Council approves firefighter performance approvals
By Chad Ingram
Published Sept. 7, 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed during an Aug. 31 meeting of Minden Hills council.
Councillors approved an update to Policy 28, the township’s policy for conducting employee appraisals, to include appraisals for the township’s volunteer firefighters.
The concept had been discussed by council earlier in the year, with some members of council questioning if it was appropriate to treat volunteer firefighters as employees.
All township employee appraisals are completed by township chief administrative officer, and the CAO’s performance appraisal form is completed by members of council.
In addition to evaluations done by the fire department for new firefighters, the township will conduct performance appraisals for firefighters every two years.
Some changes to language in the policy include the addition of a “wellness check” dealing with employee job satisfaction, growth, participation, etc.
Changes also include a new, short-form appraisal form for regular township employees, with a traditional, long-form evaluation to be performed every three years, except in cases where there have been performance issues.
Flood costs township an unbudgeted $170,000
The township incurred unbudgeted expenses totalling $170,000 during severe flooding in May. These costs include an insurance deductible of $50,000, nearly $30,000 in employee overtime pay, and a host of other expenses including equipment rentals, engineering costs, extra fuel, etc.
Under Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance, an unexpected natural event must result in costs totalling a minimum of three per cent of a municipality’s own-purpose taxation levy. In the case of Minden Hills, this would mean an amount of just more than $190,000, meaning that the flood expenses don’t qualify for funding.
“The bottom line is we have to pay for this,” township treasurer and chief administrative officer Lorrie Blanchard told councillors.
Councillors decided to find the money by transferring funds from various municipal reserve accounts and by deferring some costs to the 2018 budget. While deferring or cancelling some 2017 projects yet to be completed was also an option, councillors decided against that route.
“Deferring projects, kicking them down the road, doesn’t do us any favour,” said Reeve Brent Devolin.
Terry Fox Run planned for Sept. 17 in Minden
The 24th annual Minden Terry Fox Run will take place Sunday, Sept. 17, with registration at the Minden Hills Community Centre at 9 a.m. The run starts at 9:30 a.m. In 23 years, the Minden run has raised more than $260,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation, which funds cancer research.