At Tuesday’s virtual meeting, Town of Virden Council revisited a decision made at its April 21 meeting to postpone the 2020 tax sale for four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent consultation with TaxService, the company that administers the proceedings on the Town’s behalf, they recommend proceeding. “If we continue with the tax sale proceedings, we would be looking at a tax sale date in March of 2021 for the properties that have 2018 taxes owing,” Stewart said. “If we decide not to continue with the tax sale proceedings, TaxService will stop all work on the file, but when we start the proceedings again the costs that have already been charged to those property owners are going to be charged again. We’re not doing anyone any favours by prolonging the length of time they owe money for their 2018 taxes.”
Council accepted TaxService’s recommendation to go ahead with the tax sale and will set the date at their next meeting.
A total of $10,890 comprised mostly of outstanding accounts, will be added to taxes. The sum of $1,548.00 will be removed.
Association of Manitoba Municipalities
Council dealt with matters pertaining to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM).
- The Town’s annual AMM membership will be renewed at a cost of $3,750.
- Council will send representation to the 2020 AMM Convention, held virtually on Nov. 23, and cover the registration fee of $100.00 per person.
- Candidate nominations close on Nov. 2 for the election of a President and two Vice-Presidents to serve a two-year term on the AMM Executive Committee. Councillors may be nominated and have the opportunity to cast their vote if registered for the convention.
- An election will take place this fall to fill vacancies on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors. Deputy Mayor Tina Williams pointed out that this representation comes at a price. “If we put somebody on the FCM Board we pay them to go places, so it is a cost (to the Town),” she said. “I would be interested, but with my age I think it probably would be better for a younger person,” said Mayor Murray Wright. CAO Stewart noted that former Mayor Jeff McConnell had served on the FCM Board during his tenure.
New Code of Conduct
CAO Stewart advised Council that Manitoba Municipal Relations had provided a sample of the new Code of Conduct By-Law for municipal councillors. “The Municipal Amendment Act, which is strengthening code of conduct for council members, requires all municipal councils to pass a Code of Conduct By-Law and all council members to complete provincially developed online training on respectful conduct, within six months,” she said. Stewart asked Council to review the sample and decide if there is anything they would like to see added. Complaint and appeal procedures for violations will be standardized, however Coun. Grant Gardiner questioned how and by whom they will be handled and if the Town would be liable for the cost of any appeals filed. The act and associated regulations take effect concurrently on Nov. 1.
The provincial Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority is consulting with the public and stakeholders regarding potential new opportunities related to cannabis. Council was invited to participate in the survey and will take time to review the questions before formulating a response at their next meeting on Sept. 22.
New Animal Control Officer Hired
Ernie Hey is Virden’s new Animal Control Officer. Council accepted his proposal to fulfill the duties under a one-year contract effective Sept. 9.
New Utility Manager
CAO Stewart reported that Ron Routledge has been hired as the Town’s new Utility Manager.
Dog Park Signage
After a brief Public Hearing on the matter, Council granted approval for an advertising sign to be placed at the site of the community dog park, which is being established adjacent to the soccer field and utility booster station off Thomas Drive. The sign is intended to identify sponsors who make a contribution. “With the sponsorship package that we offered, a certain amount of money would get you a sign on the fence of the dog park, and a smaller amount would get you a logo on the rule board,” said Corie Williams, who attended the hearing on behalf of the committee spearheading the project. Development Officer Cory Nixon said that a development permit must be applied for and approved prior to the sign being installed.