Review of July 14, 2021 Public Council Meeting

Council of the Municipality of Cumberland met via zoom for a Public Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The meeting opened with a territorial acknowledgement.

Five public hearings were held, two related to amendments to the land use by-law for rezoning purposes and three related to dangerous and unsightly conditions. The land use by-law public hearings were for properties previously given first reading at the June 16th council meeting, a property on the Gulf Shore Road and a property at 59 Charles Street in Joggins. Second readings for each of the land use by-law amendments will be held September 1, 2021.

The dangerous and unsightly public hearings were for 31 Pearl Street in River Hebert, 46 McGee Street in Springhill, and 7691 Highway 208 in Joggins. The properties in River Hebert and Joggins were ordered to be demolished and leveled to acceptable municipal standards with all debris removed. The property in Springhill was ordered to be secured with a staff report made available.

First reading was given to an amendment to the land use by-law pertaining to a rezoning request for 556 Valley Road in Westchester. This amendment will also be subject to a public hearing on September 1, 2021.

Staff presented council with two suggested updates to the tax reduction and exemption policy. This policy allows council to provide a tax reduction from commercial to residential for all or part of the tax payable with respect to any non-profit community, charitable, fraternal, education, religious, cultural if sporting organization. The changes include an effective date of April 1, 2021, and clarification that the exemptions also apply to community area rates in addition to the general tax rate. Council made a notice of intent to consider the amended tax exemption and reduction policy at the next council meeting.

The municipality’s outdoor burning by-law was referred to the policy and by-law committee, with the intent to have changes ready for council by mid-November 2021. As a result of dissolution of the former Town of Springhill, the Springhill open-air burning by-law is still in place and is not in sync with the by-law that currently covers the Municipality of Cumberland.

Council discussed funding opportunities through Divert NS for a ReUse centre. Divert NS’s Municipal Adoption Funding Program is designed to provide support for municipalities and/or waste management regions who wish to adopt a waste diversion program that has been previously established in Nova Scotia. A staff report was requested on the advisability of pursuing these funds.

East Cumberland Lodge is owned and operated by the Cumberland Senior Care Corporation (CSCC). The CSCC was incorporated by the Municpality of Cumberland through the Municipal housing Coporations Act. As such, any changes to the Instument of Incorporation and By-Laws of the CSCC must be approved by council. Council ratified the appointmentof Peter Lewis to a vacant board position.

The procurement process has begun for the projects outlined in the 2021/2022 capital budget. To ensure that tenders are awarded in a timely manner over the summer months, council authorized the CAO to award tenders and requests for proposals for approved capital projects within budget.

A new procedure for approving district grants was approved by council, with the intention of making grants easier for non-profit and charitable organizations to access by simplifying the form and placing the ability for approval with the CAO. The district grants may be used to support any type of project or activity that benefits the community, including recreation, health and healthy living, social opportunities and community service, stewardship of the environment, education and life-long learning, community economic development & tourism, heritage, culture, and creative arts. Each district has $10,000 available in a fiscal year.

McIsaac Darragh Chartered Professional Accounts were named as the municipal auditor for the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

Council received a report from Cumberland Public Libraries for the month of June.

Council does not meet during the month of August. Formal minutes of the July 14 meeting will be available within 24 hours of the meeting. A Facebook live recording is available on the municipal Facebook page.