Council in brief

Aethne Hinchliffe
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The Region of the Municipality of Queens held its monthly Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting Dec. 12.

News from The Advance

Dispatch services

The committee of the Whole got a recommendation that the council of the Region of Queens enter into a proposed five-year agreement with Valley Communications Inc. for fire and first responder dispatch services for Queens County. The five-year cost would be $133,187.40 plus HST.

The request for decision also recommended that the mayor and director of finance be authorized to implement the agreement on behalf of council. 

According to the background, there are six fire departments in Queens County, each of which provides varying degrees of first-response services. Additionally a separate first-response group covers an area in the western part of Queens County. These seven emergency agencies have central dispatch through Kentville’s Valley Communications. The company has been doing dispatch services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, since 2003.

A five-year contract, with yearly prices itemized, was attached.

 

Hillsview Acres boiler

A request for decision recommended that the council approve that Hillsview Acres Home for Special Care buy a propane boiler from Halifax Heating and Air Conditioning for $11,451 plus HST and that a funding application be made to the Department of Health and Wellness to pay for it. If the funding request isn’t approved, the money will come from the Special Operating Reserve.

The background says the propane boiler, which heats hot water, is leaking and parts are no longer available for repair. The propane boiler therefore has to be replaced.

Halifax Heating and Air Conditioning quoted a price of $11,451 plus HST, and Irving Energy Distribution and Marketing offered $14,265.50 plus HST. The removal and disposal of the present propane boiler and all necessary permits needed to do the replacement are included in the quotations.

An emergency funding request has been submitted to the Department of Health and Wellness for the replacement, though processing can take a number of weeks.

 

iasWorld Site

Committee of Whole got a recommendation that council authorizes the mayor and director of finance to sign the mandatory Pictometry Agreement with PVSC on behalf of the region.

According to the background, the region accesses iasWorld through an agreement with Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC). The tax and planning departments use the tool for property assessments and mapping. There have recently been improvements made to the site, which should enhance the quality of data and images available to the region.

To ensure no interruption to access, PVSC needs the region to provide a list of users, sign the new Pictometry Agreement and return it at the earliest convenience. The original iasWorld site will not be available after Dec. 31, 2012.

 

Grants

This discussion paper didn’t require a motion.

“The whole issue of our assessment base, our taxation revenues, is so far up in the air at the present time, though we are in discussion with the government on it,” said Christopher Clarke, mayor of the Region of Queens.  

“It’s also unknown as to what will happen as a result of the Bowater Mersey closure that we want to defer any financial decision, including the Grants to organizations.”

He said council would return to it once the Region has a better idea what is happening.

 

Conference

There was a recommendation that council waives the requirements of policy 68 – attendance at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FMC) Conference for the 2013/2014 budget year.

The background recommends, “due to the current fiscal situation, that we do not send any delegates for the upcoming calendar year and that this policy be discussed during the 2013/2014 budget session.” 

Mayor Clarke said the Region doesn’t know how much money there will be and doesn’t want to spend it on travel to conferences.

The last council made similar decisions when faced with financial uncertainties, said Coun. Bruce Inglis.

 

Award

Council got a recommendation to approve a resolution.

After 37 years of service with Parks Canada, Harry DeLong retired as superintendent of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site.

According to the recommendation, while at Parks Canada, DeLong worked to bring the private and public sectors together for the benefit of the tourism industry.

As well as working for Parks Canada, DeLong served the tourism industry through the board and as president of the South Shore Tourism Association and through the board of the Tourism Association of Nova Scotia.

DeLong developed the first campground reservation system in Parks Canada’s organization. He also developed Kejimkujik  Seaside, “securing the National Historic Site designation for Kejimkujik’s aboriginal heritage and the recent designation as the first Dark Sky Preserve in Nova Scotia.”

DeLong got the Alistair and Frances Campbell Tourism Achievement Award from the Tourism Association of Nova Scotia.

The Committee of the Whole voted to send a letter of appreciation and congratulations to DeLong for his service and dedication to tourism and for his leadership and collaborative vision for the industry.

 

Queens Place

Although there was nothing on the agenda about Queens Place Emera Centre, Coun. Inglis mentioned the walking track. People are allowed to run on the track on weekday mornings from 6 to 7 a.m., and Coun. Inglis said Neil Raymond, the facility’s general manage, said it’s going well.

Multiple hockey tournaments have been confirmed, and Raymond said things will be busy in the spring.

Raymond also said fitness centre memberships and registration for fitness classes have increased.

 

Biosphere

Under Other Business, Coun. Darlene Norman said she would be sending council members 10 video vignettes produced by the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. Coun. Norman said each is about 30 seconds and will be used for tourism purposes. Three of the vignettes are from Kejimkujik, she said.   

 

Organizations: Property Valuation Services, Valley Communications, Air Conditioning Department of Health and Wellness Hillsview Acres Home for Special Care Parks Canada Special Operating Reserve National Historic Site Federation of Canadian Municipalities FMC South Shore Tourism Association Tourism Association of Nova Scotia Committee of the Whole

Geographic location: Queens, Kejimkujik, Nova Scotia Kejimkujik National Park Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve

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