Sunday, 30 July 2017



DRAFT Final Feasibility Study Report Launch
July 31, 2017

The draft version of the final feasibility study report will be launched (on the YRC Project website) on July 31, 2017.  It will be the focus of the feasibility study's Round 3 Public Consultation (public meetings, feedback forms, emails etc.).  Look for it at:

www.yorkruralcommunity.ca



Friday, 28 July 2017

Review of YRC Feasibility Study Process

"No one can say those against it and those for it have not been given an opportunity to get their side out. ALL are good friends and neighbours that have a vision of where we should go as a community." Carl Urquhart, MLA


The YRC Project Feasibility Study has included many public engagement, education and consultation options for residents to choose from including:

Four neighbourhood meetings in border areas and three rounds of public consultation (10 sessions) totaling 14 meetings to engage public discussion. 

Two open house sessions for discussion with Business owners/workers.

Project information and resident input sent/received via website, email, blog, mail, press releases.

Documents:  

- a summary of proposed options for residents to consider (released to residents June 23)
- preliminary feasibility study report (released to residents June 30)
- draft final feasibility study report (to be released to residents July 31)
- final feasibility study report to be delivered to the Minister August 17 (and released to residents August 18)


If we add the meetings from the initial assessment phase of the Project, there have now been 26 public consultations about the proposed YRC as well as the associated questionnaires, flyers and mail-outs.  

Lower Queensbury





Monday, 24 July 2017



Sugar Island (Daryl Hunter photo)

YRC Project Area Communities:


Boyds Corner
Brewers Mills
Burtts Corner 
Cardigan
Carlisle Road
Central Hainesville Crabbe Mountain
Crocks Point
Currieburg
Deersdale
Dorn Ridge
Douglas
Fredericksburg
French Village
Green Hill Lake
Howland Ridge
Island View 



Jewetts Mills
Jones Forks
Keswick
Keswick Flats
Keswick Ridge
Longs Creek
Lower Hainesville
Lower Kingsclear
Lower Queensbury
Lower Stone Ridge
Ludford Subdivision
MacLean Settlement 
Mactaquac
Mazerolle Settlement
Middle Hainesville
Mouth of Keswick
Napadogan
New Market
North Tay
Oswald Gray Subdivision
Pughs Crossing 
Scotch Lake
Scotch Settlement
Sisson Settlement 
Smithfield
Tay Creek​
Tay Mills
Tripp Settlement 
Upper Keswick
Upper Kingsclear
Upper Stone Ridge
Valley View Estates Subdivision
Woodlands
Zealand







Saturday, 22 July 2017



The Steering Committee is Responsible for Making Final Recommendations About the Proposed Characteristics of YRC


One of the main responsibilities of a rural community project steering committee is to propose what the rural community's characteristics would be, based on the results of the Project's feasibility study.  Those proposed characteristics (categories are listed below) must be included in the Project's final feasibility study report.

1. Name
2. Boundary
3. Staff
4. Preservation of Community Identity
5. Office Location
6. Council Make-up and Wards
7. Local Services to Administer
8. Administration Budget
9.  Tax Rate Impact

The DRAFT version of the Final Feasibility Study report for the YRC Project will be available on July 31, 2017 at  www.yorkruralcommunity.ca or by contacting the steering committee at yorkruralcommunity@gmail.com

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Keswick Ridge (Daryl Hunter photo)

"...considering the evidence and arguments..."

We will soon be moving into a new phase of the York Rural Community Project and that phase is considering the evidence and arguments and deciding to vote. I will not try to convince you which way to vote here, but I do want to implore you to vote on October 23rd if the Minister determines that a plebiscite should be held. I have heard that only New Brunswick and parts of PEI still have Local Service Districts, that is, rural places where service delivery is handled by provincial government and there is no local representation. If this is true, then voting for municipal government is a right that only about .008 of Canadians do not have and we are included in that tiny minority. Perhaps you are OK with this, and that is fine. But this is an important vote and I hope that we have a huge turnout. That would send a message to the rest of the province that we care about the place we live; that we take an interest in how we are governed and that we are active citizens. I would hate to have any decision result from a plebiscite in which only 25% of eligible voters participated. If the vote was positive and a council was formed in a new YRC, they would have a weak mandate. If the proposal is voted down in a narrow vote with only 25% participating, we will always wonder if the result would be different if more people had taken the time to become informed and to express their preference at the ballot box. If you pay any attention to international news, you could easily get the impression that democracy is under siege in many places. Personally, I like living in a democracy, despite its flaws. I plan to exercise my right to vote and I hope you do too. On the few occasions when I have passed on my right to vote in the past, I have nearly always regretted it.

Tom Beckley
Keswick Ridge





Island View

Differences Between LSDs and Rural Communities 


LOCAL SERVICE DISTRICT (LSD)
RURAL COMMUNITY (RC)
Unincorporated area where local services are provided by DELG
Rural Communities are a body corporate, with local control (similar to a city, town or village)
May have an advisory committee of three to five members
Council (mayor and councilors) elected during the quadrennial municipal elections (every 4 years) All councilors are elected by ward and/or at large
Responsibilities:   None
Responsible for the provision of the services for which the community chooses to administer.  All other services will be carried out by DELG until such time that the rural community chooses to take on the service by resolution of council.
Influence on Decision Making: LSDs may have an advisory committee to advise the Minister of DELG.
Decisions made by elected Mayor and Council by resolution or by-law during a public meeting that is open to community members.
Local corporate powers:   None
Council appoints clerk/treasurer and auditor.  RC may own land, buildings and equipment.
By-law making powers:   None
RC can make by-laws for such things as:
Council meeting procedures
           Rural plan/zoning, subdivisions, buildings
           Noise causing public nuisance
           Outdoor concerts
           Dangerous or unsightly premises
Financial powers:   None – All held with the Minister of DELG and the LSM
Adoption of annual operating budget
Sets local property tax rates
Power to borrow for capital projects
Access to Federal and Provincial Programs
Property tax billing, assessment and collection:                                                         DOF (Billing and Collection)
SNB (Assessment & Inspection)
DOF (Billing and Collection)
SNB (Assessment & Inspection)
Administrative services: DELG & LSM
RC Council & Staff for services taken on
Rural Planning: (Rural plan, zoning, subdivisions, buildings) DELG via RSC 11
RSC 11: Council is decision-maker
Required to develop land use plan/by-law within 2 years of incorporation
EMO: Administered by DELG
Administered by the RC Council & Staff
Noise/nuisance: RCMP via DELG
RCMP via RC Council & Staff
Fire: Various departments via DELG
Various departments via DELG
Policing: RCMP via DELG
RCMP via RC Council & Staff
Roads: DTI
DTI
Dog/Animal control: SPCA via DELG
SPCA via RC Council & Staff
Regulating and licensing of signage: DTI/ELG
The RC could implement restriction within a by-law.
Recreation and Culture: DELG/LSM
The RC could adopt bylaws to regulate, prescribe fees to be charged for use and the participation in programs. The RC could also enter into a service agreement
 with another RC or another Municipality for access to an arena or recreation centre.

This is Table 2 of YRC Project Preliminary Feasibility Study Report which is available at www.yorkruralcommunity.ca.


Monday, 17 July 2017


"An informed decision at the time of the plebiscite will serve us all well."


Hello,

I read the blog post from Lilly Sproule, dated July 12/17 - "...his statements are irrelevant."

What Ms. Sproule is critical about in relation to my post, can also be said about the Preliminary Feasibility Study as the study did not, in my opinion, demonstrate why the projects listed in the study at page 15 voted in favour of a Rural Community.  It would seem to me that without this piece of information, the information in the Preliminary Feasibility Study in relation to the LSD’s that chose to vote for a rural community is also irrelevant.  I fail to see how providing additional information for residents to consider, even if it is considered as negative by some, can be considered “irrelevant”.

Having said this, I do not really believe that the information provided in the Preliminary Feasibility Study  is irrelevant, there was actually some very insightful information contained therein.  The reason that I posted about the LSD’s that voted to remain status quo vs. rural community was simply to provide additional information, information that was omitted from the Preliminary Feasibility Study.  A balanced report provides information that allows residents to make a “more informed” decision.  An informed decision at the time of the plebiscite will serve us all well.

In closing, what I posted was not meant to be “negative”, simply information intended to complete/complement the statement made at page 15 of the Preliminary Feasibility Study (telling the whole story).

I enjoyed the Open House on July 12/17, as well as the discussions held.

Thank you,

Frank LeBlanc
Tay Creek


Sunday, 16 July 2017



An Excerpt from the YRC Project Preliminary Report...


The St. John River at Upper Kingsclear



The communities where New Brunswickers live, work, play and call home have two broad categories of governance. 
First, there are areas in the province with locally elected and administered government (i.e. cities, towns, villages and rural communities).  The Municipalities Act is the main piece of legislation that governs the powers, responsibilities and operations of these local governments. Overall, a local government is an incorporated community that:
  • governs itself
  • provides residents with the opportunity to choose representatives (i.e. a council) who will make decisions that reflect and respond to their views and concerns
  • identifies and reviews service needs and align service delivery with what residents, businesses and organizations want, need and are willing to pay for
Second, there are areas in the province without locally elected and administered government (i.e. LSDs).  A LSD is an unincorporated area comprised of one or more communities that is managed by the Minister of Environment and Local Government.

(taken from page 12 of the YRC Project Preliminary Feasibility Study report.  For more details on incorportated and unincorporated areas, please consult the report at www.yorkruralcommunity.ca)


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Open House at Keswick Valley Recreation Centre - July 12, 2017

There was a steady flow of attendees at the 2nd Open House of the Round 2 Public Consultation for the YRC Project.  Participants learned about the current cost to residents for administration of local services delivery (i.e. the status quo situation in our LSDs) and how it would compare with costs if a rural community model for delivery of local services was adopted.  There was very valuable input from Project area residents about the proposed ward structure and council makeup.  

The YRC Project steering committee would like to express their appreciation to the citizens who came to the two Open Houses this week to share their concerns with us, to give us their advice and, especially, to take the opportunity to be fully informed about how local services delivery takes place in LSDs and in rural communities in New Brunswick.




Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"...his statements are irrelevant."

Hello,

I read the blog post from Frank LeBlanc, of Tay Creek - "...I Believe Residents Deserve to Know."

What Frank did not do, in my opinion, was to find out why these projects he refers to did not vote in favour of a Rural Community.  It would seem to me that without this piece of information, his statements are irrelevant.

We can all find the negatives in things, but what I have found more interesting are hearing from people such as Mayor Munn, who was vehemently against his community becoming a Rural Community and then was glad they did, and even stated they should have done it sooner.

Thank you,

Lilly Sproule
Keswick Ridge


Open House at Riverside Resort - July 11, 2017

YRC Project Round 2 Public Consultation Open Houses

Throughout the evening, well over 100 people dropped by the Riverside Resort in French Village to participate in the first Open House for the Round 2 Public Consultation sessions that are part of the YRC Project Feasibility Study.  

There were stations set up around the room each staffed by YRC Project volunteers and/or staff from the Department of Environment and Local Government and from Regional Services Commission 11.  These resource people answered questions that attendees had about the status quo (continuing on with a LSD model of local services delivery) and the proposed YRC (changing to a Rural Community model of local services delivery).  

The second Open House (with the same stations and displays) will take place this evening (July 12th) at the Keswick Valley Recreation Centre, 1262 Route 104, Burtts Corner.  Please plan to attend.



Saturday, 8 July 2017



The Preliminary Feasibility Study Report is Now Available On-line!




The preliminary feasibility study report for the YRC Project is now on the website for Project area residents to review.  It shows the findings about the economic, service, political, social, financial and environmental evaluations that have been completed for the Project area up to the mid-point of the study.  The final report will be released on July 31, 2017.  Please go to the website and take a look at the report.  

www.yorkruralcommunity.ca  

Friday, 7 July 2017





Round 2 Public Consultation
(Open House sessions 7 – 9 pm)


July 11  Riverside Resort, 35 Mactaquac Road, French Village

July 12  Keswick Valley Rec Centre, 1262 Route 104, Burtts Corner


The room layout for each Open House is shown below.  We need your input.  Please plan to attend.  






Thursday, 6 July 2017




Property Tax Base and Property Tax Rates


            Creating a RC or remaining as a LSD has no effect on the assessed value of a residential or commercial property.  However, it should be noted that pooling tax bases can reduce the impact of expenditure increases on residents’ property tax bill.  The following explains how this is the case.

            The tax base refers to the total assessed value of an area’s or community’s properties.  It is based on real market value, as assessed by Service New Brunswick, which means the most probable price the house would sell for on the open market.  The tax base is the means by which an LSD, RC, or municipality can generate revenues to pay for the delivery of local services to its residents.

           Table 4 presents the 2016 and 2017 tax base for the  partnering LSDs of the YRC project.  When combined, this means that the 2017 tax base for the YRC Project area is $805,781,000.  It also presents the property tax revenue generated from a 1¢ per $100 of assessment increase in the tax rate. 

    
Table 4 – 2016 to 2017 Property Tax Base (Assessed Value) *

Area
2016 Tax Base (Assessed Value)
2017 Tax Base (Assessed Value)
2017 Tax Revenue Generated by a 1¢ Tax Rate Increase
LSD of Bright
$96,677,200
$100,470,050
$10,047
LSD of Douglas
$249,218,700
$248,844,950
$24,885
LSD of Keswick Ridge
$158,918,550
$156,554,950
$15,655
LSD of Kingsclear
$268,970,900
$268,993,100
$26,899
Lower Queensbury
$30,470,090
$30,917,950
$3,092
Total – YRC Project Area
$804,255,440
$805,781,000
$80,571



 * Taken from Page 22 of the YRC Project Preliminary Feasibility Study Report