Lockeport Mayor Darian Huskilson, Shelburne Municipal Warden Roger Taylor and Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall.
By Amy Woolvett
There will be a handful of projects on the radar of the three units for eastern Shelburne County. From health care to climate action change, there are plenty of projects on the table for the Municipality of Shelburne, the Town of Lockeport and the Town of Shelburne in 2014.
The Municipality of Shelburne
With a recent financial boost to the Shelburne Medical Clinic by a unanimous council, warden Roger Taylor is excited to see their support dollars finally be put to work.
“When the new council formed we sat down and honed our short-term priorities,” said Taylor.
The MOS is following closely their sustainability development plan.
Recently the municipality was finally able to put into operation, their community feed-in tariff program (Comfit) 50kw wind energy project near the end of December.
It was initially supposed to begin operation in the spring but the municipality went through a rigorous checklist by the province.
“We had to jump through a lot of hoops,” said Taylor. “But hopefully the money will now roll in.”
On the table for this year’s projects is a much larger Comfit of 800kw. The municipality was approved for the larger wind power project early last year and they will decide if it is worth moving ahead on the project.
Amalgamation will remain a hot topic for 2014.
“There are a lot of issues that need to be discussed around amalgamation,” said Taylor.
He said the initial look at amalgamation has a lot of holes and he deems a closer look will be necessary before forking over $50,000 for a study.
Taylor said he is all for amalgamation, as long as it protects his municipal residents.
“After the electoral boundary changed I thought we should all amalgamate,” said Taylor.
He said by amalgamating with neighbouring units, the area would have a lot of pull with the province.
“We would have a lot of power,” he said. “It would be hard for the province to ignore us.”
As well the municipality will be working with the province early in the new year to talk about the possibility of sharing a building with the province.
“It will help us to keep the provincial positions we do have here as well as to attract new positions.”
Town of Lockeport
Lockeport will be focusing its efforts on rolling out the recommendations in the Climate Change Action Plan document written and researched by Bill Atwood.
Previous storm surges in Lockeport have seen the town’s mayor Darian Huskilson focus his attention on protecting the town from upcoming storms.
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“My first concern is the safety of the residents and ensuring access on and off the island,” said Huskilson.
He said the island town needs to worry about climate change and the rising tide, as they will be directly affected.
“My goal is for that document to become a working part of all future developments,” he said.
Some of the changes to be implemented are by-law changes changing the rules of building too close to the beach for resident’s safety.
“We want to know how to best protect our longevity of town resources and how to best provide core services,” he said.
Overall, Huskilson is pleased with Lockeport’s progressive growth and feels it will continue forward throughout 2014.
Town of Shelburne
The Town of Shelburne’s mayor Karen Mattatall said the start of the New Year will focus on developing a budget including our capital projects and finalizing their strategic priorities.
“Time sure flies,” said Mattatall. “We are now starting a brand new year with lots of energy and enthusiasm and even more projects to challenge council and staff,” she said.
The town will be completing their Utility and Review Board hearing and will focus on developing plans to increase the number of water customers as well as to improve the financial position of the utility.
Mattatall said their goal is to reduce the proposed water rate increases.
“On a very positive note, the town has entered into an agreement to develop a branded advertising program that will focus on the town to help attract some of the 100,000 visitors arriving on the ferry as well as traveller from Halifax,” she said.
“Encouraging them to visit our town and take advantage of all it has to offer,” she explained.
As well the town has a number of capital projects expected in the near future including the opening of a public washroom facility at the Guild Hall, a motorized gate at the port authority, sidewalk repairs, minor renovations at town hall as well as equipment replacements.