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2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - JANUARY 5, 1998
3. APPROVAL OF THE ORDER OF BUSINESS AND APPROVAL OF ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS
Added Items: Appointment of Liaison Councillor to Small Lots Stakeholder Focus Group
1998 Volunteer Recognition Program - Appointment of Councillor representing Community Council
Councillor Hanson: From Information Items - Case 7635 - Rezoning of Properties from Holding (H) to Single Family Dwelling (R-1) - Boscobel Road and Purcells Cove Road - Mainland Halifax (District 17)
4. BUSINESS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
4.1.1 Snow Removal from Sidewalks A Staff Report dated January 30, 1998 was before Community Council from the Commissioner of Regional Operations. In attendance was Mike Kroger, Works and Natural Services. The recommendation contained in the Staff Report was that sidewalk snow plowing in Districts 15 to 18 not be entertained at this time but that it be considered within the complete review of sidewalk snow plowing/salting services being undertaken relative to the current 1998/99 budget process. Mike Kroger provided an overview of the Staff Report including a recommendation for a uniform approach so that all sidewalks in the HRM core area are treated the same - either do them all or do none, except for those abutting municipal properties. Currently, what is being done is status quo - the same as when amalgamation began. Councillor Walker asked what would be the area rate for Districts 15 to18. In reply, Mr. Kroger said that Finance Department would have to provide this information, based on residential assessment over the $300,000 total cost. Councillor Walker asked why the area rate would only be on residential; could Community Council put an area rate on commercial. In reply, Mr. Kroger advised that he understood the HRM Act would have to be amended to put area rates on commercial assessment. Councillor Adams referred to commercial assessment and the fact that area rates were generally for community projects, such as playgrounds, recreation which the commercial taxpayer would not take advantage of. With this proposal, however, there would be commercial properties fronting on sidewalks and it would be of benefit to them. There was a fair argument to have the HRM Act amended to bring in commercial assessments and he would like to have information provided on how to initiate this process. Councillor Adams went on to ask why there was a recommendation not to do it in Districts 15 to18. In reply, Mr. Kroger said it was because it left only the Peninsula which would not have sidewalks plowed. Councillor Adams said that Halifax Peninsula Community Council had the option of putting on an area rate and by Chebucto Community Council doing it, it would not negatively affect the Peninsula one way or the other. In reply, Mr. Kroger said that staff was trying to achieve a uniform approach which would be fair to all in the HRM core. Councillor Adams pointed out, however, that it was not fair to all right now and the current recommendation would make it further unfair if Chebucto Community Council could not do it. In reply, Mr. Kroger said staff was recommending uniform to everyone. Councillor Adams said he would like to look at a process to include commercial assessment in levying an area rate for sidewalk snow removal and to contact Halifax Peninsula Community Council to advise that Chebucto Community Council has proceeded with the initial information gathering and that there was a possibility of an area rate in Districts 15 to18. Councillor Stone asked if the sidewalk plowing in Dartmouth was done through an area rate and was it subsidized in any way. In reply, Mr. Kroger replied it was done on an area rate and it was subsidized through the general tax rate. Councillor Stone, therefore, clarified that even though there was no sidewalk plowing in the former City of Halifax, the former City of Halifax was subsidizing the sidewalk plowing in Dartmouth - which was also quite unfair. He acknowledged that sidewalk plowing in the Peninsula would be quite costly because of the concentration of sidewalks in that area and that was why he had not considered an area rate for the whole of the former City of Halifax because the cost to the taxpayers in Districts 15 to 18 would be high compared to just considering Districts 15 to 18 on their own. In reply, Mr. Kroger said it depended on what assessment it would apply to; if it was spread out to the commercial group as well, the impact would not be as high. If it stands as it is now - where only residential pays - it would be more expensive to do the HRM core than it would be to add on Districts 15 to18. Councillor Stone asked what it would cost to do just the main/collector streets in Districts 15 to 18. In reply, Mr. Kroger said that was where the majority of the commercial assessment was located. Councillor Stone asked if this would be included in the 1998/99 budget process. In reply, Mr. Kroger said it would be one of the menu items. Councillor Walker asked for a paragraph to be included in the proposed budget showing what it would cost for Districts 15 to 18, as an area rate, as according to his calculations, he felt it would be in the range of one or two cents. He did not want to see Districts 15 to 18 lumped in with everyone else and if Dartmouth and other areas had to pay more, so be it. He clarified that it would be based on residential and leave the commercial for now. Councillor Adams felt that the subsidy being paid to Dartmouth should apply to Districts 15 to 18 as well. MOVED by Councillors Walker and Adams that Finance Department be requested to provide costs for Districts 15 to 18 for an area rate for sidewalk plowing, based on a residential rate, to be included in the 1998/99 budget deliberations. MOTION PUT AND PASSED. Also with regard to snow and ice removal By-law Enforcement, a Staff Report dated January 30, 1998 was before the Committee. Frank Binns, Deputy Police Chief and Peter James, By-law Enforcement Officer were in attendance. First, however, Councillor Walker referred to the last meeting when the By-law Enforcement Officer in attendance indicated that once a sidewalk was shoveled, if the snowplow put the snow back on, HRM would clear it off. For the record, he stated this was not the case. There was a responsibility for the sidewalk no matter what. Peter James, Licence and Firearms Section Coordinator provided an overview of the Staff Report, stressing that the level of service is complaint driver and not proactive as reflected in the Minutes. Currently, staff was looking at the way By-law enforcement is carried out through the entire HRM with a view to sharing resources and come under one umbrella for a more efficient way of doing business. If the level of service detailed in the Minutes of January 5, 1998 was what was desired, there would have to be changes in the process or in the resources allocated to get the job done. Councillor Walker asked, of the 68 snow and ice complaints received, how many tickets were issued. In reply, Mr. James replied none that he knew of, explained why and what was done to resolve the complaint. Councillor Walker asked if staff went back to see if the problem has been resolved. In reply, Mr. James said that 75% of the time, when you go back the next day, the problem has been resolved. Councillor Walker added that it was the other 25% that caused the problem because they did not care. As far as following up from previous storms, Mr. James stated that would be incredibly labour intensive but once a complaint was received, staff would follow up. Councillor Stone asked for further information regarding the suggestion that the whole area of By-law Enforcement was being looked at to see if there was a different way of providing the service. In reply, Deputy Chief Binns advised there would be no submission in the 1998/99 budget for additional By-law Enforcement Officers. In terms of making the best of the resources available, there was consideration being given to putting all By-law Enforcement Officers under the same umbrella to allow for different demands at different times of the year. Deputy Police Chief Binns referred to the ABC study which, once completed, would provide information on costs and provide the ability to assess what HRM is getting for its dollar. Consideration was being given to the possibility of putting all the By-law Enforcement Officers under one department to allow more flexibility and cross training. This possibility would be part of the ABC study. Councillor Stone expressed concern that people new to the area were not aware they had to shovel their sidewalks and there needed to be a better method of getting the information to them. Councillor Walker referred to the recommendations contained in the report and asked for clarification. Deputy Police Chief Binns advised that these recommendations were presently the way they did business and it was intended for information purposes. Councillor Walker referred to the motion passed by Community Council for extra people if required whereas the report was recommending there was no requirement at this point. Deputy Police Chief Binns replied that if there was a higher level of service required, then the answer could be more By-law Enforcement Officers. MOVED by Councillors Walker and Adams to accept the report and to request a further report once the budget process and the ABC study are complete. MOTION PUT AND PASSED. 4.2 911 Response Because Mr. Victor Eisan was in attendance, Councillor Adams took the opportunity to advise that he has not had any response to his request but, when he does, he would let Mr. Eisan know. Mr. Eisan advised he has been following up himself and expressed concern that there was a cover up. He explained why he thought so. Councillor Adams referred to being a critic of 911 but admitted that when a member of his family needed 911, there was a response in six minutes. He advised he had brought this to the attention of those in charge, as he was willing to bring forward the good as well as the bad.
10.1 Capital Projects - Allocation of Funds to Community Councils
Submissions were received from each Councillor prior to the meeting. Councillors Walker and Adams outlined changes to their requests.
MOVED by Councillors Adams and Hanson to recommend the Capital Project requests as amended to Regional Council. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.
10.2 Establishment of the Membership Selection Committee
Councillor Stone explained the mandate of the Membership Selection Committee.
12. ADDED ITEMS
12.1 Appointment to Small Lots Stakeholder Focus Group The Chair explained the function of this Committee. MOVED by Councillors Adams and Hanson that Councillor Walker be appointed as Chebucto Community Council's representative on the Small Lots Stakeholder Focus Group. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.
12.2 1998 Volunteer Recognition Program - Appointment of Councillor The Chair explained the function of the program. MOVED by Councillors Adams and Walker that Councillor Hanson be appointed as Chebucto Community Council's representative for the 1998 Volunteer Recognition Program. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.
A Staff Report dated January 21, 1998 was before Community Council.
Councillor Hanson advised he had spoken to staff with regard to this application and did not feel there was any need for a Public Meeting prior to the Public Hearing. Councillor Stone pointed out that the report received tonight was an Information Report and there would still need to be a report from Planning staff with a recommendation for the Public Hearing. MOVED by Councillors Hanson and Adams to hold a Public Hearing at the next meeting. MOTION PUT AND PASSED. At this time, Councillor Stone advised he would not be able to attend the next meeting if it was held on March 2. He pointed out there would be a need for all other members of Community Council to be present on March 2 or there was the option of holding the meeting on March 9. It was agreed that the meeting would be held on March 2, 1998 and that Councillor Walker would act as Chair in Councillor Stone's absence.
14. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Mr. Hiram Tiller, Thackeray Close raised the following points:
Mr. Williams Phillips, 9 Crestview Drive raised the following points:
Mr. Danny Chedrawe, 153 Spinnaker Drive raised the following points:
Mr. William Phillips referred to the Pinehaven sign he had brought up at the last meeting and said now there was a small sign attached to it which stated "approval pending". He asked the status of the project and spoke in opposition to an apartment on Deadmans Island. He also asked if the sign could be taken down as, in his opinion, there was no approval to put the sign up. In reply, Councillor Hanson advised that the original sign indicated it was an approved project which was not the case. Staff had just recently received the official application and he was going to have a meeting with staff in the near future. With regard to the sign, after the last meeting he had contacted staff who indicated they would deal with it.
On a motion from Councillor Walker, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Sandra M. Shute
Assistant Municipal Clerk