Councillor committee appointments ratified

Amherst town council ratified its councillor committee appointments during its Oct. 23, 2019, council session.

Mayor David Kogon was appointed to the audit and the regional emergency management committees.

Deputy-Mayor Sheila Christie with sit on the audit and planning advisory committees as well as the YMCA Board of Directors and the Amherst Board of Police Commissioners.

Coun. Jason Blanch is a member of the audit, tree advisory, planning advisory and North Tyndal wellfield advisory committees and the Municipal Alcohol Project board.

Coun. Vince Byrne was appointed to the audit and regional emergency management committees as well as the Amherst Board of Police Commissioners and the Cumberland Joint Management Authority.

Coun. Darrell Jones will sit on the audit and North Tyndal wellfield advisory committees as well as the Amherst Board of Police Commissioners and the Senior Safety Advisory Group.

Coun. Wayne MacKenzie is a member of the audit committee, Cumberland Public Libraries Board and the L.A. Animal Shelter board.

Coun. Terry Rhindress was appointed to the audit and planning advisory committees, the Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority and the Northern Regional Solid Waste committee.

All members of council have also been appointed to the town’s committee of the whole.

The appointments are for one year, with the exception of the appointments to the police commission. Deputy-Mayor Christies and Coun. Jones’ appointments to the commission are three-year terms that expire on Oct. 31, 2022, while Coun. Byrne’s appointment is a one-year term that expires on Oct. 31, 2020.

Should any of the councillors appointed to the police commission not be on council following the October 31 municipal election, their appointments will be nullified.

Deputy-Mayor appointed

Council voted to appoint Sheila Christie to her fourth term as the town’s deputy-mayor. She defeated Coun. Terry Rhindress in a secret ballot.

Audit Committee members appointed

Council approved the reappointment of Rob Small and Jeff Brennan as the two citizen appointees on the town’s audit committee. They will both server two-year terms.

Rail crossing upgrades

Council approved agreements with CN for upgrades to railway crossings on Industrial Park Drive, Chamberlain Street and Victoria Street West.

The upgrade to the Industrial Park Drive includes the installation of new safety gates, while the Chamberlain Street and Victoria Street West upgrades involve installing new signal lights.

The town’s share of the upgrades is $62,156, which represents 12.5 per cent of the total cost. The remainder is covered by CN and Transport Canada.

Budget Management Policy

Council approved a revised Budget Management Policy. The revisions will allow for earlier approval of capital and operating budgets. It is anticipated earlier approvals will result in potential savings and earlier procurement for projects.

Community Support Grants Policy

Council approved a revised Community Support Grants Policy. The revisions were requested by council during last year’s budget meetings and the June committee of the whole session.

The revisions include: a list of excluded items or organizations, eligible organizations, the inclusion of a NSCC grant and a grant for Maggie’s Place in the special consideration grants section of the policy.

The revisions also include: a list of limitations for grants, new categories of grants with limits, clarity and timeline adjustments for the grant process and requirements for grant applications based on dollar value.

In addition, the revised policy gives the CAO the authority to approve applications of $500 or less throughout the year and provides for a staggered payment process that will ensure reports from the applicants are received.

The revised policy also includes a recommendation to have just one ‘A Fresh Start event each year and an adjustment that ensures successful applicants are only eligible to receive funding every two years.

The changes are meant to ensure funding from Community Support Grants is shared among a variety of organization and that council is encouraging the creation of new programs that are self-sustaining.