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Town Council - New council deals with subdivision applications

posted Nov 19, 2018, 9:41 AM by Kathy Carr
he Town of Carberry held its Inaugural Meeting in the council chambers of the Municipal Office on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. Mayor Stuart Olmstead was in the chair, and all councillors were present, including newly-acclaimed councillors Mike Sudak, Ray Muir­head, and Matt Tolton. Also present were CAO Jones and Development Officer McEntee.
Planning Matters
With the opening formalities out of the way, Development Officer McEntee presented three subdivision applications, which he assured the newly-elected councillors was an unusually large number for a single meeting. For their benefit, he went into detail about the subdivision process and council’s responsibilities. There are now two paths to a subdivision application, the first of which involves a period of review by all possibly affected parties and government departments, after which a report is made to council who can give approval with conditions or withhold their approval. Once approval is given, with its possible conditions, the application goes on to the Planning District, who administer the fulfillment of the conditions and issue the necessary permits, and advise the Land Titles Office.
The second path is a simpler one, for use where the application is uncomplicated. The Plan­ning Officer brings the application directly to council, and the review period is waived. Two of the evening’s applications were of this simpler type, and one of the long form.
The first simple application was from Markus and Erika Fast, who wish to split their 100 foot lot on Ottawa Avenue at Stickle into two equal 50 foot lots, for future residential development. There are no conflicts with the zoning and required setbacks, so the application was approved.
The second simple application was from Kelly and Tammy Murray to subdivide a duplex on Venture Bay into two parcels along the line of the party wall. The lot on which the duplex is built is of sufficient size that there are no problems with setbacks except for the obvious one-side setback of zero feet. The zoning for the area is RHD — Residential High Density — which requires a minimum of two-family residences such as this duplex. Again, the application was approved.
The third application is more complex, and had already passed through a more extensive previous examination. Simon Ryan, of Ryan Develop­ments, is applying to build a set of four duplexes between Dufferin Street and Wellwood Road north of First Avenue. The duplexes are to be subdivided along their party walls to make eight units with separate titles. This is a project that has been discussed by the previous council, and has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. The vacant lot to be built on is presen­tly zoned CH — Urban Highway Com­mercial — so the conditions include amending the zoning to RHD for Residential High Density, and variation orders will be needed to reduce the site areas and widths to the from the RHD minimum of 6600 Sq. ft. and 55 ft. to the sizes of the lots created, which in the case of the smallest is 5445 sq. ft. and 49.5 ft. (a small reduction). There will also have to be a Development Agreement in place, but that was signed before Mr. Ryan’s illness.
Council approved the application.
Finance and Accounts
Cheques and accounts totalling $122,534.06 were approved for payment.
The Inaugural Meeting brings with it all the appointments to committees and boards.
John Anderson was appointed Deputy Mayor.
The standing committees of council were estab­lished as follows (the first named is committee chair):
Finance and Personnel — Olmstead, Muirhead and Anderson
Protective Services — Anderson and Muirhead
Transportation Ser­vices (Public Works) — Olmstead, Muirhead and Anderson
Municipal Buildings — Olmstead, Sudak, and Muirhead
Waste Manage­ment/ Evergreen Environmental — Anderson and Sudak
The boards to which councillors are appointed are:
Handivan/Seniors – Sudak
Library – Sudak
Health Advisory – Anderson, Sudak
Cypress Planning – Olmstead, Muirhead
Econcomic Develop­ment – Olmstead, Sudak, Muirhead
Carberry Plains Archives — Tolton
Carberry Plains Arts Council — Olmstead, Tolton
Carberry Plains Cemetery — Tolton, Sudak
Carberry Plains Memorial Hall — Tolton, Sudak
Carberry Plains Community Centre — Olmstead, Anderson
Whitemud Watershed — Anderson
By-Law No. 4/2018 re: Carberry Arts Council Board was read a second time. This is a redrafting of their constitution to reflect the changes since their last one in 1996  including the amalgamation with Langford, and changes in the board’s composition and size. The By-Law was then read a third time and approved to become law.
Each Inaugural Meeting, there must be pas­sed By-Laws for Procedure, In­dem­­nity, and Organi­zation. They are read a first time, and will be debated in detail at the subsequent meeting(s).
The Procedural By-Law is pretty much straight from the Muni­cipal Act. It speaks of the Agenda, what constitutes a quorum, how to hear delegations and public hearings, and a code of conduct.
The Indemnity By-Law is the most difficult to address impartially. Carberry has tied its councillors’ indemnity to the increases offered to all staff, which saves many problems, but there are always details such as daily and hourly rates to be considered, and mi­leage, and the amount paid to offset technological expenses such as cell phones and printer ink. This term, there will be the added burden to consider when the federal government withdraws the one-third tax-free status that elected officials used to receive. The tax situation of expenses is getting attention as well, and there will be a greater insistence on keeping accurate records of money spent and mileage claimed.
The Organizational By-Law is again largely dictated by the Municipal Act. It outlines the role of council, the duties of councillors, the standing committees, the duties of the head of council and the Chief Administrative Officer and the Financial Officer. Details of the organization of the muni­cipality may be varied, but most of it is non-controversial.
The three Inaugural By-laws were given their first reading.
A zoning By-Law No. 54 was read a first time. It lists as a conditional use in a commercial district a cannabis retail store. This would mean that an application to open such a business would need to come before council, and that conditions can be placed on, for example, its location and presentation.
Unfinished Business
Council passed a resolution proclaiming the week of November 4 to 10 as Medical Radiation Technology Week, marking the birth of the discoverer of X-rays, Wilhelm Roentgen, and the contribution of Manitoba’s over 900 MRT Technicians.
A discussion followed about the proposal by the News-Express to offer a reduced subscription rate and advantageous advertising rates if the town will buy all households a subscription, thereby en­suring that information on town activities is in the hands of all ratepayers. The benefits to the paper are considerable; with the added subscribers they can attract more advertising, and provide a more attractive final product. The side-benefits to the town are the added sense of community resulting from a more transparent and universal sharing of information, and the stren­gthening of a significant local enterprise directly, and other town enterprises by the more effective advertising. The down side is the cost — approx. $24,000 for the first year for set up. This at a time when several projects, including the new fire hall, are in need of funding and no one is in need of a tax hike. Proponents Jim Mihaly and Kathy Carr will be asked to a subsequent meeting for discussion.
There has been interest expressed in purchasing lots owned by the town on Market Street by the lift station. There are five 25’ lots, and it might be that four would be sold and the title amalgamated to create two 50' lots. Concerns include the worry that siting a residence that close to the lift station may be unattractive because of the smell. Removing trees in the area would probably wor­sen the situation. The RMH zoning allows mobile and modular homes, so the lot price can be established from similar locations in town.
The new councillors were brought up to speed on the details of the new Fire Hall project. The Town will have to undertake to support it for the next steps to be taken. The expected cost is in the region of $700 thousand, of which the Town will have to shoulder half. There are some grants available to reduce the requirement a bit, but the Town will have to find at least $325 to $350 thousand to go ahead. One of the new councillors, Mike Sudak, is a member of the Fire Department and has been part of the design and specification process, but the other two are new to the discussion. Coun­cil­lor Muirhead in particular has experience building similar buildings, and was amazed that a building of that size could come in at quite so much. Even considering the complexities of the plumbing and the Fire Commissioner’s high standards for the building, it’s a blow. The old building is condemned, and holds much of the department’s less-used equipment and the Handivan. Alternative storage sites have been looked into without much success. The Town has at the moment just one debenture outstanding, for the extensions to the fire line, and that will be cleared in a year or two, but debentures are still a drain on the taxpayer. The deliberations over the new budget will triage the Town’s needs. The bottom line is that Council is committed to the need for the new hall, and will try very hard to find the appropriate funds. The 2017 Audit is nearly ready, and FO McConnell will soon be starting back to work, so budget deliberations can then start. 
Councillor Sudak assured Council that getting away from deferred maintenance is well in hand at Public Works, so that the long-term expectation is that ongoing costs will drop.
Another thorny issue is animal control. This ties in with the need for a By-Law Enforcement Officer and/or a Community Safety Officer. No satisfactory solution is yet in hand, but councillors were advised to make contacts with the Commissionaires at the upcoming AMM convention.
General Business
AMM’s Trading Com­pany requires the municipality to undertake to make regular use of the site for their tendering and sourcing. This is not a problem; the site has been used regularly and with success.
Asset Management is an approach to budgeting that is being required by the Public Sector Accoun­ting Board. It involves a lot more inventory control and attention to detail than has been the case, but it is going to become inevi­table. The CAO has a very good PowerPoint presentation on Asset Manage­ment, which all councillors should make time to see, and which will be presented to all staff eventually.
The extra hydrant that was shipped to us will be kept; new prices of the things will be seriously affected by tariffs on steel being enforced by the United States. Keeping it will be a great saving.
Mayor Olmstead had received an email from Waterford Global, a Winnipeg specialist on health sector recruitment. They offer to do physician recruitment for municipalities, and can point to contracts successfully negotiated for other Manitoba municipalities. They will probably be —aggressively promoting their services at the AMM. Olmstead noted that in fact, recruitment is the job of the province and the health region, and that the contracts so far negotiated are without any long-term guarantee's. Waterford Global’s presentation is nevertheless quite a hard sell.
Around the Table
Councillor Sudak asked what powers the Town could exert on Main Street businesses to keep them presentable. Have we any power to enforce maintenance?
He also noted that the way that Christmas holidays are handled in Public Works leaves usually just one person on duty for a half day from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. and very little work is actually accomplished. This is the pattern with the NCL’s unionized employees, the Town’s Public Works, and Parks and Recreation — unless of course there is a snow storm, when it’s “all hands on deck.” He noted that this year, with Christmas Eve being a Monday, families will have been travelling over the weekend, and day-care for a half day will be a big problem. The following two days are Stats. Mayor Olmstead sug­gested further discussion at Joint Council over the issue.
Councillor Anderson wanted to verify that meeting dates will continue to be on Tuesday nights. He reminded the adminis­tration that the No Par­king sign by the Presby­terian church is still illegible. He reported that planning for the Chris­tmas party on December 7 was well in hand, though there may be some logistical issues upcoming.
Councillor Tolton noted that the Stop sign at Fourth and Fanny is no longer reflective, and can be missed. He has also noted that Fourth is regularly used at high speeds because of its lack of stop signs, and there is a danger there. Another of his interests is to acquire as a monument and display one of the Leopard I tanks that are being decommissioned by the Forces. They are available free, but must be transported (weighing about 40 tonnes) from New Brun­s­wick, and set on a suitable support. If we are to get such a piece, to memorialize the long association with Base Shilo and the Germans stationed there, we will work through the Legion.
Councillor Muirhead wanted a dog station moved slightly to reduce the eyesore to a nearby ratepayer. He also noted that there is a day care on Selkirk that might be protected with a warning sign. The street is a fire route, and is often used at speeds that don’t allow for toddlers. He was advised that a lot of the problem with speed control has to do with enforcement. Wait for the RCMP’s presentation to the next meeting of Joint Councils.
Another concern is the poor drainage around the entrance to the Care Home. It’s a problem shared between the Town and Health Region. Can anything be done?
He also asked what the best practise would be where neighbours suspect that someone is in dire circumstances. Is there a moral or a legal obligation to intervene? If someone is living in a situation that can’t be allowed, what is the process? Leave them nowhere at all? This is an excellent question, and one that he may find answers for at the convention. At present, the policy is that someone with a concern of this sort should come to the Municipal Office and fill out a Con­cern & Com­ment form. There must always be a written and signed concern. The RCMP can do a “wellness check” if officially informed.
CAO Jones advised that the Santa parade will take place on December 1, and that the float will be driven by Ray Dray­son of NCL, but that if anyone wants to ride the float and pass out candy and so on, it’s a fun time.
She has been repeatedly asked for a town map. The last one was prepared by Planning. She will see if they can come up with something.
Councillor Tolton gave praise for the lighted cross­walk at First and Main; he felt it had given him a better chance of missing a pedestrian dressed all in black one evening.
Mayor Olmstead re­minded all of the Christmas Party on December 7.
He also noted the supper that all councillors, Town and NCL, will attend the first evening of the AMM convention, and mentioned that the elections for AMM executive are very interesting this year.
The meeting ad­journed at 11:11 p.m. after a longer and more difficult meeting than the new councillors need expect going forward.

by John McNeily