Town and gown committee looking at alcohol, housing issues
Acadia University, Wolfville
By Wendy Elliott
Wolfville is set to double in population and town and gown committee has been busy preparing for the annual influx of Acadia University students.
James Sanford, director of student affairs, has been meeting with provincial alcohol and gaming officials this month about a request for the extended hours of opening without any alcohol sales.
So far the request is an individual one for the Axe Lounge on campus.
“I am hopeful this will grow among other establishments throughout the province who choose to invest in this type of environmental change that can lead to a reduction in harms associated with high risk behavior,” Sanford said.
A six-month trial is possible at the campus lounge. If approved, licensed establishments would be able to stay open beyond the 1 a.m. closing time, without adjusting the liquor service time.
Committee chairman and deputy mayor David Mangle said he thought it a good move. Patrons would get to socialize longer and owners could continue to serve non-alcohol products.
“Hopefully, the community would benefit from more peaceful neighbourhoods due to a more staggered leaving from the establishments, with more sobering time,” Mangle said.
Acadia officials also say they hope to make use of their non-academic judicial process to provide students with a voluntary option to provincial court should they receive summary offence tickets. Sanford said that would provide Acadia with a legitimate opportunity to be aware of issues off campus and work to affect the off-campus environment.
“We have been told that this process currently used for on campus issues has worked well,” Mangle noted. “We are quite hopeful this will be the case for off campus issues, as well.”
The town and university are committed to creating a system, he added, that provides landlords and students with the best possible accommodation and tenant matches for rental property options.
Mangle added the committee is investigating the possibility of establishing a non-profit organization that would be responsible for all things relating to rental housing in Wolfville. At this point, he said, specifically off-campus student housing.
“We are confident that this would lead to the establishment of better living conditions for all in Wolfville.”
Coun. Wendy Donovan, who lives near the downtown, said she would be interested in how this process goes. She said she would like to see a means for community comment about whether adjusting lounge hours makes the evenings more or less noisy.