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Town Council - Council passes by-law amendment 54

posted Feb 25, 2019, 8:51 AM by Kathy Carr
The council of the Town of Carberry met a bit early on Tuesday evening, February 12, with Mayor Olmstead in the chair, and all members present. Also present were Financial Officer McConnell and Develop­ment Officer McEntee.
As soon as the opening formalities were ac­comp­lished, Council welcomed Krista Lob­reau of MNP, who was there to present the audited financial statement for 2017 which is a de­tailed and lengthy document.  Lob­reau presented it carefully and ensured that the new councillors knew the significance of the several ways that the information is organized, and how the conclusions are supported.
In brief, the audit showed the Town to have finished 2017 with a surplus, as required by the Municipalities Act, and to have a clean set of books, properly arranged and verified. The conclusions covered the whole range of the Town’s operations, including all sub-boards who are now required to report their financial dealings to the Town.
The municipal finan­ces are reported in two ways; there are the Public Sector Accoun­ting Board (PSAB) standards, which specify how all public sector entities must report their finances, and there is a separate set of standards enshrined in the Municipal Act. Since this act is the basis of the Municipality’s existence, the figures must be reported according to these standards as well. By either measure, the Town finished 2017 with the required surplus.
The audit also monitors compliance with several other regulations, such as the Gas Tax Act and the Public Sector Compen­sation Dis­closure.
Council thanked Lob­reau for her work and her presentation, and went on to approve the report as presented.
Planning Matters
Council temporarily adjourned in order to hold a public hearing on a proposal to open a new public road at the north end of Dufferin Street to serve the dwellings of a proposed new subdivision. Since there were no objections, the council meeting was resumed, and the road was officially opened.
The opening of the road was a precondition of a significant subdivision application from Simon Ryan of Ryan Developments Ltd. He is looking to put up a group of four semi-detached dwellings along the newly opened road. They are to be divided into separate titles at the centre line, giving a total of eight individual dwellings.
Council approved his application subject to conditions that the area be rezoned from CH (Urban Highway Com­mercial) to RHD (Resi­dential High Density), and that a Development Agreement be entered into with the Town to address such things as roads, sidewalks, street lighting, drainage, fire protection and green space. A Variation Order was also required to accommodate the zero side setback of the semi-detached buildings, and to permit the lots to be slightly under the minimum site area specified in RHD zones.
Finance & Accounts
The Financial Statement for January 2019 was referred to council, and cheques totaling $212,475.02 and direct deposits were approved for payment.
Council adjourned its regular meeting in order to hold a Public Hearing regarding zoning by-law amendment 54, which would add ‘Cannabis Retail Store’ to the list of conditional uses in Commercial and High­way Commercial (CC & CH) zones in the town.
There was a written submission on behalf of the Evangelical Free Church, and personal appearances by several members of the public from the municipality and Town. All were op­posed to the amendment on the grounds that can­nabis has a considerable list of hazards, especially to the youth, and that it would be wrong to ap­pear to condone its use.
In response it was suggested that given the rigorous controls put on the substance by both federal and provincial governments, it was probably safer to facilitate controlled use of it, rather than leaving it to the black market and the underhand resources of the users to provide it. It was further pointed out that a conditional use is one that must come each time before council for approval, and may be subjected to extensive conditions and further public consultation.
The delegation were thanked for their input and concern, and assured that they would be free to express their concerns at any conditional use application — of which none were expected for the foreseeable future. They were also invited to re­main as council resumed their deliberations.
With resumption, council gave the amendment its second reading. Councillor Muirhead exp­lained that he felt that Council owed it to their constituency to show moral guidance, and not add to the range of addicting substances and pastimes that already cause so much grief.
Councillor Tolton felt that the dangers and drawbacks of cannabis use are often overstated, and that it is no longer difficult to discover a wide range of reasonable and capable people who use or have used it. He noted that history has generally shown that use and misuse are usually less of a problem when a substance is legalized.
Councillor Anderson felt that the worst effects of the substance, which he wants to keep from youthful users, come from the underground market. He feels that legal sourcing is far preferable, putting the old dealers out of business.
Councillor Sudak approached the problem from the viewpoint of rights and freedoms. Where the substance has been made legal, it is unjustifiably restrictive to try and impede others’ legal wishes.
Mayor Olmstead pointed out that the nature of the Conditional Use process meant that Council retains oversight and local control of whatever sort of enterprise might be proposed.
The second reading passed, and the third reading followed, with a recorded vote that passed with four in favour and one (Councillor Muir­head) against.
Unfinished Business
Council discussed the upcoming celebration of the life of long-time staff member and firefighter Jayson Downey. A large proportion of the staff will be wishing to attend, which may involve closing the office for the event. Several ideas about how to memorialize his service to the town were suggested. There will almost certainly be some sort of memorial and dedication later on in better weather. A trust fund has been set up for his daughter Jasmine.
Several resolutions were brought forward from the Joint Meeting. A grant of $600 in support of the Spruce Woods Junior Rifle Club to assist them in their trip to the provincial championships in Thompson was app­roved, to be split 50/50 with the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford.
The wages of utility employee Jesse Gingras were raised, retroactive to the beginning of the year. The costs to be shared 50/50 with NCL.
The Carberry Plains Community Centre Fund­raising Committee have asked for $10,000 of seed money for their inaugural fundraising banquet. The funds would be used for advance expenses for the banquet, and repaid out of profits. They also ask for a guarantee if they run into a deficit (a standard provision for such events, rarely if ever drawn on).
Councillor Anderson and Mayor Olmstead had been present at the recent meeting of the committee, and spoke encouragingly of the committee, its participants and its effectiveness to date. The event will be a Sportsman’s Gala, to be held on Friday, April 12 at the CPCC on the curling surface. There will be 200 tickets sold, the meal will be catered by the Legion, the entertainment will consist of Wheat Kings’ goalie coach Tyler Plante, who tells stories of a varied life in professional hockey, and comedian ‘Big Daddy Tazz.’ In the first few hours of being available, already several tables have been re­served.
The vote to provide the $10,000 and the deficit guarantee, split 50/50 with the rural municipality, was recorded. Coun­cil­lors Anderson, Sudak and Mayor Olm­stead voted for, Coun­cillors Tol­ton and Muir­head voted against. The motion carried.
Council agreed to give a gift to Bill Kalinowich in recognition of his invaluable service over and above his contract to coordinate the Ice Plant Project. The cost of the gift will be split 50/50 with North Cypress-Langford.
CAO Jones was authorized to attend the By-Law Enforcement course in Brandon on March 1. Registration of $249 plus meal and mileage will be shared 50/50 with NCL.
Costs of fixing the radiator on the fire hall generator for $4863.41 will be shared 50/50 with NCL.
A longer term offer is to be made to Parks & Recreation employees. The wages for 2019 will be calculated by taking 2018’s hourly wages and adding 50¢ and a cost of living percentage al­lowance. 2020’s wages will similarly add 50¢ and a COLA. 2021’s wages will be derived from 2020’s wages plus 50¢ and a COLA.
There has also been a review of on-call and call-in rates and protocol and clothing allowances. All costs will be shared 50/50 with North Cyp­ress-Langford.
The wages of Diane Fast were increased, and similar annual increments settled. Costs again to be shared with NCL 50/50.
General Business
Several unpaid invoices to ratepayers for services were added to taxes.
Council approved a donation of $250 to assist with the medical costs to the family of Mikayla Aarts, who has cancer, and is the granddaughter of former Town Foreman Frank Aarts.
Council has been asked to support the Car­berry Ladies’ Curling Club rink in their participation in the Travelers’ Curling Provincials in Winnipeg on March 14-16. There was much discussion of what guidelines should be kept to in requests of this sort. The value of provincial recognition of a local team that publicly acknowledges their con­nec­tion to the town is worth support, but council must be wary of opening the floodgates of requests for sponsorship. In the end, Council app­roved a grant of $100.
There was discussion of an unpaid invoice for tipping fees at the transfer station. The defaulter is a local resident, but not a property owner to whose taxes the bill may be added. Council decided to send a letter of warning stating that if the invoice is unpaid, the offender will be banned from the transfer station.
KidSport Manitoba requested support in the amount of $300. They offer financial assistance with sport fees to children hampered by low in­come. Council agreed to the grant as requested.
Added to the Agenda
At Councillor Muir­head’s request, there was discussion of the rather complex grid of wages and positions among the town employees, the joint employees and the Parks & Rec employees. There have been some delays in settling wages, and possibility of establishing clearer guidelines was discussed.
There has been some confusion about the circumstances under which councillors may claim an hourly indemnity for att­ending meetings or training. The CAO exp­lained that most meetings in town are considered covered by the general indemnity, but where a councillor must travel out of town on business sanctioned by the council, the hourly indemnity and mileage may be claimed. There is also a technology fee that must be claimed each month on the signed expense form.
Around the Table
Councillor Tolton asked for a clarification of the rules for conflict of interest. Generally speaking, if in any way you might receive or seem to receive a benefit from a decision of council, you are in conflict and should recuse yourself. General­ly, this would mean that no employee of the town or municipality should run for council, as there would be very frequent conflicts, and the council would have to do without the input that the number of councillors were needed to provide.
Tolton also repeated his commendation of the quality and efficiency of the snow clearing done by Public Works.
Councillor Sudak re­por­ted that he and Coun­cillor Tolton had gone to Alexander to hear a presen­tation that sought to establish a network or organization of Emer­gency Coordinators roughly paralleling the AMM and specializing in liaison among councils, emergency services, the police, and any higher government interests that might appear at an emergency. It seemed that the planning and delivery was not very professional, the mandate vague, and the need for a separate layer of officials unproven.
Sudak also wanted to discuss some problems arising out of the heavy snowfall to this point. A contractor has had to be called a couple of times at $200 per hour to ship the accumulating snow out of town. Sudak wondered if at that expense it mightn’t be cost effective to repair or replace the town’s blue dump truck, which has become too unreliable for use in this manner.
Councillor Muirhead asked when the Strategic Plan and Budget meetings would be held. Every­one needed was present, so it was possible to set an appropriate time.
Councillor Anderson went over the preparations for the Fundraising Gala, and encouraged all present to support the event. Returning to an often-raised item of interest, he asked about community internet.  CAO Jones reported that RFNow is putting together a proposal to present to Councils in the near future.
Another long-standing concern is to create a King Spud statue. Spon­sor­ship of the project may be available, but it needs a specialized contractor to create such a moulding. Mayor Olm­stead has been in contact with a possible contractor, and will be bringing details as they become available.
Mayor Olmstead spoke of his favourable impression of the CPCC’s Fundraising committee; their breadth of interest, and praised the hard work and effectiveness of Jamie Smart as chairman. He also added that he hopes to see a large turnout at the Community Hall on the 27th to pay their respects to Jayson.
CAO Jones mentioned that she had received a complaint from a rate­payer about the 6:00 a.m. starting time of the snow clearing operations some mornings. Council felt that works of this kind do not fall under the usual noise by-laws, and that it was very important to get the area of the school and Child Care Co-op cleared early for safety reason.  A follow up letter will be sent.
With that, the meeting adjourned at 10:25 p.m.

by John McNeily