Present: Brenda Mulrooney, Chair; Iris Tolliver, Clerk Treasurer; Bill Nauss, Commissioner; Michael Heisler, Commissioner; Wynand Baerken, Commissioner; Bill Zinck, Vice-Chair, Commissioner; Everett Hiltz, Assistant Deputy Fire Chief.
Regrets: Duke Chafe, Fire Chief; Dave Richardson, Deputy Fire Chief
1.0 Call to Order
Chair Mulrooney called the monthly meeting to order at 7:01 pm and thanked everyone for coming.
2.0 Minutes from January 8, 2014
MOTION: Bill Zinck moved, Mike Heisler seconded, the acceptance of the January 08, 2014 minutes. Carried.
3.0 Business Arising from the Minutes
a) New Fire Truck Update
Iris Tolliver reported that she has received the inventory list from Duke Chafe, Fire Chief, which will be paid for from next year’s budget. Also, In conversation with Brad of Fort Garry, the chasis is in production.
b) Electric Car Charging Station Update
Iris Tolliver spoke to Tim Harris and he has agreed to have the charging station at his business site. Nova Scotia Power Planner is coming tomorrow to look at the needs and cost of hook-up. Iris Tolliver will also be in contact with Tatamagouche who have had a successful implementation of an electric car charge system.
4.0 Old Business
a) Larry Chisholm – ISO Program
Chair Mulrooney stated that Mr. Chisholm sends his regrets and has asked to come to the next monthly meeting.
b) Allocation of Funds to Reserves
Iris Tolliver reported that this has to be done before the end of the fiscal year, and is to be moved to a GIC for reserves.
MOTION: Bill Zinck moved, Michael Heisler seconded, that the funds have been allocated as reserves in the budget of the past fiscal year be moved from the chequing account into GIC’s- the amount of $131,700.00 to Truck Reserves; the amount of $10,000.00 to Lido Reserve; and the amount of $20,000.00 to Utility Reserve. Carried.
a) Fire Chief’s Report
Assistant Deputy Chief Everett Hiltz reported that Chief Duke Chafe was not able to be here as he is on vacation. Assistant Deputy Hiltz stated that since the last Commission meeting on January 8, 2014, there have been 2 calls.
5.0 Reports (continued)
b) Fire Advisory
Bill Zinck reported that a meeting was held January 15, 2014, and that a Department Membership application had been developed, an update of the Fire Fighter remuneration and a review of the project setting of 2014. Election of Chair and Vice Chair for this committee will be at the next meeting.
c) Clerk Treasurer Report
Iris Tolliver reported that door sweeps have been installed at the Fire hall, the stair treads have been replaced, but the stairs may need to be refinished. The electronic door open system has been installed and working good.
LED lights pricing has been asked from Black & MacDonald.
Voice Integrated System tender is in the paper.
Flower Basket ad received four business results ranging from $47.99 to $82.50; received from Kent Home Hardware, Walter Downey Nursery, Superstore, and Village Nursery.
Village Nursery was the cheapest at $47.99 and will be awarded to them as the lowest bid.
Iris Tolliver requested a budget meeting; it was agreed March 3/14 at 7:00 pm.
Iris Tolliver received a complaint from a citizen regarding the Fire Truck being used at Louisiana Plant. Iris Tolliver wasn’t aware of this so she contacted the Fire Chief. Iris Tolliver questioned if this was a legitimate use of the truck as per the policy established.
Chair Mulrooney stated she was concerned with protocol put in place and wasn’t adhered to by the fire chief.
d) Financial Report
Iris Tolliver distributed and reviewed the financial statements.
MOTION: Bill Zinck moved, Bill Nauss seconded, the acceptance of the Financial Statements. Carried.
6.0 New Business
a) Brad Armstrong, MODC, Possible changes to Sewage Billing System
Chair Mulrooney stated that she asked Brad Armstrong,, Municipal Councillor, to inform the Village Commission of the possibly changes to the Sewage Billing system and what it means for the residents. Chair Mulrooney stated that there will be time allowed at the end of Mr. Armstrong speaking for questions to be asked.
Brad Armstrong distributed copies of the report on Wastewater Systems, Current Operation & Future Outlook.
Mr. Armstrong reviewed the report stating that the reason this is happening is that the systems are very old, with the average age 40 years. Currently the systems are unsustainable and there has to be some serious decisions made.
There is a constant debt from the sewer systems, Chester’s sewer sytem is currently paying for itself and has about $250,000.00 reserve fund; couple are struggling and some of them outright loose money yearly and that money has to be made up by both the general rate or the Municipality to pay the cost. Currently the systems are unsustainable and Council is trying to come up with a way to solve these issues.
If the new system – The Universal System – is adopted then some flat rates will go down and some rates will go up to make-up for the areas that are taking a loss. Businesses will take a huge hit with this system. It is being proposed to charge $553.06 per Equivalent Unit Dwelling (EDU).
Restaurant, lounge, dining room, clubs, will be charged on EUD per 5 seats.
Mr. Armstrong also stated that there is a meeting at the Municipality of the District of Chester Council meeting on February 18, 2014, at 3:00 pm, and if anyone wished to attend they may do so. Mr. Armstrong asked Council to set aside time for the public to speak.
Andre Veinotte stated that contrary to what it may appear, the costs aren’t actually increasing that much, all we are doing is adding 15% reserve. The biggest change and biggest shock is when you change the formula by which those costs are being paid.
Chair Mulrooney asked how quickly Council will be acting on this issue? Brad Armstrong stated that at the last meeting a motion was made to use this system, however the motion was rescinded. Mr. Armstrong felt that the first chance will be at the MODC meeting on February 18, 2014.
Chair Mulrooney thanked Brad Armstrong for coming and reviewing this issue and stated that the remaining agenda will be followed.
b) School Zone Signage
Wynand Baerken asked if a letter can be sent to the Department Of Transport requesting the school zone signs be moved. Iris Tolliver stated if all Commissioners were in favor then she will write the letter on behalf of the Village of Chester. It was suggested to request “school zone ahead” sign.
Wynand Baerken also stated that the Crossing Guard is working great. He asked if a ‘Johnny on the Spot’ could be purchased for the crossing guard. It was felt that the guard has to be ‘on’ duty for the 1 ¾ hours morning and afternoon shifts.
Wynand Baerken stated that snow removal when there is an event, i.e. The Coldest Night, a fire truck would probably not be able to get through for an emergency. Brad Armstrong said that a request should be put in, but that the MODC is already over budget in snow removal this year.
a) Chester Volunteer Fire Curling team are off to Winnipeg in March, and they are requesting the Commission give a financial donation to this event.
-Iris Tolliver will look and see what was done last year and then she will email the Commissioners to see what they wish to with this request.
b) Letter received and cc’d Denise Peterson-Rafuse, MLA, and Brad Armstrong, MODC. A resident is requesting Granite Street be brought up to the standards of the remaining roads in Chester.
-Brad Armstrong, Municipal Councillor, stated that MODC sent a letter to Department of Transportation and the local MLA
-Iris Tolliver will write a letter on behalf of the Village Commission regarding this issue to the Department of Transportation and the local MLA
c) Thank-you letter received from Chester Drama Society for items donated.
d) Letter from MODC, Bill DeGrace, re meetings dates (January/14) of Public Hearing re Amendments
Business from the Agenda had concluded at 8:26 pm.
8.0 Questions from electors pertaining to the agenda:
a) Is there a winter parking ban in the Village of Chester downtown T; can’t it be plowed away at night?
-Department of Transportation plows at different times, and then the sidewalk plow goes as well.
MOTION: Bill Nauss moved, Michael Heisler seconded, the meeting adjourned at 8:28 pm.