District of Carleton North: Horizon Health recruitment, increased spending limits and budgets approved

by | Dec 4, 2023

The following items of business were discussed at the Nov. 28 District of Carleton North council meeting:

Official welcome of student councillors

Deputy Mayor Karen Hargrove officially welcomed Carleton North High School students Sarah Harvey and Sarah Lagarde to the District of Carleton North Council as part of a new student councillor program. 

“This is a great initiative, and we’re looking forward to your participation throughout this year,” said Mayor Andrew Harvey.

Horizon Health Recruitment Presentation

Kari Gautreau, from Horizon Health Network, offered a virtual presentation to the council regarding ongoing recruitment issues. The presentation included significant information regarding the various programs Horizon Health has in place to assist communities with physical recruitment, including the “Refer a Physician” initiative that pays $2,000 to any resident who successfully refers a physician to their area.

For information on the Horizon Health Recruitment process or the Community Recruitment Toolkit, residents can visit https://horizonnb.ca/careers/recruitment/.

Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery

Karen Birnie, Chair of the Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery, offered the council an overview of all the gallery has to offer its community. 

“I want to begin by saying the mission of the Andrew & McCain Art Gallery is to develop an awareness of and appreciation for and access to high-quality art in our community. Our mandate is to foster visual culture in the community and throughout the Province of New Brunswick,” said Birnie. 

She then shared that besides hosting over 3,000 annual visitors to the gallery for their exhibits, the gallery also runs the River Arts Centre, art festivals, public art, art education programs, and an Artist in Residence program.

Birnie also discussed the current art gallery show entitled “Small Works.” It features the work of approximately 100 artists and artisans for sale, just in time for Christmas. This year, sales for the opening day shattered all previous records. 

Deputy Mayor Hargrove spoke highly of the exhibit. 

“I encourage everyone to go check it out,” she said. 

Upon the conclusion of Birnie’s presentation, Mayor Harvey noted the importance of the art gallery for the District, saying, “Art enriches our lives, and [the gallery] is a benefit to the area.”

To find exhibit or programming information, please visit the art gallery’s website: https://mccainartgallery.com/

Spending limit increase for municipality’s Visa

Mayor Harvey explained that the District of Carleton North has a business expense Visa through the Bank of Nova Scotia that is used for all “front-line managers in each department so they can pay for things as they get them. It’s an easier system in terms of accounting.” 

Due to the fact that there are several departments using the account, Mayor Harvey explained that they need to increase the spending limit from $15,000 to $50,000. 

Councillor Oakes clarified for those in attendance that the increase was “collective, for all the cards, not per card.” 

The council approved the motion to increase the spending limit.

Approval of the 2024 operating budgets

Mayor Harvey announced that the 2024 operating and utility budgets had been finalized, and they were now seeking council’s approval. 

“We’ve come up with a budget that I think is fair, reasonable, and speaks to where we need to be for 2024 and beyond,” said Harvey.

Deputy Mayor Hargrove announced that the 2024 operating budget would be $9,632,961. Once approved by council, it will be submitted to the province for approval. Mayor Harvey noted that the budget would be posted online for the public once they receive the province’s approval. He acknowledged the financial challenges of amalgamating three municipalities and six LSDs.

Councillor Oakes stated that the Council had done an excellent job with the budget. 

“We’re being fiscally prudent, and I think we’ve done good work,” he said.

Approval of the 2024 wastewater and utility budget

Deputy Mayor Hargrove proposed that the wastewater and utility budget for 2024 be set at $634320. 

Mayor Harvey noted that the expenses cover five systems throughout the District and that they are user-pay services, meaning that the residents in the LSDs do not pay for any of the utility budgets. 

The revenues come strictly from the municipalities where the services are located.

The District of Carleton North council welcomes student councillors Sara Lagarde (left) and Sarah Harvey. (Sandra Hanson photo)

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