West Bolton Council: March 2020

All members of the council and 15 residents were present.

Question Period lasted for more than an hour and included a spirited discussion of Airbnb short-term rentals and the new municipal bylaw requiring all short-term rental properties to have a municipal permit, restrictions and penalties for causing a nuisance in the neighbourhood.

Bill 48 requiring municipalities to lower the property tax rate on agricultural land would replace a 70% provincial property tax rebate to owners of productive agricultural land. The rebate pro- gram is increasingly expensive as the market value of good, productive farmland increases. Many municipalities object to Bill 48 on the grounds that subsidies should come from the province. West Bolton prefers to tax all residents equally.

A house adjacent to Beaver Pond was flooded due to poor maintenance of the dam. Collection of compost has been irregular. Planning the multi-purpose trail network will begin with the trails on the Mt Foster Nature Reserve owned by the Appalachian Corridor. When this has been completed, discussion of the possibility of other trails on private property will begin. Councillor Chartier and the Municipal Inspector will co-ordinate the planning.

Urban Planning – Several bylaws were amended to conform with MRC regulations. A request for a minor derogation on a fence that is a bit too high was refused by the CCU. This was discussed at length by council. The request and the regulation will be reviewed with a decision to be made next month.

Administration – Employment contracts for the Road Supervisor and Municipal Inspector were amended to include a 2% increase in salary and a pension adjustment.

West Bolton will hire an Assistant Manager/Secretary Treasurer.

Next meeting: April 6, 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall