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Niverville Council Meeting in Review—July 20

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Niverville’s town council met virtually on the evening of Tuesday, July 20 for a regularly scheduled meeting. After some brief, standard housekeeping issues, they opened with the first of three public hearings.

Home Daycare

The first public hearing was for a conditional use permit for local resident Stephanie Leveque, who intends to open a licensed home daycare at 27 Aspen Avenue.

Leveque is currently waiting on her home daycare license to come through from the provincial government, but she plans to run her business without the licence until she receives it.

As part of her presentation, she reminded council members that there is a significant shortage of daycare spots in Niverville and that licensed facilities are even harder to find. One of the benefits of a licensed facility, Leveque says, is that parents can receive a subsidy from the government to help offset their childcare costs.

After a few minor clarifying questions, the matter was put to a vote and passed unanimously.

Commercial Units

The second public hearing of the evening was for a conditional use permit to develop commercial units, for lease or purchase, at 735 Schultz Avenue. The applicant, Bosco Holdings Inc., indicated that they intend for the buildings to be used for construction, trades, and interior storage units.

This conditional use permit was also passed unanimously.

Fence Height Variation

The third public hearing was for a variation order for fence height around the rental properties at 87, 93, and 103 Fourth Avenue South. The current zoning bylaw requires that a front yard fence be no higher than three feet. The requested variance would allow the height of the fence to be up to five feet.

Property developer Luke Wiebe noted that the increase in fence height will allow for a continuation of the current aesthetic.

After a few questions, this motion was also passed unanimously.

Ways and Means

Following the public hearings, council had a discussion about submitting a request to Manitoba Infrastructure to review having a crosswalk installed at Second Ave and Main Street. Mayor Dyck pointed out that there are a lot of businesses and services at that corner, so foot traffic has seen an increase, making the crosswalk more necessary than ever.

Council voted unanimously to submit this request.

CAO Eric King then requested an approval of the 2021 audit fee of $12,707. The town is under contract with Fort Group Chartered Professional Accountants of Winnipeg. This marks a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s fees. The request was unanimously carried and approved.

Paramedic Issues

The next item presented a bit of a complicated issue regarding how paramedics and volunteer paramedics are being recognized by the College of Paramedics of Manitoba.

“The College of Paramedics of Manitoba is treating all paramedics and volunteer paramedics the same,” says King. “If it’s your career or if you work 50 hours a year, you pay the same registration fee to the college [of $2,500]… The College does not recognize the Town of Niverville’s liability insurance for our volunteers as sufficient to cover our volunteers, so that doubles the cost.”

Furthermore, King says that the College refuses to allow municipalities to pay on behalf of their volunteers directly.

“So I have to pay expense reports for each member rather than write one cheque to the College,” King explains.

Because of the problems these issues create, council discussed the notion of the town making a request to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities to lobby the provincial government and College of Paramedics of Manitoba to do three things.

First, to establish a secondary membership classification system for voluntary medical first responders, with a corresponding membership fee that recognizes this category of paramedic as a voluntary or part-time group.

Second, to accept the AMM municipal insurance program and its liability coverages as being sufficient for voluntary medical first responders.

And third, to amend their invoicing practice to allow municipalities to pay memberships on behalf of medical first responders.

Council unanimously carried this motion.

Extra Recycling

Finally, council approved a program by which residents can place an extra bag of recycling next to their recycling bin on pickup day. The bag would need to have a special sticker on it and the stickers would be available for purchase for $2 each at the town office.

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