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Municipal Council Justifying the hikes in property value

posted Oct 16, 2017, 8:58 AM by Kathy Carr
Are exorbitant hikes in the value of property justified? North Cypress-Langford Council looked at this question when the annual Board of Revision was held during their regular Council meeting, October 10. Reeve Adriaansen and all council were in attendance, along with John McEntee of the Cypress Planning District.
One ratepayer came to appeal the assessment on his property, along with Cathy Mansell of the Assessment office. His property value on one quarter of land had increased 64% two years ago, and now has increased another 37%. He was surprised there were not more appealing their assessments.
Ms. Mansell of the Assessment Office noted that the property in question was classed as #2 Newdale clay loam. She brought three comparisons of land sold in the municipality, and the amounts paid, as well as some properties in neighboring municipalities. The landowner insisted that the land was stony and “you cannot grow potatoes on it.” 
After some discussion, council upheld the evaluation of the Assessment Branch.

Permits required
McEntee brought forward a number of applications. One application for a variation order on NE 28-10-13 (Wiebe/Graham). It was only a couple of years ago that a committee of council and irrigators reviewed the requirements for well placement in regards to the municipal road, and decided that the distance from the road allowance was too great and un­wieldy for irrigators.
The end result was that the previous requirement of 125’ distance from the road was reduced to a more palatable 15’.
Persons installing irrigation wells are still required to purchase a development permit. Council heard a request from an irrigator that neglected to purchase one, and installed two wells only three feet from the property line. 
While the province gets the information through the water allocation process, there is no requirement to pass on well locations to the municipalities. 
Council was conflicted about his issue. They do not like the practice of ‘installing first and asking for forgiveness later.’ They are also conscious of the costs of requiring wells to be moved – which is within their rights to request. In the end, they did pass the variation, with a notation that the wells be “clearly marked” so they will not pose a hazard to anyone using the ditches.
Council discussed several options for those who install wells without permits. They included enacting a by-law that would fine the well installer for every foot less than the 15 feet required. McEntee pointed out that the Langford regulations should be brought into line first, as their requirement is a 125’ setback (an amendment to the zoning by-law). They will em­bark on an information campaign to inform irrigators about the regulations.
The same applicant requested a revision to a previously approved water and electrical crossing from NE 28-10-13 to SW 34-10-13. A line travelling east along the south side until an angle crossing into the destination was given approval a few months ago. The revision asked that it be changed to a 90º crossing to the north, along the north ditch of road 50, and another 90º crossing across Road 75W. 
Council had some issues with this request. They do not want the line through the ditch, especially with it being a shallow ditch. They prefer that the line not be on municipal property. Council voted down the request, feeling that the original request was a better route.
Council looked at an application by Twilight Colony to build RTM homes on their premises. McEntee pointed out that the colony has had a history of building cabinets in their workshop. They wish to start building homes, stating there will only be up to six homes built per year. Both building cabinets and RTM homes are permitted as conditional uses on agricultural property.
McEntee noted that there were no permits for either industry at this time, so both were included in the conditional use application. Ten workers are employed at the site. There has been no concern expressed by neighbours (except at the council table, where there was concern about the burning of waste materials.) Council stressed that they in no way want to hinder the activity at the site. 
The request for a conditional use for a RTM (residence to move) operation and a woodworking shop in an AG80L2 (agricultural livestock operation limited-2 zone) was approved. McEntee will approach the other colony building houses to bring them into compliance as well.
A request to sever 5.97 acre parcel from a SW25-14-15 (Briese), leaving the balance of the property as part of the family farm operation. Council gave approval of the request, noting that a conditional use order is required as it is in the Agricultural General Zone.
Council also approved a municipal road crossing for Sprucewoods Colony to install an 8” irrigation water and electrical line from SW 24-12-16 to SE23-12-16.

Foreman visits
Public Works Fore­man, David Chandler attended council. He presented some quotes for adapters for the packers on the new graders. They will also like to sell the old ones. Council took this information and will add it to their budget. They also discussed a quick attach packer for one grader, which is more user friendly.
The three new graders should be delivered within the next two weeks.
Generally the roads stood up well during harvest. The rain actually seemed to make it better. A few roads, like Keller’s Rd. need to be worked on. The work on the Gregg Road started on October 9. Chandler noted that he will be putting signs up, and that one mile will be done at a time.
Beaver control permit, two new names have been added Chad Campbell and Darren Stansky.
Chandler noted that there is a certain amount of hassle with the municipality applying calcium in some yards. He recommended that the spraying of yards be moved out of municipal custom work to some other system where the municipality is not directly involved.
Council offered to meet again with public works as a whole sometime to make sure there is communication going both ways. They also invited Chandler to attend every other regular meeting for the same reason. He agreed.

2018 election
Council gave first reading to By-law 3/2017 revising the ward system before the 2018 October election. The six wards must have a population varying not more than 10% from the others.
CAO Jones also discussed the enumerator position (the job of listing all electors in the municipality) and the SEO (Senior Elections Officer) position. It appears that the enumerator from 2014 Election is considering that position. While other municipalities have hired someone to do the SEO position, last time, it was added to the duties of the CDC, but Jones noted that it was considerably more work than anyone expec­ted. A discussion ensued about whether to advertise the position or hire within the office staff.

Water supplies
CAO Jones updated council on the water supply and sales agreement with the Town of Neepawa. There have been some minor changes and submitted back to Neepawa.
Council discussed the quotes (from Water Services) they received for supplying two residents with water. As the quotes are significantly higher than they anticipated, they felt that the two homeowners should be called in and given the estimates (quotes from actual installers may differ) and discuss this. If the resident is unwilling to pay, then there is no point in pursuing the matter.

Resolutions from joint meeting
The attendance to the annual AMM convention in Brandon, Nov. 27-29, was given approval. CAO Jones’ costs will be shared by NCL and Carberry.
The attendance of Tricia Zander to four events was approved. 
The attendance of T. Fiskel to a FIPPA event on October 4 was approved.
The purchase of a wreath for the Carberry Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day service was approved - $35. Reeve Adriaansen suggested that the approval be set up to be ‘ongoing’ as it is only $35. Council also approved sharing the cost of an advertisement in the Legion’s Military Service Recognition Book; $310 shared 50/50.
A donation of $100 was approved to the Car­berry Halloween Youth Dance.
Recreation Director, Andrew Smith was app­roved to attend the Tri-Regional Recreation Conf­erence at Elkhorn Resort, October 17 and 18, shared 50/50 by both municipalities.
A donation of $250 was approved to the Pearson Benefit Social, also shared 50/50 by both councils.

Other business
Council accepted the wage schedule, as set out by the Personnel Com­mittee. They accepted the resignation of Public Works operator Paul St. Pierre. They then hired Sam Rutz as Public Works operator and set his wage.
A request was made regarding the municipality’s insurance, and whet­her it could be done more economically through an insurer other than their current one. Council asked that a quote be provided.
The Firdale dumpsters were once again brought forward as an issue, following the photograph which shows the dumpster surrounded by two easy chairs, tires, lumber, as well as a bunch of junk in front of them. Council has been threatening to remove them completely, or at the very least, move them to another location. They are the only dumpsters in the municipality that are not “watched” and it seems to invite abuse. Setting up a camera was suggested, to track who was actually abusing them, and it is suspected that the perpetrators could be from outside North Cypress-Langford.
Adriaansen noted that the Wellwood dumpsters have also been used for people dumping their compost all around them. He feels that this will be an invitation to rats, cats and other rodents.
Councillor Drayson questioned whether a group could be hired to clean up around the Neepawa Dumpsters. CAO Jones suggested that he talk to Stephenson (Manager of Parks, Facilities and Sanitation) before doing so, as there are arrangements being made for all the dumpsters.

Communications
TransCanada Pipelines sent information about reducing the possibility of pipeline damage and what to do if pipeline is compromised. The end result was that the previous requirement of 125’ distance from the road was reduced to a more palatable 15’.
Persons installing irrigation wells are still required to purchase a development permit. Council heard a request from an irrigator that neglected to purchase one, and installed two wells only three feet from the property line. 
While the province gets the information through the water allocation process, there is no requirement to pass on well locations to the municipalities. 
Council was conflicted about his issue. They do not like the practice of ‘installing first and asking for forgiveness later.’ They are also conscious of the costs of requiring wells to be moved – which is within their rights to request. In the end, they did pass the variation, with a notation that the wells be “clearly marked” so they will not pose a hazard to anyone using the ditches.
Council discussed several options for those who install wells without permits. They included enacting a by-law that would fine the well installer for every foot less than the 15 feet required. McEntee pointed out that the Langford regulations should be brought into line first, as their requirement is a 125’ setback (an amendment to the zoning by-law). They will em­bark on an information campaign to inform irrigators about the regulations.
The same applicant requested a revision to a previously approved water and electrical crossing from NE 28-10-13 to SW 34-10-13. A line travelling east along the south side until an angle crossing into the destination was given approval a few months ago. The revision asked that it be changed to a 90º crossing to the north, along the north ditch of road 50, and another 90º crossing across Road 75W. 
Council had some issues with this request. They do not want the line through the ditch, especially with it being a shallow ditch. They prefer that the line not be on municipal property. Council voted down the request, feeling that the original request was a better route.
Council looked at an application by Twilight Colony to build RTM homes on their premises. McEntee pointed out that the colony has had a history of building cabinets in their workshop. They wish to start building homes, stating there will only be up to six homes built per year. Both building cabinets and RTM homes are permitted as conditional uses on agricultural property.
McEntee noted that there were no permits for either industry at this time, so both were included in the conditional use application. Ten workers are employed at the site. There has been no concern expressed by neighbours (except at the council table, where there was concern about the burning of waste materials.) Council stressed that they in no way want to hinder the activity at the site. 
The request for a conditional use for a RTM (residence to move) operation and a woodworking shop in an AG80L2 (agricultural livestock operation limited-2 zone) was approved. McEntee will approach the other colony building houses to bring them into compliance as well.
A request to sever 5.97 acre parcel from a SW25-14-15 (Briese), leaving the balance of the property as part of the family farm operation. Council gave approval of the request, noting that a conditional use order is required as it is in the Agricultural General Zone.
Council also approved a municipal road crossing for Sprucewoods Colony to install an 8” irrigation water and electrical line from SW 24-12-16 to SE23-12-16.

Foreman visits
Public Works Fore­man, David Chandler attended council. He presented some quotes for adapters for the packers on the new graders. They will also like to sell the old ones. Council took this information and will add it to their budget. They also discussed a quick attach packer for one grader, which is more user friendly.
The three new graders should be delivered within the next two weeks.
Generally the roads stood up well during harvest. The rain actually seemed to make it better. A few roads, like Keller’s Rd. need to be worked on. The work on the Gregg Road started on October 9. Chandler noted that he will be putting signs up, and that one mile will be done at a time.
Beaver control permit, two new names have been added Chad Campbell and Darren Stansky.
Chandler noted that there is a certain amount of hassle with the municipality applying calcium in some yards. He recommended that the spraying of yards be moved out of municipal custom work to some other system where the municipality is not directly involved.
Council offered to meet again with public works as a whole sometime to make sure there is communication going both ways. They also invited Chandler to attend every other regular meeting for the same reason. He agreed.

2018 election
Council gave first reading to By-law 3/2017 revising the ward system before the 2018 October election. The six wards must have a population varying not more than 10% from the others.
CAO Jones also discussed the enumerator position (the job of listing all electors in the municipality) and the SEO (Senior Elections Officer) position. It appears that the enumerator from 2014 Election is considering that position. While other municipalities have hired someone to do the SEO position, last time, it was added to the duties of the CDC, but Jones noted that it was considerably more work than anyone expec­ted. A discussion ensued about whether to advertise the position or hire within the office staff.

Water supplies
CAO Jones updated council on the water supply and sales agreement with the Town of Neepawa. There have been some minor changes and submitted back to Neepawa.
Council discussed the quotes (from Water Services) they received for supplying two residents with water. As the quotes are significantly higher than they anticipated, they felt that the two homeowners should be called in and given the estimates (quotes from actual installers may differ) and discuss this. If the resident is unwilling to pay, then there is no point in pursuing the matter.

Resolutions from joint meeting
The attendance to the annual AMM convention in Brandon, Nov. 27-29, was given approval. CAO Jones’ costs will be shared by NCL and Carberry.
The attendance of Tricia Zander to four events was approved. 
The attendance of T. Fiskel to a FIPPA event on October 4 was approved.
The purchase of a wreath for the Carberry Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day service was approved - $35. Reeve Adriaansen suggested that the approval be set up to be ‘ongoing’ as it is only $35. Council also approved sharing the cost of an advertisement in the Legion’s Military Service Recognition Book; $310 shared 50/50.
A donation of $100 was approved to the Car­berry Halloween Youth Dance.
Recreation Director, Andrew Smith was app­roved to attend the Tri-Regional Recreation Conf­erence at Elkhorn Resort, October 17 and 18, shared 50/50 by both municipalities.
A donation of $250 was approved to the Pearson Benefit Social, also shared 50/50 by both councils.

Other business
Council accepted the wage schedule, as set out by the Personnel Com­mittee. They accepted the resignation of Public Works operator Paul St. Pierre. They then hired Sam Rutz as Public Works operator and set his wage.
A request was made regarding the municipality’s insurance, and whet­her it could be done more economically through an insurer other than their current one. Council asked that a quote be provided.
The Firdale dumpsters were once again brought forward as an issue, following the photograph which shows the dumpster surrounded by two easy chairs, tires, lumber, as well as a bunch of junk in front of them. Council has been threatening to remove them completely, or at the very least, move them to another location. They are the only dumpsters in the municipality that are not “watched” and it seems to invite abuse. Setting up a camera was suggested, to track who was actually abusing them, and it is suspected that the perpetrators could be from outside North Cypress-Langford.
Adriaansen noted that the Wellwood dumpsters have also been used for people dumping their compost all around them. He feels that this will be an invitation to rats, cats and other rodents.
Councillor Drayson questioned whether a group could be hired to clean up around the Neepawa Dumpsters. CAO Jones suggested that he talk to Stephenson (Manager of Parks, Facilities and Sanitation) before doing so, as there are arrangements being made for all the dumpsters.

Manitoba Ombuds­man sent guidelines for implementing a Privacy Manage­ment Programs.
Neepawa and Area Health Auxiliary sent a letter asking for support and naming the almost $20,000 in improvements they have made. Council declined to offer support, but asked to be kept abreast of specific projects.
Westlake Emp­loy­ment invited a council member to be appointed to that board. None was appointed.

Around the table
Reeve Adriaansen noted that the roads were in decent condition (at least the ones he travelled.) He also brought up a discussion as to whether stockpiling gravel (off-season) is worth the extra cost. You pay more for handling it extra times, but it does save time during the gravel season? This was referred to the Gravel Committee.
Councillor G. David­son noted that he had ordered signs for the WWCD Conservation Corridor and they will have to be erected. He noted that he had received information on a study on grain elevators and that he is willing to participate. 
He also suggested that Hwy 464 is in terrible shape, and is rarely graded.
He had dealt with a complaint regarding the calcium affecting the grass at a residence. Technically the grass is on municipal property, and another council member noted that the calcium seemed to be spreading more this time. The resident will be contacted.
Councillor Jackson noted that he had dealt with a Keller secondary road that needed some work.
Council went ‘in camera’ to discuss public works concerns.
Prior to adjournment, accounts totalling $224,512.44 (cheques and direct deposit payments) were approved. Council will next meet on November 13. Joint council with the Town of Carberry will be held on October 23.

by Gloria Mott
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