Review of November 24, 2021 Public Council Meeting

Council of the Municipality of Cumberland met via zoom for a Public Council Meeting on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. The meeting opened with a territorial acknowledgement.

Councillor Houghtaling was elected to serve as deputy mayor for the next 12 months. The deputy mayor is selected by the councillors each November.

Council approved the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, after a presentation by the municipality’s audit firm McIsaac Darragh.

The county’s financial condition continues to improve. The general operating fund incurred a budget surplus of almost $966,000 while the municipality’s three water utilities incurred a combined surplus of approximately $76,000.

Progress continues to be made on improving the financial condition indicators and it is projected that the results will show all indicators at a low level of risk when the official results are released by the Province of Nova Scotia in relation to the 2020/21 fiscal year.

Second reading for the repeal of former Town of Springhill bylaws was held. In an on-going effort to remove obsolete or redundant bylaws, 22 bylaws from the former Town of Springhill were brought to council for repeal. The bylaw to repeal the Town of Springhill bylaws must be published in the local paper before being in effect.

Council approved the Rodent and Racoon Control Policy. This policy was drafted as the volume of complaints regarding rodents has increased and a coordinated approach to rodent management will protect public health and safety while preserving ecological sustainability.

First reading was given to an updated Open Air Burning bylaw. The update removes reference to prohibiting open air burning in Springhill and provides a consistent approach to open air burning across the municipality.

Council has requested that the previous declaration of a climate crisis be referred to the 2022/23 capital and operating budget planning process. This will allow for operation, financial and resources allocation implications to be explored and discussed.

Council approved a request from the Cumberland Snowmobile Club to modify their grant request from March 2021. The club would like to use the funds to replace the decking on a bridge on trail 30, on Lynn Mountain, rather than the Tidnish Ketchum Cable Bridge.

A grant of $2,500 was awarded to the River Hebert Joggins and Area Development Association for their Christmas hampers project.

Council recognized numerous residents and organizations in the municipality prior to adjourning.

The next public council meeting will be December 22, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. A committee of the whole meeting will be held December 15, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. Formal minutes of the November 24 meeting will be available within 24 hours of the meeting. A Facebook live recording is available on the municipal Facebook page.