Year in Review 2013: MARCH

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March 7

The Nova Scotia government was offering to protect thousands of acres of Digby County wilderness and establish a new provincial park around one of the county’s most remote and historical sites.

A plan proposed by the Department of Natural Resources included a new 86 hectare provincial park reserve at New France, about 30 kilometres southeast of Weymouth. New France was the site of the Stehelin family settlement known as Electric City.

Pieces for Digby wharf’s new floating docks were slowly arriving. Fundy Contractors of St. George, N.B., dropped off six steel pilings on the wharf. The 33.5-metre long pilings would make up the supports for a set of floating docks to replace the recently demolished middle ell.

Town council said Digby’s public works department would only pick up residential leaf and yard waste every two weeks, starting April 1. It was the town’s first formal policy on yard waste pickup. For as long as anyone could remember, the town had simply picked up leaf and yard waste from the curbside whenever someone called to request it.

Local lobster fishermen soon would be able to buy lobster tags and logbooks from a fishermen’s association in Cornwallis. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans would no longer supply tags for any fishery starting after March 31 and had approved Fundy Fixed Gear Council as one of the official suppliers for tags and logbooks.

March 14

A deadline for the owner to demolish the former Digby Academy came and went. Mayor Ben Cleveland said the town had spoken to a few contractors to get an idea of the cost, but if it decided to proceed with demolition, a formal tender would be issued. Meanwhile, he said the town had had some discussions with parties interested in buying the property. For that reason, he said there was no hurry to demolish the building.

Town council committed to provide  $25,000 a year for the next four years for doctor recruitment. The money was on an ‘if needed’ basis. On the same basis, the Municipality of Digby and the Digby and Area Health Services Charitable Foundation had each earlier agreed to provide $60,000 a year for four years for South West Health to use for doctor recruitment.

Developers of the proposed Bay of Fundy Experience Centre were on the hunt for partners with money and enthusiasm. Dean Kenley, chair of the organizing committee, said the centre could cost $9 million to $16.7 million, depending on final plans.

“It has to have that ‘wow’ factor,” Kenley said. “I want people to be walking out of there and they can’t wait to tell their friends. That’s the only way this is going to work.”

Cooke Aquaculture began its first harvest of fish from its Grand Passage site in St. Mary’s Bay, although heavy winds interrupted the effort. The company called the harvest a milestone in its investment and expansion in Nova Scotia. With about 700,000 salmon in the fish farms in Grand Passage and Freeport, the harvest was expected to take about two months.

March 21

The ferry Princess of Acadia should be able to go two years without any more scheduled maintenance, said Bay Ferries. The Princess had returned to its Bay of Fundy service Feb. 12, after an absence of four weeks.

“We are, I believe, at the beginning of a new five-year cycle,” said Don Cormier, vice-president of operations at Bay Ferries. “So, we will have to go into drydock twice in the next five years but not for another two years. That’s what we foresee anyway.”

Supporters of the Digby-Saint John ferry wanted to make sure it was taken into account in any new regional tourism strategy. The Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism had announced it would appoint a team to enhance tourism in southwestern Nova Scotia as part of its plan to support a Yarmouth ferry.

March 28

A pole fire in Seabrook knocked out power to 1,300 customers on Digby Neck and the Islands. It was the third power failure in two weeks for island residents. The first two were caused by problems with a connecting bolt on the transmission tower in Tiverton.

Recreation Nova Scotia chose the Town and Municipality of Digby as the 2013 Model Volunteer Community of the Year. The provincial recreation body annually chooses one community “that has shown support for volunteers, that has worked together as a community on a project or projects to enhance the lives of its members, and managed through the support of volunteers, to make their community a better place in which to live.”

Organizations: Town council, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Fundy Fixed Gear Council Grand Passage Digby Academy Bay Ferries Area Health Services Charitable Foundation South West Health Department of Economic and Rural Development

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Digby County, Weymouth Electric City Bay of Fundy Cornwallis Acadia Tiverton

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