For the latest Town of Hantsport news, be sure to read the Hants Journal.
Big decisions are on the horizon for the Haven of Hospitality.
This month not only marks Hantsport town council's decision on what municipality they would like to join — either Kings County or West Hants — but the presentation of reports that will hopefully shed some light on which would be the best option for the small town to make.
After months of speculation, it will be a relief to finally have comprehensive studies to peruse. These financial, social, and economic studies will help council weigh the options and plot out the best course of action for the town's future.
That may mean council will vote to dissolve and become a district of West Hants or Kings County. It may mean transitioning to village status and joining one of the neighbouring municipalities. Depending on what the studies show, there may still be a way for Hantsport to maintain some political autonomy pending a dissolution merger.
But before people weigh in on what this small town should do, it's essential that the reports be presented and the findings clearly discussed and debated. Doing so will not only benefit the community, but the receiving municipality and province as well.
Concrete facts and figures are required to make an appropriate, and educated, decision. The emotional side of this issue must be set aside, at least at first, in order to objectively weigh the pros and cons.
The public must be given the time and opportunity to devour these reports as well. They must be given the chance to voice their opinions, objections and observations. It's the only way for council to have community buy-in moving forward.
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Given the nature of the discussions, this is a decision that should not be taken lightly, nor rushed, even with a deadline looming.
That being said, council and the town’s some 1,200 residents are facing one of the most difficult decisions in Hantsport's 119 years as a town.
Even before dissolution became an official option, Hants Journal reporter Ashley Thompson was providing readers with in-depth coverage of the town's situation. Most recently, she has delved into a series looking at the challenges and triumphs the small town has experienced over the years.
In this week's edition, she spoke with two prominent, long-time residents of Hantsport: St. Clair Patterson and John Harvie.
Both of these men have lived through many of the town's ups and downs. And while the town is currently experiencing a significant slump, neither man feels it's the end of Hantsport. And they're absolutely correct.
Regardless of town, village or district status, Hantsport still has its people, its heritage and its history. No amount of political manoeuvring will change that.
Although a big decision is on its way, Hantsport will remain Hantsport as long as the community members continues to support one another. If history is any indicator, the community will do just that.