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Town Council - Council discusses possible spot for King Spud

posted May 14, 2018, 8:49 AM by Kathy Carr
The council of the Town of Carberry met on Tuesday evening, May 8, with Mayor Olmstead in the chair and all present except Mann. Also present were CAO Jones, and Development Officer Mc­Entee.
Council’s first concern after the opening formalities was a request from Foreman Sudak to apply for training to join the province’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team. This is a commitment to extensive ongoing training and availability for deployments of up to five days provincially and ten days nationally. The province doesn’t provide payment; Sudak and the town will have to negotiate the terms wherein he is given leave to serve on the team. It would be a distinction to be accepted as a member of the USAR team, and to support his efforts would be a credit to the town, but there are concerns about just how much of his time can be sacrificed, and on what grounds.
Planning Matters
Council next discussed a request for subdivision from Simon Ryan, who wishes to create a block of lots on Dufferin Street north of First Avenue. The intention is to build four duplexes on eight lots, each part to have separate title. In order to create them between Dufferin Street and the 125’ setback from the Wellwood Road, the lots are just a bit cramped, and Ryan asks to be allowed a few feet into the setback to give the lots more breadth. Coun­cil was prepared to allow the ten foot encroachment, but thought that there should be a detailed drainage plan of the area prepared before the plan of subdivision and development agreement are negotiated, as drainage concerns might affect the planning of sidewalks, ditches and road widths.
Ryan also asks for permission to phase his development so that his taxes would not increase by the amount of a fully constructed set of four houses, but rather to build the units one by one as the first ones are sold.
There is a public reserve along Wellwood Road at the end of these properties which will be given over to a green space. Councillors speculated that it might be just the sort of place to put “King Spud.”
The next item of planning concern was the pending purchase of 712 Third Avenue, a six-plex rental property. Council was asked if there were any restrictions on the nature of renovations to the property, which is presently used as affordable housing. The purchaser assures that renovations would only be done as the suites become vacant, and council had no problems with such a schedule. There is a question whether they even had the authority to specify what work could be done.
Finance and Accounts
The Financial State­ments for the month of April were approved, and accounts totalling $149,960.37 were approved for payment.
The Sewer Rates By-law, No. 2/2015, is at last before the Public Utilities Board. It has been so long since it was submitted that the PUB is asking questions about subsequent finances and feasibility studies, but at least their ruling is nearly ready. Since the year’s financial plan is set to approve, this means that whatever the ruling is, it won’t affect this year’s taxes.
Unfinished Business
From the joint meeting, council approved the payment of $18,333.33 owing to the Carberry and Area Community Foundation for the Health Funds. The sum is to be split 50/50 with North Cypress Langford.
Also from the joint meeting, Alex Broad was approved to attend the Aquatic Facility Opera­tors Course in Brandon May 16, with the costs also shared with NCL.
Council and CAO Jones were approved to attend the Fire Protection Workshop in Brandon May 17, with the costs shared 50/50 with the Municipality.
The Council, the Office Administration, and the CAO were app­roved to attend the Asset Management Workshop in Brandon, May 9.
Teresa Fiskel was approved to participate in the Accounts Receivable Webinar in the office on May 3, 2018, and the costs were shared 50/50 with North Cypress-Langford.
Council voted to support the Fourth Annual Potato Truck Pull as a Platinum Sponsor at a cost of $600, shared with North Cypress Langford.
There was some discussion of the property next door to the Muni­cipal Office, which is coming up for sale. Council discussed several options for the building, as well as financing, and what departments might be able to use the space and other issues that may arise with the purchase.
Mayor Olmstead brought in some material from the Westman Op­por­tunities Leadership Group, which has leveraged federal and provincial money to help in the research on the feasibility of attracting a soya bean processing facility to this area. An extensive and impressive document has been prepared to support and encourage the development of a business case, and work is commencing in preparing that business case to interested processors.
Community Develop­ment Coordinator Zander will shortly be given an extensive questionnaire to establish the community’s capacity to sustain a processing facility. It is hoped it won’t take too much of her time, but council accepted that the research being done will facilitate many kinds of development opportunities, regardless of the outcome of WOLG’s primary effort. The outlook for Carberry is still very positive.
Council next took time to enact a Snow Removal Policy. This sets out the responsibilities and priorities of the Public Works Depart­ment in response to snow clearing. It sets out what has been the practise already in place. Anyone wishing to examine the policy can look it up on the Town website.
Another policy was enacted outlining the procedure for responding to complaints or concerns brought to the municipal office. The policy intends to ensure that complaints are given due process once the complaint is submitted in writing or by email.  The complainant's name is kept confidential and it gives staff proper guidelines in prioritizing their response so frivolous complaints are avoided.  The policy may be examined on the Town website.
General Business
Council voted to amend the lease of the land behind Mid-Plains to allow the use of a portion for the STARS landing pad.
Council also approved the participation of Teresa Fiskel in the advanced Accounts Receivable webi­nar on May 23, 2018. The costs for this professional development will be borne equally by the Town and the Municipality of North Cypress Langford.
The 2018 Financial Plan
The previous day, Monday, May 7, the Council of the Town of Carberry had held a public meeting to present their Financial Plan for the year, and give it first reading. All of council were present except Mann; also present were the CAO and Financial Officer McCon­nell, who offered a thorough PowerPoint presentation, detailing where the money comes from and where it will go. The presentation may be viewed on the Town website.  The bottom line: With the average in­crease in assessment of 2.71%, the general mill rate increase is just 0.133, while the Beautiful Plains School Division rate is lowered by 0.616. The rates for sewer, garbage, and the Community Rec­reation Service remain unchanged. Generally, taxes are staying pretty steady. Some properties will be increased, but many will be decreased. A comparison of eight properties is included in the PowerPoint; they range from an increase of $83.17 to a decrease of $175.60.
Projects to be undertaken in the coming year include the resurfacing of the top end of Toronto Street, and of Jardine from Second to Third. Joint projects with North Cypress-Langford inc­lude work on the Ball Park washrooms, more work on the Old Town Hall foundation, upgrading the campground electrical, and work on the Gingerbread House. There have been a couple of recent upgrades to the town’s equipment; a new backhoe, and a brand new replacement for the small Kubota tractor.
The Financial Plan received its second and third readings, and was passed into law with a unanimous recorded vote.
Around the Table
Councillor MacGregor talked about how the walking path at the ball diamonds was being promoted that maybe we should smooth it out as it’s rather rutted. She suggested some gravel be applied, and also that the path be publicized as a recreation asset.
Councillor J. Anderson noted that there had been comments in social media taking councillors to task for not being seen at public functions. He noted that he has a full time job, is on call as a paramedic 21 days a month, is a union steward with all those duties, has council meetings and committees, and attends several board meetings each month as a council rep. In addition, he has family duties. If invited specifically, he might be able to find time to attend, but it’s not as though he is uninvolved in the community.
Councillor MacGregor concurred; With a full time job, some self-employment, and a young family, she still devotes time to community work beyond her duties as councillor. For attending what concerns or interests her, it’s that she attends or not based on what’s appropriate for herself, her family and their busy schedule. She pointed out that though councillors have been traditionally drawn from the retired, who have some extra time for public service, Carberry is fortunate to have younger councillors who can reflect the working population, and are less concerned with how things have always been done, and more with how to adapt to future needs.
Councillor B. Ander­son agreed that attendance at any and all public functions has never been a requirement of the job, and ventured that if it were, there would be no one to come forward. You attend what interests you personally.
Mayor Olmstead echoed Council's sentiment.  The current Coun­cil is a cross section of the community, a demographic shift has taken place on Council with the last election. Council should reflect the community at large as best as possible, be it retiree's, those in the work force, and those with families. Each and every Council member is involved in the community in their own way, and their Council work itself is a vital part of that.
CAO Jones mentioned that Grady Stephenson has priced out dog stations, and feels that he can acquire and install them for about $500 apiece. He’d like to be given a budget, and allowed to add them as he sees the need greatest. Council thought that giving him a thousand a year would see the need met as a few years go by. Jones will suggest the matter to the next joint meeting.
Jones also asked that it be made known that in the normal routine, it takes two weeks to issue a cheque. If one is needed, the payee and the amount should be given to the office two weeks in advance.
Mayor Olmstead wished to offer kudos to the Public Works staff for clearing and edging the sidewalks and walking paths so soon in the spring. Those who walk for recreation are very appreciative.
Councillor J. Ander­son reported that at the Mixed SoftBall meeting, a fee of $50 per team, guaranteed over the next five years, is to be put toward the new recreation complex in honour of a past player.
The meeting adjour­ned at 9:00 pm. Next Town Council meeting will be on June 12.

by John McNeily