RQM council notes

·4 min read

Council writes-off nearly $27,000 in uncollectible accounts

At the Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council meeting July 13, members of council voted to write-off $26,819.41 worth of what has been deemed uncollectible accounts from Hillsview Acres Home for Special Care, a facility owned by RQM.

A council document explained the situation. “These accounts belong to former residents that are now deceased or that have moved to other facilities. We are unable to locate the residents in other facilities and secure payment.”

Writing off these accounts are said to have no impact on the operating expenditures of the municipality. The impact on the Statement of Operations occurs when the accounts are added to the Valuation Allowance in the fiscal year they are deemed uncollectible.

Since November 1, 2018 residents have been billed at the beginning of each month with payment due by the end of the month. Prior to this, billing took place at the end of each month. The change has helped the municipality eliminate a number of outstanding accounts.

Residents are charged a per diem rate of 85 per cent of their assessed income for their stay.

The almost $27,000 outstanding was from 13 different accounts.

RQM to borrow $507,757 for Brooklyn sewer/water work

RQM is doing a bit of a financial juggling.

The region was set to borrow $507,757 through the Municipal Financial Corporation to cover the cost of a major sewer and water expansion in Brooklyn during the fiscal year (2020-21). However, due to a staff change in the RQM financial department, an application for the funds was overlooked this spring. Applications for borrowing from the corporation are only taken in the spring and fall of each year.

So money to cover the cost was drawn instead from the sewer reserve fund.

“In the spring we had a new director of corporate services join us and we were doing our budgets and other things, so this just did not get done. So we approved to apply for borrowing in the fall when the debentures are issued and the money will go back into the sewer reserve fund,” said RQM Mayor Darlene Norman.

Noise bylaw committee selected

A new committee has been struck to help create a new noise bylaw for the Region of Queens Municipality.

Staff had drawn up a new noise bylaw following direction from the council at its regular meeting February 23, 2021. It was brought forward to council May 25th for approval, but instead a separate committee was called for by council.

The new Ad Hoc Noise Bylaw Committee was to be comprised of at least one public representative of each electoral district, councillors Vicki Amirault, David Brown and Maddie Charlton, along with RQM Bylaw Enforcement Officer Kelley-Anne Hurley and Chief Administrative Officer Chris McNeill.

A call went out to the public for the submission of names to sit on the committee. The purpose of the committee was to review all public feedback regarding the draft bylaw and bring back recommendations to council.

Advertisements were placed throughout June looking for members of the committee. Deadline for applications was June 30 and a total of 12 applications were received. From this, every district has been covered with the exception of District 1.

The following is a list of the committee members from the public: Darlene Gaskell-Chandler, Kathryn Killam, Shawna McDougall, Allan Laws, Mary White, Craig Doggett, Avis Johnson, Robert Roulston, Melvin MacKenzie, Jessica Van Dyne-Evans, Albert White and Judy Frail.

The committee is expected to start having meetings in September.

The previous noise bylaw was passed July 1997.

Tenders rejected

Council approved a motion to reject all tenders for Hillsview Acres project No. 21011 for the creation of two accessible washrooms, one on each floor at the facility. Council will see alternate means of moving forward on this project.

Mayor Darlene Norman said just one company put in a proposal for the work at a cost of $158,000, not including architectural design.

RQM staff had originally pegged the project at $93,000, including design, construction and materials.

The money for the project had already been submitted to the province, approved and received by the region.

Norman said the project will go ahead with staff coming up with other ways to get the project completed in the near future.

Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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