Monday, January 16, 2012

Three Lunenburg County Councils exploring Joint Services

It's still very early but a trio of Lunenburg County councils have taken the preliminary step to become one. The representatives of Mahone Bay, Bridgewater and the District of Lunenburg have agreed to receive a joint services report so residents can have their say. The three councils won't accept the report until members debate them at council meetings and public consultations are complete. Still, District of Lunenburg Mayor Don Downe says its a big step forward.
"We want to take a look at what we need to do in a cooperative way to provide better services at a less cost to residents of Lunenburg County. Whether it's less cost today or less cost later on, the issue is what's the best formula that we need to put together to provide a good, accountable government to the residents of our Municipality."
Brian Smith with Marathon Human Resources Consulting Group suggested the three councils form a regional services board for three years before deciding to amalgamate. The report recommends the regional service board include members of each of the three councils and provide joint services in solid waste management before expanding to recreation and economic development. Between 15-20 members of the public took-in Monday night's meeting at the Mahone Bay Fire Hall. Bridgewater Mayor Carroll Publicover says he isn't discouraged by a lack of public presence.

"Things could really change. The composition of how their town is governed, how their services are delivered. I think they will become more part of it, more engaged and more interested."
Public information sessions are scheduled to begin next week: Monday January 23- Mahone Bay Fire Hall,

Tuesday January 24 at Pinehurst Community Hall, Wednesday January 25 at Riverport Community Centre
Thursday January 26 at Bridgewater High School and Monday January 30 at Petite Riviere Fire Hall. All meetings start at 7pm.

Shared Services Meeting in Mahone Bay

Three municipal governments are about to find out if its feasible to move ahead with sharing services. Marathon Human Resources Consulting Group completed the report and will release its findings Monday night. The presentation will review recommendations on the best ways to deliver municipal services between Mahone Bay, Bridgewater and the Municipality of Lunenburg. Mahone Bay Mayor Joe Feeney says the public should participate in the meeting.
"It will provide an opportunity for the public to see first-hand, the report as it is released to councils for action."
The meeting will be held Monday night at the Mahone Bay Fire Hall at 6pm.


It appears many South Shore residents are concerned about the growing size of their power bills and want to find ways to save energy. An overwhelming number of respondents to our weekly poll ... 90 percent said they want to get their power costs down. Only ten percent say they aren't looking for ways to save energy. Renewable Energy Expert Wayne Groszko says turning off unused lights and not draining the electric water heater are obvious ways to save. Pulling the plugs on TV's, computers and radios will also do it because even though they may be shut off, they are still draining power unless you pull their cords. Groszko also says the old story about keeping an electric radiator set at one temperature will save energy ... isn't true. "If you have ordinary electric base board heat you're actually going to save a considerable amount if you set the temperature back a few degrees at night and use and extra blanket - it does actually save a significant amount," Groszko says everyone should do a check-list of power-using items in their home and look for ways to cut power bills. He says Clean Nova Scotia can help and so can the Ecology Action Centre.

MODL: Dawson Heights Paving Needs Support

The Municipality of Lunenburg is seeking the province's help to pave Dawson Heights. Mayor Don Downe says they are asking the government to chip-in half the cost to pave the subdivision street. Downe says they also need residents support to move forward with the funding request. "It is contingent on 75 percent of the support from residents because it will be paying the other half of the project, so once we hear their support of that then the project will go forward. It's won't go forward otherwise," Thirty-two residents live on Dawson Heights Road, meaning at least 24 households would have to agree to pay half the estimated $307-thousand. Downe says the issue needs to be sorted before a government deadline or the Municipality would have to wait until next year to pave the street.

Paper Machines Running @ Bowater Mersey

Employees at Bowater Mersey are back to work this morning following an extended shutdown. Paper machines at the mill had been down since Christmas. Operations were set to resume on January 9th but due to poor market conditions in Europe the shut down was extended another week. Earlier this month, Bowater's CEO Brad Pelley told reporters in Liverpool that some of the mill's traditional clients were flooded with paper products. Officials at the mill were hoping an extended shutdown would help create some demand for paper.