Lots of hot topics at council

BARRY’S BAY – Madawaska Valley Township met for their regular council meeting on April 15.


In the midst of an already controversial council meeting, Mayor David Shulist stepped up and declared concerns in regards to ongoing issues at the Combermere Community Centre.
Shulist, due to illness, was not present at the last council meeting. Councillor Shaun O’Reilly chaired the meeting in his place.
After hearing about Combermere’s Margaret Maika’s delegation and some of her concerns, the mayor admitted, as far as recreation, perhaps some of the blame should be placed on council and staff.
Considering the history, we’ve maybe dropped the ball, he said.
For whatever reasons, the work has not been completed at the community centre and it should be, he added.
The mayor also went on to address concerns outlined previously in regards to the money not being in the budget lines. He explained if somehow this money was to be pulled out of reserves, this would create, or make it look as though the municipality had a surplus and they would be taxed for this.
Therefore, he continued, to have the monies in reserves, this is the best route to go.
“The money is ready to go,” he said.
Councillor Linda Neuman also piped up and suggested at the next heritage, parks and recreation meeting council make a recommendation to have the work that so desperately needs to be completed – done. This way when someone is finally hired, everything is ready to go right away, she explained. This will serve as a reminder to everyone that the jobs need to be done.
“Because let’s face it, come winter, a new furnace and repairs to the doors need to be complete,” Neuman went on to say.
Shulist also suggested a detailed list somehow be comprised in regards to all the fixes that need to be complete at the community centre.
To address concerns of Maika’s and other Combermere residents, about feeling as though their community is being neglected, the mayor stressed, this was never the intention of council. What’s more, he said, he understood to an extent, how residents might have come to this conclusion.
But what’s important now, is the future, the mayor continued.
“As head of council, I’m going to make it my mission to make things happen for the centre in 2013,” he said.
Council has decided they will help the Valley Manor Auxiliary with the purchase of one bed.
At the April 2 council meeting, Co-Chair, Kristin Marchand, on behalf of the Valley Manor Auxiliary, approached council and asked that they consider helping the nursing home with their pursuits to replace their beds. Currently, Valley Manor is in the midst of replacing all 90 of the beds in the nursing home. The co-chair explained to council that they have done all they can to provide for their residents, but would appreciate some help from the township.
The total cost for one bed is almost $1,800 without additional costs, like shipping and handling.
Councillor Neuman wasted no time on the Monday evening sparking the discussion as to whether or not something could be done to help the nursing home.
Councillors were quick to debate policies in regards to giving out cash, but in the end, decided under economic development, a donation from the reserves could be made.
“This would be a great gesture for our senior people on behalf of the township,” Councillor Bob Kulas said.
Kulas made the motion to recommend moving forward with lending a hand to the auxiliary, Neuman seconded the motion, and all were in favour, excluding, Councillor O’Reilly who was opposed.
Story continues in the April 17, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.