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Town Council - “Be and is” Council passes the 2016 Financial Plan

posted May 16, 2016, 8:23 AM by Kathy Carr
A financial picture was drawn for the public at the hearing regarding the 2016 budget. Carberry Town Council Mayor Stuart Olmstead and Council members Anderson, Anderson and Mann were on hand for the public hearing regarding the financial plan at the May 10 meeting of council.
There were three members of the public on hand for the hearing. This year, the first debenture payment for the fire mains will come out of the pockets of the ratepayers: $98,445.51. Because the 2015 year showed a deficit of $70,000, that money is also scheduled to be repaid under a five-year plan (but can be paid off earlier if the town has a good year financially).
The assessed value of buildings in the town has increased by almost 20%. Financial officer, Teresa McConnell walked through the highlights of the budget with the public attendees. She calculated a house whose assessment increased the 19.91% could show an overall increase of about $100 under this year’s millrate (11.71 plus 1.51 for the debenture). If your assessment value increased less than 19.91%, it is possible that you could see a slight decrease in your taxes on the municipal portion of the tax bill.
Some of the projects slated for 2016 are: putting “sludge bugs” in the lagoon (to reduce the sludge and save on lagoon cleaning); a number of paving projects, such as 2nd Ave, from Main to Toronto; Charles Drive and sidewalks; and partnering to pave the Spud City parking lot.  Possible future projects also include the Cemetery Road and Community Hall parking lot. The number of projects is low, due to the increased expenditures noted. 
Resident D. Thiessen questioned why the town would pay 50% of the cemetery road, when the majority of the road is from the rural, and road damage on the road is due to agricultural traffic. He felt there should be weight restrictions on that road.
CAO Jones noted that they have applied for grants for new paving projects from the gas tax rebates.
After further questions from former Mayor, Wayne Blair, and former council member, Les Watts, Council passed a resolution stating that the document “be and is” the 2016 financial plan. 
They then gave second and third reading to the financial plan by-law.
Planning Matters
Planner John McEntee brought information regarding the possible purchase of a property and using the garage for a home-based business. The by-law allows for home-based businesses to exist in the town, under a number of rules, some of which are: residential must be the primary use; nothing displayed outside; no disturbing noises.
For the business in question, which would be revamping written off vehicles and then selling them, council had a number of concerns: the number of vehicles that may end up parked on the premises and the possibility of noise, depending on the work required. They felt they wanted to talk to the person in question.
The building at 121 Main was also discussed. It has been proposed to insulate the building from the outside and clad it with metal, but leaving the front intact. The Heritage Committee and council agreed that destroying the three-dimensional look of the outside would be too radical of a change to a building in the heritage district.
Being in the downtown heritage district does limit what can be done with the building, as it is subject to the Main St. by-law, and also the heritage rules. The front of the building should be commercial, and the back can be residential. There was discussion as to whether a boarding house/bed and breakfast would fit the criteria.
Burning ban
Third reading was given to the burning ban by-law. There was discussion as to what implements actually are included in the ban. Barbecues are allowed, because they are enclosed, but are free standing propane firepits?  Council will seek more information on the issue for future refinements of the by-law, but definitely any kind of fire that involves wood, and sparks, is banned.
 CAO Jones reported a number of phone calls enquiring about the burning ban – as to whether it has been lifted since the rain. Jones explained that she does not have the authority to lift the ban. It is lifted under the authority of the Fire Chief.
Other business
Resolutions from the joint meeting were passed; Appointing Andrew Smith as Recreation Director, and his wages set 50/50; Appointment of office assistant, Mandi Blair for an 18 month term – and her wages set 50/50 with North Cypress/Langford.
Two resolutions passed that will enable Evergreen Environmental access the gasification project. They agreed to commit to the Partners for Climate Change group of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, commit to reducing greenhouse gases and spending up to $5000 to do so.
There was some discussion of the garbage and recycling, and contaminated loads. That was deferred to the joint meeting.
Council passed a resolution advertising in the MADD magazine for $279. The money will go towards helping with the many MADD education and program efforts. 
The Fire Department stats for the Town of Carberry, first quarter are: January, 0; February, 3; March, 4.
Two seasonal public works employees were hired: Kyle Snow and Willi Sippel.
Council passed a resolution to be forwarded to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities. It states the fact that when Emergency Rooms are closed (as they often are in places like Carberry), ambulance services get called away from the community to do non-emergency transfers, leaving local ambulance service sometimes hours away. It asks the province to consider setting up a stretcher service to provide low priority transfers, thus leaving ambulance services within the community.
Around the table
Councillor John Anderson questioned the status of Code Red. Our EMO person is coming in to look over the contracts. They are identifying ten “users”; which would be Fire Chief, CAO, Public Works Foreman(s), EMO, etc.  Datalink is working on sharing the GIS files to co-ordinate with their GPS.
He also asked about a King Spud statue. The CDC is looking at acquiring quotes for a large one. They will acquire some numbers, then make a decision.
In answer to Councillor Barry Anderson’s question, the garbage truck is getting the suspension done.
Councillor Barry Anderson flipped burgers, and council donated $100 to the barbecue that was held to help the people of Fort McMurray.
CAO Jones wanted to give an extended thank you to all the community for pitching in to help support Fort McMurray. From the gathering of supplies, food and water as they did collect an amazing amount of items through the Spulnicks and Ramseys, to the past graduates from the community and surrounding area that have donated in total 50 grad dresses and suits, it’s very overwhelming to see the support that is coming in and how quickly it can happen here. To our Fort McMurray readers, family and friends, you are in our thoughts.
Council was also reminded of the COPP barbecue on Thursday, May 19th downtown, as well as to fill out their 2016 Census forms.
Prior to adjournment, accounts totalling $404,375.47 were approved for payment. Big item in the list was the payment of the insurance. Next town council meeting will be June 14; there will be a joint meeting on May 30.
by Gloria Mott
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