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COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – 58th Annual General Meeting – March 19, 2015


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COMMUNITY OF MISCOUCHE
58TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
MARCH 19, 2015

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 58th annual meeting of the Community.

Present:
Peter Mallett – Chairperson
Ivan Blanchard – Vice-Chairperson
John Gillis – Councilor
Ricky Myers – Councilor
Judy Gallant – Administrator
and: David MacFadyen – Accountant – BDO Canada
And: Jason Woodbury – Fire Chief
And: 12 Residents and 9 non-resident firemen
Absent: Joan Arsenault and Pat MacLellan – Councilors

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 Julia Albert, seconded by Corinna MacAusland and carried,
THAT the minutes of the March 26, 2014 Annual Meeting be approved
as presented.

4. BUSINESS ARISING
– BMX park – Helmet use – Resident Mike Nesbitt brought up the issue of several children not wearing their helmets while using our BMX park. Peter advised that when our maintenance worker checks our BMX park he reminds all the kids that may be there at that time that they need to wear their helmets.

5. COUNCIL’S ANNUAL REPORT by Chairperson, Peter Mallett.

As a result of the November 3, 2014 Municipal Election we now have two new members on Council and they are Pat MacLellan and Ricky Myers who officially took over their duties in November of 2014. The remaining members of Council who were re-elected were Ivan Blanchard, John Gillis and Joan Arsenault and myself as Chairperson. Ivan has agreed to remain in the position as Vice-Chairperson. The outgoing members of Council were Ben Murphy and Mike MacKinnon and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ben and Mike for the excellent work that they did on behalf of the residents of our Community. On behalf of Council, I would also like to thank all the residents who came out to support us at the November 2014 election.

During the past year Council members had another busy year working on behalf of our residents. Not only had we attended 11 regular monthly meetings and 8 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 Community improvements and residents concerns.

During the past year there were 8 building permits issued which included the construction of 1 new single family dwelling, 2 duplex dwellings, 1 detached garage, 2 storage buildings, an addition to a commercial building, other home improvements as well as much needed improvements to our Community Rec Centre. The total value of the building permits was $1,478,500.00.

We continue to grow as a Community with many new families choosing to come and live in our Community and on behalf of my fellow Council members I wish to welcome all our new residents and let them know, as well as all our other residents, that as a Council we welcome any suggestions or concerns you may have.

Upgrades and improvements are continuing to be made to community owned properties. One major improvement project that was carried out over the past winter was the upgrading of our Recreation Centre. With the assistance of Provincial grant funding, much needed upgrades and improvements were carried out inside the building which included new floor tiles, windows, doors, lights, as well as other numerous improvements to the interior and new siding was also installed on the exterior of the building to give it a fresh new look. These upgrades and improvements not only enhance the overall appearance of the building both inside and out but they will also help to extend the life of the building.

I am pleased to announce that the 2014 recipient of our Annual Community of Miscouche $1,000.00 Scholarship was awarded to community resident Jenna DesRoches who was attending Eastern College in September of last year. Our congratulations go out to Jenna.

With the completion of our third year of operating the Rec Centre we are pleased to announce that under the guidance of our Rec Centre Manager, Robert Gallant, the Rec Centre saw a surplus of revenue over expenditures during 2014 and we commend Robert for all his hard work in overseeing the operations of our Rec Centre. Not only does the Rec Centre continue to provide a base for the religion classes and regular Blood Donor Clinics, the attendances at our regular weekly bingos are steadily growing. In addition we continue to have increased youth as well as adult activities at the Rec Centre. Some of those activities now include archery classes which are overseen by Bruce Crabb as well as adult exercise classes. The Rec Centre also continues to be rented out for numerous other activities including banquets, meetings and family gatherings. Council also continue to work with our Rec Centre Manager and individual organizations to bring additional activities to the Rec Centre. The day to day operations of the Rec Centre continues to be carried out by our Rec Centre Manager, Robert Gallant. There are also a large 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 a valuable 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 rotational cleaning of several kilometers of our sewer mains and plan to continue with their annual rotational cleanings to help keep our sewer system working properly. Overseeing the regular maintenance of our sewer system is done by our maintenance worker Bobby Desroches and we wish to thank Bobby for the excellent work he does to see that our sewer system is in good working order.

In addition to our Municipal owned buildings, we also have playgrounds, parks and greenspaces and these areas need to be maintained and kept clean on a regular basis and this work is also carried out by our maintenance worker, Bobby DesRoches.

We continue to try and keep our sidewalks clear of snow but unfortunately due to the unusual amount of snow we seem to have had again over the past winter, we were only able to keep a small portion of the sidewalks open.

Another essential part of our Community if our Fire Department. We continue to be very fortunate to have a group of firemen who are willing to continue volunteering their time to respond to our distress calls at any time of the day or night and in all kinds of weather. It is not until we find ourselves in an emergency situation that we realize that they are there to help us. Our volunteer firemen continue to spend numerous hours training to enhance their skills so that they learn how to best help us, whether that be as a firemen 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 we may have.
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 and improvements that have 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.

At this time I wish to thank my fellow Council members and Administrator, Judy Gallant, for their hard work and dedication to the Community and its residents during the past year and I look forward to working with you over the next year.

On behalf of myself and my fellow Council members I would also like to thank you, the residents of our Community for all your assistance and support during the past year and we look to working with you in the coming year. We also with to thank each and every one of you for helping to make our Community a great place to live.

MOTION moved by Peter Mallett, seconded by Sonny Dugay 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 6 years. I am honored to be recently elected in the chief position for another 3 year term this past February.

Our department continues not to suffer from retention concerns as other departments struggle with on a yearly basis in the province and in Canada. We are fortunate that we have a full competency of dedicated firefighters volunteering their time to serve their community.

Safety continues to be our number one concern for all our firefighters. With that in mind, upgrading our equipment is a priority and also comes with a cost. A cost that is impossible to ignore. Over the past years it has been a priority to ensure that all our firefighters have personal protective equipment. Overseeing our safety policies is our safety officer, Gary Myers. Myself, Gary and another officers continue to develop and work on policies procedures that reflect due diligences and in turn eliminate the risk of liability on myself, my officers and our Community.

As for training, 2014 seen us have 1,085 man hours of in house training, with 52% attendance, an increase of 292 man hours and 6% attendance from 2013. Training exercises for 2014 included such things as BA training, CPR, Thermal camera image, air filling station on both the hall and truck cascade systems, rescue sled, command structure, classroom MCI training, full fire scene setup, pump operator and vehicle extraction both hands on and classroom.

In April we had an outside agency come in and give us information on CISM. May of 2014 we had a large scale mock disaster at the Miscouche Rec Centre which included many other outside agencies which was a huge success for us.
This year, firefighter Dylan Foley, received his Level 1 certificate, as well as other members renewing their medical first responders and taking First Aid courses, hazard awareness courses and obtaining their class 3A drivers license. This coming year will see 3 of our members taking their Level 1 and 8 members renewing their First responders.

Mr. Paul Perry continues to be the Deputy Fire Chief of our department. Our inter executive has changed slightly during our annual meeting last month. I would like to welcome firefighter, Jamie Cormier as our newly elected treasurer. Our Safety Officer, Gary Myers, Training Officer Adam Gallant and Secretary Blaine Gallant.

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, Doug Trowsdale – Captain, Billy Arsenault – Captain, Adam Gallant – Training Officer, Gavin Gallant – Lieutenant, John Mitchell – Lieutenant, Chris Greencorn – Lieutenant and firefighters, Travis Gaudet, Kelly MacLeod, Ricky Myers, Amy Paynter, Loring DesRoches, Blaine Gallant, Jagger Doucette, Robert Gallant, Corey Gillis, Tyler Jeffery, Terry Arsenault, Jonathan Myers, Kendall Wright, Mitchell Myers, Dylan Foley, Jamie Cormier and Shawn Miehm.

Over this past year we responded to a total of 65 emergency calls and they are as following, 38 Medical, 9 MVC, 3 structure fires, 2 alarm calls, 4 mutual aids, 4 vehicle fires and 5 others. In comparison to 2013 our emergency calls has increased by 26% for 2014.

The Miscouche Fire Department continues to operate and maintain 5 Emergency apparatus and they incude: 1 Rescue unit, 1 tanker, 2 pumps and a trail rescue sled. Recently the department has replaced our tanker as it became unsafe and not financially feasible to continue to maintain. 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’. The annual maintenance on the apparatus’s eliminates costly repairs in fact; we have been able to decrease the maintenance budget by 50 percent compared to previous years.

Last year the department has not purchased any new major equipment, we continue to maintain the equipment that we have. Our larger equipment that we currently have goes through an annual preventive maintenance program. This has proven to eliminate costly repairs and ensure the equipment is in excellent working order during emergency calls.

Over the past year, your fire department continues to work closely with the Council of Miscouche and I would like to recognize Mike MacKinnon and Ben Murphy, past Councilors for their dedication and contribution to the Community while they served their term. In addition, welcome Ricky Myers and Patrick MacLellan and with them the best in their term. Finally I would like to recognize Chairperson, Peter Mallett and Administrator Judy Gallant along with the rest of the Councillors for the work they have done in the past year. I am looking forward to working together in the year to come.

MOTION moved by Chief Jason Woodbury, seconded by Adam Gallant and carried,
THAT the Fire Departments annual report be approved as read.

7. PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF 2014 FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Copies of the 2014 Financial Statement which was prepared by BDO Chartered Accountants were distributed prior to the meeting. The Financial Statement was read over by our Accountant, David MacFadyen. The statement showed combined revenues of $503,889.00 for both general and sewer and combined expenses of $469,014.00 for both general and sewer for a surplus of $34,875.00. Mr. MacFadyen advised that the Community continues to be very stable and is in good financial position. Mr. MacFadyen invited questions from the residents and none were presented.

MOTION moved by Sonny Gallant, seconded by Olive Allain and carried,
THAT the 2014 Financial Statement be approved as presented.

8. PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF 2015 BUDGET

Copies of the 2015 Proposed Budget were passed out to the residents. Chairperson Peter Mallett read over the 2015 proposed Budget for the residents approval, item by item, as follows.

A) FIRE DEPARTMENT

MOTION moved by Monty MacAusland, seconded by Julia Albert and carried,
THAT the Fire Dept budget be approved at $48,500.00 for administration and miscellaneous, $20,500.00 for truck maintenance, training and new equipment for a total of $69,000.00.

Following discussion with the residents:

MOTION moved by Sonny Dugay, seconded by Robert Gallant and carried,
THAT an additional $25,000.00 be approved for the retrofit of the Fire Dept tanker and $20,000.00 be approved for the purchase of a “Quick Response Vehicle” for the fire Dept for a total of $45,000.00. Making a grand total of $114,00.00 for fire department expenditures for 2015.

B) FIREHALL/MUNICIPAL BUILDING

MOTION moved by Sonny Gallant, seconded by Olive Allain and carried,
THAT the general budget for the firehall/Municipal Building be set at $50,000.00.

C) ADMINISTRATION

MOTION moved by Julia Albert, seconded by Corinna MacAusland and carried,
THAT the administration budget be set at $60,500.00.

D) RECREATION/Community services, street lights, Municipal Federation dues, professional fees, capital expenditures reserve fund, Rec Centre operating expenses and debt retirement.

MOTION moved by Adam Gallant, seconded by Sonny Dugay and carried,
THAT Recreation/community services be set at $5,000,00, street lights and
signs be set at $22,000.00, Municipal Federation dues be set at $2,000.00, Professional
fees be set at $5,000.00, Reserve Fund for future capital expenditures be set at $25,000.00
Recreation Centre general operations expenses be set at $63,000.00, Capital expenses
for Municipal buildings, Recreation etc. be set at $50,000.00 and Cap Expenditures for
balance of Rec Centre improvement project be set at $15,732.00 for a total of $187,732.00.

 

E) PROPOSED ADDITIONAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
The residents were advised that due to the amount of snow that accumulates on the sidewalks each winter we are having difficulty in trying to keep the sidewalks clear by using our present tractor and small blower so Council is proposing to purchase a used, larger commercial sidewalk snow blower to try and keep our sidewalks clear of snow during the winter months.
The estimated cost for a used snow blower is $20,000.00. Following discussion:

MOTION moved by Mike Nesbitt, seconded by Corinna MacAusland and carried,
THAT we purchase a used commercial sidewalk snow blower at the estimated cost
$20,000.00.

The grand total of the 2015 general budget will be $432,782.00 for expenditures with an estimated
revenue of $385,084.00 for a deficit of $47,698.00.

F) SEWER

MOTION moved by Julia Albert, seconded by Sonny Gallant and carried,
THAT the operation budget be set at $78,700.00, depreciation and debt
retirement at $29,600.00 for a total of $108,300.00 with a projected income of
$52,000.00 for a deficit of $56,300.00.

9. NEW BUSINESS
– Street Lights – The residents were advised that Maritime Electric will be undertaking a new project over the next several years which involves changing all our current street lights from the regular lighting to LED lighting which should help to improve the lighting along our roadways.

– Kelly Drive – Sidewalk Extensions – The residents were also advised that Council is looking at the possibility of installing sidewalks along part or all of Kelly Drive.

10. OTHER BUSINESS
– 2 Door Prizes of $50.00 each were made.
The first ticket holder winner was Julia Albert and the second ticket holder winner was Mike Nesbitt. Mike Nesbitt chose to donate his winnings back to the Community as a donation to Recreation.

11. ADJOURNMENT

MOTION moved by Corinna MacAusland, seconded by Monty MacAusland and carried,
THAT the 58th annual meeting be adjourned.