Provincial budget affecting Town of Millet timelines

Millet town councilors read a memo at their Jan. 11 regular meeting from Assistant CAO Lisa Schoening regarding...

The provincial legislature won't sit again until after the beginning of March.

Millet town councilors read a memo at their Jan. 11 regular meeting from Assistant CAO Lisa Schoening regarding approval of an interim budget.

“We can’t put out our budget yet,” said Schoening. The Municipal Government Act allows for interim budgets so municipalities can pay bills, staff etc. until their full budget is approved.

Town of Millet CAO Teri Pelletier estimated the provincial legislature will be on break until March, meaning the provincial budget can’t be done before then, which has to be approved before municipal budgets.

“I would assume I will not be tabling our 2017 municipal budget until the first week of May,” said Pelletier to council.

“Which means we’re probably going to miss the construction season.”

Councilors unanimously approved the interim budget.

Tourism tweaking

Assistant CAO Lisa Schoening presented a memo to councilors regarding the Millet Tourism Committee and proposed changes to the town’s Tourism Bylaw. “The Millet Tourism Committee undertook a strategic planning session with CAO Pelletier to determine the direction of the committee,” stated Schoening in her memo.

She noted a section of the bylaw under the heading Membership was proposed to be changed from a “recreation” member to an “administration/recreation” member, plus the Duties and Responsibilities section would be altered to reflect terms of reference and the committee’s desired direction.

During discussion, Councilor Pat Garrett said she likes to see the Town of Millet involved with businesses and events in the community.

It was also noted town council will be given Tourism Committee minutes, so they’ll be able to keep track of what’s going on. Council approved four motions for the new bylaw to pass it.

MPC bylaw

CAO Pelletier brought forward an update version of the Municipal Planning Commission bylaw. She noted some updating was needed, including the fact that in the previous version of the MPC structure a municipal staff member was a voting member of the board.

Pelletier stated staff members should be only in an advisory role, not a voting role. “Not much else changes,” said Pelletier at the meeting. She noted staff would still present to the board, but not vote. MPC meetings would be held on an “as needed” basis.

Mayor Tony Wadsworth said he understood why the bylaw needed a change; he asked what the best composition of an MPC would be. Pelletier said it seems most MPCs in other communities have an odd number of members and the majority of MPC members are elected town councilors.

Pelletier said finding volunteers for boards isn’t easy. “We have a darn hard time getting a public at large member for any (board),” she said.

Councilor Carol Sadoroszney said the MPC might be quiet right now because it’s winter, but when things thaw and constriction season comes, it will be good to have three councilors on the MPC.

Councilors passed four motions to approve the MPC change.

Borrowing bylaw

Councilors read a memo from Pelletier regarding the borrowing bylaw, usually the first bylaw of the New Year she noted. “We do this every year,” said Pelletier during the meeting.

The borrowing bylaw is a standard practice at virtually every municipality that gives council the ability to borrow funds to cover needed funds in unforeseen circumstances. Councilors unanimously approved the bylaw.