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Top 4 things to know from Windsor’s latest Committee of the Whole meeting

Community development students from Acadia University presented their report to Windsor council after surveying the town’s residents, businesses and infrastructure. They said the town has a tight-knit community with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, but a lack of public transit is having negative impacts on the community’s youth.
Community development students from Acadia University presented their report to Windsor council after surveying the town’s residents, businesses and infrastructure. They said the town has a tight-knit community with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, but a lack of public transit is having negative impacts on the community’s youth. - Colin Chisholm

Former Windsor arena fundraising funds being returned to businesses, citizens

WINDSOR, N.S. —

From a bylaw officer issuing tickets he shouldn’t to fundraising funds being returned, here’s the Top 4 things to know from Windsor’s latest committee of the whole meeting.

1. Community Development presentation

Students from Acadia’s community development program presented their findings of a survey of the town conducted a month ago, where they interviewed residents, business owners and compiled an inventory of the town’s assets.

On April 9, the students spoke to the town’s strengths and weaknesses. Strengths included a strong sense of entrepreneurship, citing a vibrant downtown merchant base with room to grow.

The also noted that local business owners also like to support each other, sourcing things from each other whenever possible, rather than looking to corporate options.

They also said that Windsor had a ‘close-knit’ community, noting that ‘the mayor was very easy to get a hold of,’ which spurred some laughter from council.

Some of the town’s challenges included a lack of public transit options for youth and lower-income people. The previous town council cut King’s Transit service in 2015, citing ballooning costs with little return.

The community development students added that this essentially requires everyone, including youth, to have access to a personal vehicle to obtain employment or have a sense of independence. They added that it also reduces the likelihood of vehicle-less visitors from other communities, like Wolfville.

Mayor Anna Allen thanked the students for their perspective and said they’re continuing to work on improving the community as they head towards consolidation with West Hants.

2. Bylaw officer handing out parking tickets by mistake

The town’s bylaw officer was reportedly handing out parking tickets to motorists for parking too long at the Avonian Place parking lot, where TAN Coffee and Daniels Flower Shop is located. The problem is, that’s a private lot and outside the town’s jurisdiction.

Chief administrative officer Louis Coutinho said the officer has been made aware and will no longer be giving out tickets on spaces that aren’t town-owned.

“I was made aware that our bylaw officer was ticketing in a private parking lot and I asked him to stop,” Coutinho said. “If they feel that they need that service they can go through the Commissionaires and hire their own enforcement.”

Coun. Jim Ivey asked how this arrangement began, and how the tickets were being administered.

Coutinho said it shouldn’t have begun in the first place.

As of April 16, some businesses located at Avonian Place still had signs stating that the town’s bylaw officer would be enforcing parking.

3. Hockey arena fundraising money being returned

The money fundraised for Windsor council’s earlier attempt to build a hockey facility near Long Pond is in the process of being returned, now that Windsor’s plan has been scrapped and West Hants is moving ahead with its own project.

An earlier Windsor-lead campaign, headed by local businessman Jeff Redden, saw community members buying seats in the arena along with other fundraising events, while the initiative was still underway.

Those funds are now being refunded to individual donors and businesses.

West Hants is undertaking a fundraising campaign of their own to help offset costs of their $15 million-plus sports complex, which includes a hockey arena and an indoor soccer field. The municipality recently passed a motion selecting Lindsay’s Construction as the main contractor, despite their plan costing more than other proponents.

4. Town RCMP sees a spike in problematic drivers

During his report to council, Cpl. Luc Cote, with the Windsor District RCMP, said his officers are seeing an increase in the number of drivers not using seatbelts, and an increase in distracted drivers.

He said they also saw an increase in impaired drivers in the month of February. In one case, one person was three times over the legal limit.

“The trend is a bit concerning,” Cote told council.

He said the impaired drivers are diverse in terms of age, ranging from their 20s to 60s.

In concluding his report, Cote said the recent legalization of marijuana has had relatively little impact on policing resources.

“For what we deal with on an everyday basis, it’s a non-event, really,” he said. “The only increase we’ve seen is an increase in impaired driving by drug (charges), which is largely thanks to new testing methods.”

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