Kipling Town Council began 2022 with a Zoom meeting on Monday evening.
In her report, Mayor Pat Jackson spoke about the need to begin a search for an Economic Development Officer (a position that was most recently filled by the late Scott Kearns).
Jackson stated that in her opinion, it would be beneficial to have “someone whose sole focus is to get information out to potential investors.”
She went on to suggest that members of council should “think about who we need to look for, whether we need to focus on people within our community, or go further afield to find the right person.”
Jackson also spoke about the importance, amid the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, of finding ways to encourage residents in the community.
She urged council members to “share any ideas you might have about things that we could do, to inspire people and help them to become excited about living here again.”
In her CAO report, Gail Dakue said that taxes had “come in very well” in December.
Dakue went on to state that work was proceeding along the guidelines that had been laid out in council’s Strategic Plan.
She also spoke briefly about the possibility of measuring community satisfaction through surveys that could be done with both residents and businesses.
There was some discussion among councilors about the possibility of holding the Resident’s Supper & Meeting this year.
As Mayor Jackson noted, “We had around 50 people that came out the first time it was held. But our attendance grew steadily after that. So, if it is possible for us to hold such an event this year, that would be great.”
However, because it is still unclear what restrictions might be in place this spring, council agreed to delay their decision on this.
Dakue informed council that the Asset Management Grant, which the town applied for, has been received. An RFP is now open for a consultant on this project.
She also indicated that another application was being made for an ICIP grant.
Dakue went on to mention that engineers would be looking at possible ways that the area south of the arena might be developed, which would account for the possibility that a new arena might be built at some point in the future.
The Curling Club’s wish to apply for a liquor license was then discussed.
Dakue noted however, that some work at the arena has not yet been completed, though staff is working as quickly as possible on the list that resulted from the building inspection.
Councillors expressed their frustration that covid-related challenges continue to obstruct progress on this work, and expressed regret that these delays might impact the Curling Club.
The annual letter from the Southeast Transportation Planning Committee (SETPC) along with the minutes of the November meeting were discussed.
Councillor Don Johnson pointed out that SETPC is “the only body that has a formal relationship with the Ministry of Highways with respect to maintenance and planning of our highways.”
Therefore, Councillor Johnson suggested that participation in the committee provided significant opportunities for municipalities to have their concerns heard.
Old business included a review of the draft outlining council’s policies pertaining to alcohol consumption at the arena, as well as the draft outlining council’s policy regarding damage done to that facility by users.
New business included a decision to renew the town’s membership in SETCP.
A request from a taxpayer asking for a tax abatement on penalties for 2021 was discussed.
While councilors were sympathetic, it was noted that many residents had faced a struggle during the past year.
Yet, this was the only such request that had been received.
After a lengthy discussion, council moved to decline the request, in the interest of maintaining equity and fairness towards all taxpayers in the community.

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