeat it monthly. On their executive, Cheryl Bradley has stepped down as vice-chair and Kathy Carr will be taking her place. The evening of song with Reg Downey and Andreas Flensted was very well attended and a great success.
The Buildings Committee has asked Grady Stephenson to prepare a list of estimates for prioritizing at their next meeting in order to have their shopping/wish list ready for budget time. Jordan Polasek has been asked to complete the repair of the Library steps as soon as possible, but his availability and the weather have conflicted so far. It was agreed to take down the yellow tape from the steps, as there is more danger in people trying to step over it than in the cracks themselves.
The Community Centre feasibility planners met with the committee for a two hour meeting with some more detailed proposals for the new recreation area. There are some novel and promising ideas put forward, and after this consultation the planners will return with a more detailed plan in September, hoping to have something to present to the public in October or November.
The Community Development coordinator has prepared a map of the town and brochure. They are waiting at Carberry Signs as they reduce their backlog, but should be ready for distribution at the Fair.
In liason with the CDC, The Southwest Manitoba Business Survey is being performed by the Rural Development Institute.  If you’re a local business, you are encouraged to fill out the survey at
News at Evergreen Environmental is that the RM of Riverdale has been given a proposal they have taken back to their council. They are in discussions to possibly join the consortium.
The Fire Department reports that the annual brunch was well attended, and while final figures aren’t yet in, there was probably more than $6,000 cleared. The new truck was available to view at the event, and is almost ready – it should be in service in July. They have sourced new uniforms for a figure of $110 each.
The Community Hall has been heavily used, giving Tricia a lot of work, but generating a good revenue stream.
The Handivan is now being handled by Marj Campbell and Ronda Allen. There will be a training session in October for all drivers for a cost of $682 for the day. We have approval to call other municipalities to help pay the cost.
The Health Committee reports that the Ultrasound machine has been ordered, requiring a 25% deposit of $6400, and with a delivery schedule of 6-8 weeks.
The Library reports that it is getting a lot of school tours as the school year winds down.
The Museum reports that the porch on the east side of the Gingerbread House is separating from the building. Also, the loft windows cannot be opened because of some shifting of the frames.
The Planning Committee reports that the visioning exercise was successful. The demographics and statistics presented were enlightening. It was noted that the Glenboro meeting focused more on town issues than the Carberry one, where rural concerns were also heard.
The National Energy Board meeting that was proposed had to be postponed. We await news of the next attempt. Only councils and those directly affected by the presence of pipelines on their property are to be consulted.
Added to the Agenda
Councillor J. Anderson has been looking into long service recognition schemes. It seems that there should be pins for each five years, and a plaque for twenty years. Though there are town pins still, it will be necessary to prepare a new one for North Cypress-Langford, and there is nothing for the joint councils. He is looking into what can be done; the hope is to be able to make presentations at the Christmas party, much like the previous Langford RM had done in the past.
As mentioned in the CAO’s report, a motion was presented and passed to hire Teresa Fiskel to work in the Municipal Office to be shared 50/50 between the town and the RM.
The RM of Elton would like to correct the impression received in an earlier report of their activities in the Municipality minutes: They are lobbying to retain the present AMM board structure, not change it. They have also spoken to the paper about publishing a correction. Discussions surrounding the issue were had at the recent AMM Western District meetings that Councils attended.
Around the Table
Reeve Adriaansen would like Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries to explain the reasoning behind raising the liquor permit cost to municipalities by $150. The effect is to make it impossible to sell enough beer to pay the permit fee for volunteer appreciation events such as they recently held in Wellwood.
J. Anderson would like to remind everyone to please sign up for the CodeRED scheme. He notes however, the mobile app may have some battery issues for some phones. It may be an advantage if you travel through other areas served; you receive local alerts as they become relevant, but the search feature is costly on connect time and battery usage.
CAO Jones wanted to know who would be available to drive the float in the Fair Parade. Jones will be on deck with some young recruits to throw candy, but needs a driver. Councillor Mann agreed to do it initially, but Councillor Drayson stepped forward so Mann would not have to maneuver herself into the float by ladder.
Mayor Olmstead wanted to remind the councils that it would be good practice to take at least one joint meeting per year out to Wellwood or Brookdale, both of which have good venues. The sharing will be valuable, so he asked councils to consider the possibilities as they set their year’s events.
With that the councils withdrew into an in camera session to discuss personnel issues and then afterwards adjourned.
Next joint council meeting will be Monday, July 25.
by John McNeily