COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – 56th Annual General Meeting – March 20, 2013
COMMUNITY OF MISCOUCHE
56TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
MARCH 20, 2013
1. OPENING OF MEETING
Chairperson, Peter Mallett called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. and welcomed everyone in attendance to this our 56th annual meeting of the Community.
Peter Mallett – Chairperson
Ivan Blanchard – Vice-Chairperson
John Gillis – Councilor
Ben Murphy – Councilor
Mike MacKinnon – Councilor
Judy Gallant – Administrator
and: J. Gerald Arsenault – Accountant – BDO Canada
and: Jason Woodbury – Fire Chief and Paul Perry – Deputy Fire Chief
and: 11 residents
Absent: Joan Arsenault – Councilor
2. MOMENT OF SILENCE
Chairperson Peter Mallett called for a moment of silence in memory of all residents of the Community who passed away during the past year.
3. ADOPTION OF MINUTES
MOTION moved by Sonny Gallant, seconded by Adam Gallant and carried,
THAT the minutes of the Annual Meeting held on March 21, 2012 be
approved as presented.
4. BUSINESS ARISING FROM MINUTES – Nil
5. COUNCIL’S ANNUAL REPORT by Chairperson Peter Mallett
As a result of the 2012 Municipal Elections there have been some changes to our Council. After former Chairperson Wayne Poirier decided not to re-offer I decided, after a four year absence to put my name forward for a position back on Council and was elected as your new Chairperson for the next two years. Also new to Council is Joan Arsenault and Mike Mackinnon. Former Councilors Ivan Blanchard, John Gillis and Ben Murphy have all be re-elected and I look forward to working with both my fellow Council members and you the residents.
During the past year Council members attended 10 regular monthly meetings and 6 special meetings held in the Community. Council members also attended numerous other meetings outside the Community with various individuals and organizations to discuss projects and issues relating to the Community and its residents.
During the past year there 10 building permits issued which included the construction of 5 new homes, 2 detached garages as well as various other home improvements around the Community. The total value of the building permits was $928,000.00.
With the construction of 5 new homes, our Community continues on a positive growth trend and on behalf of my fellow Council members I wish to welcome all new residents to our Community.
Upgrades and improvements are continuing to be made to Community owned properties. The new playground equipment, park benches etc were able to be installed during the past year.
Continuing with our effort to try and provide a safer pedestrian environment for the residents of our Community additional sidewalks were to be installed along Main Dr W however because of unforeseen delays last year this section of new sidewalks are scheduled to be installed this Spring.
The Community has now completed its first year as the new owners of the Rec Centre and although we are still in the learning process of determining how to best utilize this facility, it has shown to be a valuable asset to our Community. Regular weekly bingos have resumed and the Rec Centre is still being used as a base for the religion classes and regular Blood Donor Clinics. The Rec Centre has also been rented out for various other activities including banquets and meetings. The day to day operation of the Rec Centre continues to be carried out by our Rec Centre Manager, Robert Gallant and there are a number of individuals who have generously volunteered their time to help carry out activities at the Rec Centre and we wish to thank Robert and all those volunteers for helping to make the Rec Centre such an asset to our Community.
Continued monitoring of our sewer system is carried out on a regular basis and if any problems do arise we attempt to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. Upgrades and improvements, when needed, are also carried out on our sewer system. Regular cleaning of our sewer mains is another essential element in keeping our sewer system operating properly. As in previous years we have continued with the cleaning of several sections of our sewer mains each year and last year we cleaned another approximately 3.5 kilometers of sewer lines and we plan to do another 3.5 kilometers again this year.
Overseeing the regular maintenance of our community properties and sewer system is an essential ongoing task which is carried out by our maintenance worker Bobby DesRoches and at this time I want to thank Bobby for the excellent work he has done for us during the past year.
Our fire department is another very essential part of our Community. Some times we all tend to forget that we could find ourselves in an emergency situation at any time. When that happens we automatically think that just by dialing 911 someone will come to help us. Too often we forget that those individuals who do respond to your distress call have volunteered to spend numerous hours training to enhance their skills so that they learn how to best help us, whether that be as a fireman or as a medical first responder. Our firemen continue to provide us, as well as the residents of the surrounding district with the peace of mind that they are ready and willing to respond to any emergency at any time of the day or night. Members of both the Community Council and the Fire Department continue to work together to better serve the needs of our residents and as in previous years, upgrading and maintenance of fire fighting equipment is essential. Our Fire Chief, Jason Woodbury will be providing you with a more detailed list of the upgrades that have been occurred over the past year in his report. On behalf of my fellow Councilors and the residents of our Community, I wish to extend our sincere thanks to all our firemen for providing this essential service to us.
On behalf of Council and the residents of Miscouche I wish to thank former Chairperson Wayne Poirier and former Councilors Albert Gallant and Joan Arnold for their years of service to our residents over the past several years.
On behalf of myself and my fellow Council members I would also like to thank you, the residents of our Community for your assistance and support during the past year and we look forward to working with you in the coming year. We wish to thank each and every one of you for continuing to make our Community a great place to live.
MOTION moved by Julie Albert, seconded by Wayne Poirier and carried,
THAT the Council’s annual report be approved.
6. FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT presented by Fire Chief Jason Woodbury.
My name is Jason Woodbury and I have been the Fire Chief for the past 3 years and recently, in February of this year, I was re-elected in the position for the next 3 years. I am honored to hold this position.
The position of Fire Chief continues to be very challenging and busy, not only in Miscouche but for all chiefs and fire departments across Canada and within our province. Today’s fire chiefs and communities continue to face recruitment and retention issues on top of the other issues that they face every day. Our community is very fortunate that we do not suffer from the National retention concerns as other departments in the Province an in Canada however, the possibilities are always there.
It is sometimes difficult to find a balance between the volunteer services to mitigate the risk of liability. With lower budgets to work with and attempting to implement operational policies it is difficult to avoid retention problems within the volunteer organization.
We continue to focus on safety for all our firefighters and create policies that reflect, due diligences and in turn eliminate the risk of liability on myself, my officers and our Community.
I am pleased that our Provincial Government followed the suit of our Federal government and implemented a tax credit to all volunteers across the Province. These sorts of initiatives certainly help with retention within the organization.
I currently have Paul Perry as my Deputy fire chief. During our annual meeting in February, we held elections for the following positions: Safety Officer, Treasurer and Chief. Gary Myers and Robert Gallant were both elected in for another 3 year term, with myself as Chief. On behalf of the department I congratulate them both and wish them well through their term.
Currently we have 30 volunteer firefighters in our department and they are as follows:
Jason Woodbury – Chief, Paul Perry – Deputy Chief, Johnny Doucette – Dispatcher, Gary Myers – Safety Officer, Peter Gallant – Captain, Mike Gallant – Captain, Kelly MacLeod – Captain, Adam Gallant – Training Officer, Cory DesRoches – Lieutenant, Doug Trowsdale – Lieutenant, John Mitchell – Lieutenant, Curtis Arsenault – Lieutenant, Billy Arsenault – Lieutenant, and Firefighters: Mike Arsenault, Ricky Myers, Darren Clow, Blaine Gallant, Jagger Doucette, Robert Gallant, Gavin Gallant, Corey Gillis, Tyler Jerry, Rafael Cierra, Terry Arsenault, Chris Greencorn, Nathan Waite, Mitchell Myers, Dylan Foley and Jamie Cormier.
Over the past year we responded to a total of 52 emergency calls, they are as follows:
30 medical, 7 MVC’s, 4 structure fires, 3 alarm calls, 3 mutual aid, 1 flue fire, 4 other. In comparison to 2011 our emergency calls have decreased by 8% for 2012.
The Miscouche Fire Department continues to operate 5 emergency apparatus which include, 1 rescue unit, 1 tanker and 2 pumpers as well as a trail rescue sled.
Apparatus maintenance has been a priority over the past years to ensure that all emergency vehicles are in good working order for the safety of the firefighters and to provide reliable fire protection to the communities. We continue to have an extensive annual maintenance program for all our apparatus’s. The annual maintenance on the apparatus’s eliminates costly repairs in fact; we have been able to limit the maintenance budget by 50 percent compared to previous years.
Out of our Community 2012 budget we have purchased the following equipment:
$5,334.45 for personal protective equipment, $3,055.65 for hoses and adapters, $5,378.10 for pagers, $1,055.00 for gas detector and $5,865.00 for air compressor.
Over the past year, your fire department continues to work closely with the Council of Miscouche. At this time I would like to recognize the past council members Wayne Poirier, Joan Arnold and Albert Gallant for their service to the Community. In addition I welcome the newly elected members, Peter Mallett, Mike MacKinnon and Joan Arsenault and wish you all well in your term and I look forward to working with all of you for the betterment of all residents of
MOTION moved by Jason Woodbury, seconded by John Poirier and carried,
THAT the Fire Department’ s annual report be approved as read.
7. PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF 2012 FINANCIAL STATEMENT
Copies of the 2012 Financial Statement which was prepared by BDO Chartered Accounts were distributed prior to the meeting. The Financial Statement was read over by our Accountant, J. Gerald Arsenault. The statement showed combined revenues of $405,017.00 for both general and sewer and combined expenses of $370,354.00 for both general and sewer, for a surplus of $34,663.00. Mr. Arsenault advised that the Community continued to be very stable and is in a good financial position. Mr. Arsenault invited questions from the residents and none were presented.
MOTION moved by Sonny Dugay, seconded by Jean Blanchard and carried,
THAT the 2012 Financial Statement be approved as presented.
8. PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF THE 2013 BUDGET
Copies of the 2013 Proposed Budget were passed out to the residents. Councilor Ben
Murphy read over the 2013 Proposed Budget for the residents approval item by item as follows:
A) FIRE DEPARTMENT
MOTION moved by Julie Albert, seconded by Claire Moore and carried,
THAT the Fire Dept budget be approved at $37,200.00 for administration and miscellaneous, and $27,000.00 for truck maintenance, training and new equipment for a total of $64,200.00.
B) FIREHALL/MUNIICIPAL BUILDING
MOTION moved by Sonny Dugay, seconded by Wayne Poirier and carried,
THAT the general budget for the firehall/Municipal Building be set at $41,500.00.
MOTION moved by Wayne Poirier, seconded by Allen Lecky and carried,
THAT the Administration budget be set at $44,400.00.
D) RECREATION/COMMUNITY SERVICES, STREET LIGHTS, MUNICIPAL FEDERATION DUES, PROFESSIONAL FEE, CAPITAL EXPENDITURES, RESERVE FUND, REC CENTRE OPERATING EXPENSES AND DEBT RETIREMENT.
MOTION moved by Jean Blanchard, seconded by John Poirier and carried,
THAT Recreation/Community Services be set at $2,000.00, Street lights be
set at $20,000.00, Municipal Federation Dues be set at $1,600.00, Professional
fees be set at $4,000.00, Reserve Fund be set at $50,000.00, Recreation Centre
general operations be set at $47,800.00, Debt Retirement be set at $75,000.00
Capital Expenditures be set at $65,000.00 for a total of $265,400.00
E) PROPOSED ADDITIONAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
Vice Chairperson, Ivan Blanchard explained that Council is proposing to carry out
improvements to the Rec Centre building at a cost of $136,000.00. Ivan also advised that the Community can apply for grants to help offset these costs. The grants, if approved could potentially cover approximately 90% of the cost with the remaining 10% to be covered by the Community. Some concerns were raised by some residents on whether or not this project should go ahead if we do not receive the approval for grant funding. Following discussion:
MOTION moved by Julie Albert, seconded by Sonny Dugay and carried, THAT approval for additional capital expenditures for improvements
at the Rec Centre at a cost of $136,000.00 is conditional ONLY if the applications
for grant funding to cover the majority of the costs have been approved.
The grant total of the 2013 general budget will be $415,500.00 for expenditures with an estimated revenue of $418,484.00 for a surplus of $2,984.00. Conditional approval for additional capital expenditures in the amount of $136,000.00 for improvements to the Rec Centre is granted ONLY if approval for grant funding has been received to cover the majority of the costs for the improvements.
MOTION moved by Mike Nesbitt, seconded by Adam Gallant and carried,
THAT the operation budget be set at $62,700.00, depreciation and debt
retirement at $31,000.00 for a total of $93,700.00 with a projected income of
$51,000.00 for a deficit of $42,700.00.
9. NEW BUSINESS
a) Thank You to Past Chairperson Wayne Poirier – The residents thanked past Chairperson, Wayne Poirier, for his years of service to the residents of the Community while being a member of the Community Council.
b) Community of Miscouche Bursary – Council was asked to consider setting up a bursary
for a grade 12 graduate, preferably a student from Miscouche, who will be attending a University or College following their graduation. Councilor Mike MacKinnon advised that in his position as a teacher, he has some experience with what the selection process is for bursaries and volunteered to see if this could be done for the current year. Council agreed to look into starting an annual bursary fund.
c) Sidewalk Cleaning – Sonny Gallant asked Council to consider looking into whether or not
it would be possible to have our sidewalks cleared of snow during the winter months. Council could then hold another public meeting to discuss the issue further with the residents. Council agreed to look into the matter and bring their findings back to the residents.
10. OTHER BUSINESS
– 2 Door Prizes of $50.00 each were made.
The first ticker holder winner was Earl DesRoches and the second ticket holder winner was Paul Perry.
MOTION moved by Sonny Gallant, seconded by Allen Lecky and carried,
THAT the 56th annual meeting be adjourned.