Review of June 16, 2021 Public Council Meeting

Council of the Municipality of Cumberland met via zoom for a Public Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The meeting opened with a territorial acknowledgement and a moment of silence in honour of William Davis Miners' Memorial Day.

Council approved $711,801 in grants following a discussion at the June 9 committee of the whole meeting. These grants are for non-profit community, recreational, sporting, cultural, educational, and social organizations that provide benefits to the residents and communities within the Municipality. A list of approved grants can be found here.

First reading was given to an amendment to the land use by-law pertaining to a property on the Gulf Shore Road. This amendment will be subject to a public hearing to be held July 21, 2021.

First reading was given to an amendment to the land use by-law pertaining to a rezoning request for 59 Charles Street in Joggins. This amendment will also be subject to a public hearing on July 21, 2021.

Council gave formal approval of updates to the Low Income Tax Exemption Policy. This policy allows for an exemption of $451 to municipal taxes when the income of the person, spouse and other household members combined is $31,161 or less the exemption. Prior to this update, there had been tiers of eligibility with lower exemption values. Applications forms are available here.

As part of the review of municipally owned properties, two properties were identified as surplus. The size of the lots are of insufficient size to be of reasonable use as stand alone properties, and as such, council has directed staff to offer the two properties to the abutting landowners for a cost not less than the migration and legal fees of the sale.

In 2016, the Shore Drive Community Development Association partnered with Seaside Communications and the Municipality of Cumberland on two broadband projects. In doing so, the municipality loaned the Shore Drive Association $9,916.65 to cover an unexpected HST charge. That charge has since been reversed and the Shore Drive Association has been permitted to keep the loaned fund, with the expectation that the funds be diverted to community development projects and they will be foregoing other grants for two years.

At the February 17 ,2021 council meeting, a request for a RFP for a consulting firm to conduct a salary review was approved. The personnel policy requires a salary review to be completed every five years. The tender was awarded to Gerald Walsh & Associates at a value of $19,275 plus tax at today’s meeting.

Council approved flying the Mi’kmaq flag on June 21st in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day. The current flag policy was also directed to the by-law policy and review committee for updating.

Further to the tender award on June 4, for the purchase of fire vehicles for the Shinimicas Volunteer Fire Department, a used rescue truck, with modifications is available from the low compliant bidder. Council approved the purchase of a used rescue vehicle in the amount of $195,779.24 from Helie Fire Trucks in place of the new rescue truck. This will advance the delivery date by at least a year.

Council received a petition from concerned citizens in Parrsboro regarding the local improvement charge to finance sewer system improvements.

The next public council meeting will be July 7, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. A committee of the whole meeting will be held July 14, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. Formal minutes of the June 16 meeting will be available within 24 hours of the meeting. A Facebook live recording is available on the municipal Facebook page.