COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – Special Meeting Held at Rec Center – May 21, 2013

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MAY 21, 2013

Re: Sidewalk Snow Removal – Community Maintenance Equipment
and Proposed Rec Centre Improvement Project

Chairperson, Peter Mallett, called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

Peter Mallett – Chairperson
Ivan Blanchard – Vice-Chairperson
Joan Arsenault – Councilor
John Gillis – Councilor
Ben Murphy – Councilor
Mike MacKinnon – Councilor
Judy Gallant – Administrator
and: 17 Residents (Brian Sears, Thelma Blanchard, Jean Blanchard, Robert Gallant, Millie Gaudet, Kate Gallant, Louise Gallant, Claire DesRoches, Julia Albert, Claudette Cramm, Sonny Gallant, Linda Gallant, Amanda Murphy, Allen Lecky, Alfred DesRoches, Norma DesRoches, Mike Nesbitt)
and: 2 Non Residents (Keith Winchester and Florence McNeill)

2 Sidewalk Snow Removal – Community Maintenance Equipment/Tractor
Peter advised that Council members looked into what the cost would be to hire someone to
clean the snow from our sidewalks and found that the cost could be quite high. From information obtained from other Communities the cost be as high as $15,000.00 or more a year. Ivan reported that he was able to obtain some estimates on what it would cost to purchase used and new equipment that could be used for not only cleaning snow on the sidewalk but also other maintenance work around the Community. The 4 estimates received ranged from $28,800.00 to $37,000.00. This would be for a small tractor type of equipment with attachments.
Question: Would the equipment be used for grass cutting as well? Peter advised that considering the amount of grass that needs to be cut it may be more feasible to hire someone to do the grass cutting.
Question: Did we look at leasing as opposed to buying equipment? Ivan reported that with the additional leasing costs it may be cheaper to buy outright.
Question: What would the actual cost be for doing our own snow removal and grass cutting? Peter advised that we are not sure what the actual cost would be to remove the snow on the sidewalks and cut own grass because we don’t know how offer the work would need to be done.
Additional Costs Associated with Equipment – Peter advised that another aspect that needs to be considered is that if we did purchase own equipment we would probably need to construct a small storage building to house the equipment. This could possibly be built at the back of the Firehall/Municipal building. A residents suggested that consideration be given to building a storage building big enough to house both the maintenance equipment and the maintenance truck. John advised the estimated cost for building a storage building would be approximately $10,000.00 or more.
Question: Were we able to get any quotes from anyone to clear the snow on the sidewalks? Mike reported that several people he spoke to said that they were not interested in taking on the work and one of their main issues that they had was because every time the highway ploughs cleaned the snow from the roadways the snow goes onto the sidewalks and the sidewalks would need to be cleaned again. They also stated that they were not interested in taking on the additional liability involved in keeping the sidewalks clean.
Question: What would be the additional liability to the Community to do the work? Peter advised that according to the legal advise he obtained, as long as we kept records of when the sidewalks were cleaned there shouldn’t be any additional liability.

Keith Winchester advised that he could make arrangements for members of Council to come to the hospital to look at the type of equipment that the hospital maintenance crew uses to clean their sidewalks and get some information from the equipment operators. Council members
thanked Keith for his offer and advised Keith that they would like to see the hospital’s equipment and speak to their operator.

Question: Would the Community have to borrow the money to buy the equipment or would the Community be paying for it out of Community funds? Council advised that the Community has been setting funds aside for several years in a ‘Reserve Fund’ for future capital expenses and the equipment would be purchased by using part of these Reserve Funds.

Following further general discussions:

MOTION moved by Linda Gallant, seconded by Allen Lecky and carried,
THAT the Community Council purchase the equipment/tractor needed that could be
used for both cleaning the snow from sidewalks and doing other general maintenance
work around the Community plus construct a storage building to house the equipment, at a total maximum cost of $60,000.00 plus taxes for both the equipment/tractor and storage

3. Proposed Rec Centre Improvement Project.
Peter advised that some of the improvements would include new floor tiles, drywall, lights and door in the front entrance, new floor tiles, drywall and painting in the main hallway, new FRP panel on the kitchen walls plus new lights, new floor tiles, lights and install drywall on the ceiling of the storage room, new drywall and lights in the meeting room, new lights and repairs around new window in front meeting room, new drywall on ceiling and exterior wall around pipe area in teachers room, repair around new window, new drywall in stairway walls, new drywall on all walls and new lights in Catholic class room, new tile, stair treads, drywall and cover bottom stair doors with 3/8″ birch in stage area, new exterior metal siding and insulation, modified roofing on canopy, new set of steel doors, new vinyl windows, Cape Cod siding on first 5′ of building in front and canopy and electrical service outlets on exterior of building. The estimated cost we were able to get to do this work would be $119,500.00 plus taxes. The upgrade the flooring to commercial type of flooring would be an additional cost of approximately $12,000.00 plus taxes.

– Grants – Peter advised that Council is looking at obtaining a grant through both the Provincial Government’s ‘Island Community Fund’ and the Federal ACOA’s ‘Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund’.
– Structural Assessment – Peter also advised that in preparation for applying for a Grant through ACOA he recently took a representative from ACOA on an inspection of the Rec Centre and as a result of that inspection the ACOA representative recommended that we have an engineer do a ‘structural’ assessment on the building. This assessment was carried out by an engineer from Genivar engineering and the engineer’s report indicates that the building is structurally good.
– Future Business Plan – Another part of the recommendation made by ACOA was to include a proposed future business plan for the Rec Centre in our application for a grant through ACOA.
Renovations to the Rec Centre will only be done if we are successful in obtaining grant funds to assist with the costs.

Question: Is the Rec Centre being used now? Council members advised that in addition to the weekly bingo the Rec Centre is used on a regular basis for numerous other events such as for blood donor clinics, wedding receptions, family gatherings, meetings, religion classes etc. We are also looking into joining the “Small Halls Festival” schedule for next year and we have received an inquiry about using the Rec Centre as a venue for kids recreation programs for the surrounding area.

Question: How much rent do we charge for the use of the Rec Centre? The hall rental is $100.00 for weddings and family gatherings with an additional $50.00 charge for use of the kitchen. Other shorter events are billed at a rate of $50.00 per hour. The blood donor clinics are billed a rate of $450.00 for the 3 part days that they are here for each clinic.

Council members advised that they would like the residents to give their comments and suggestions on how they feel about the Rec Centres value to the Community and what programs or events they would like to see happen at the Rec Centre.

Question – Should the Community be spending more money on the Rec Centre for improvements if the Rec Centre is not generating enough income to cover its expenses? Mike advised that he feels that the Rec Centre and the firehall/municipal building should be considered not only as a part of being a place for providing services but also as an activities venue for our residents.

– Additional Public Meeting:
Following further discussions it was suggested that in an effort to try and get more residents to participate in the discussions concerning the Rec Centre a letter should be sent to every household in the Community asking the residents to attend another public meeting to participate in discussions concerning the potential use and future plans of the Rec Centre. That letter could include a questionnaire asking the residents what they would like to see happen at the Rec Centre. That questionnaire could be presented by the residents at the next public meeting or send or dropped off at the Community office prior to the meeting.

Council members agreed to have another public meeting scheduled and have a letter and questionnaire sent out to the residents as soon as possible notifying them of the date of the next public meeting.