Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Holy Trinity Church in Dire Need of Repairs

A Bridgewater heritage property is in desperate need of repairs. Town council heard Monday night the Holy Trinity Anglican Church could be in need of more than $250,000 to fix interior and exterior problems with the building. Some of the repairs needed include visible rot in the siding, a rotting beam in the bell tower, a deteriorating foundation wall and many electrical issues. The church has a $3600 grant request into council. Mayor Carroll Publicover says the condition of the heritage property is surprising to learn.
"It goes to show you that you cannot go by the surface veneer when you look at a building, it can look solid, it's a great looking building, who would have ever guessed it had that kind of trouble. I feel badly for them, I do."
Council will take the church's request under consideration during its budget process.

Public Transit Group Exploring Pilot Project for Bus Service

A group advocating for a bus service through Lunenburg County is proposing a three-year pilot project with local municipalities. Barbara Carthew and Jack Schoon with the Citizens for Public Transit presented the option to Bridgewater council Monday night. They spoke about setting up a bus service that would travel through Bridgewater, Municipality of Lunenburg, the town of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. Carthew says having buses available would be a positive for people in Lunenburg County including seniors.
"That would be a great boon to them because often they have to cancel hospital appointments, etc, etc. Some of the people would be people who are now wanting to go to the community college for upgrading their skills, so they can join the job market. Some of the people are people who are on social assistance or have court appointments and have no means of transportation."
The group is looking at running two 26-passenger buses, with a third as a spare, running fixed routes and schedules around the county. They are hoping to receive 50% funding from the province while the other 50% would be divided between the four municipalities. Bridgewater council referred the matter to senior management staff.

Ferry Issue Studied To Death - Time for Action: MLA Churchill

Former Yarmouth Ferry: The Cat
 There's lots of reaction to Premier Darrell Dexter's plan to study the need for a revised ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.  The premier has announced a panel of tourism, ferry and business experts will examine whats needed to make the service economically viable.  Yarmouth Liberal MLA Zach Churchill says the issue's been studied to death already.  He says a restored, ferry service is badly needed for the region and the province.  He says: "A ferry is not only viable ... its needed for the economy of southwestern Nova Scotia and the tourism sector across the province. What I would hope is the premier would take immediate action and provide the necessary resources in the economic, rural development and tourism (department) to start restoring the service instead of pushing this off for more people to look at."  Churchill says the Dexter government is simply trying to make itself look good after dropping the ball more than two years ago when it cancelled a subsidy to keep the service operating without first determining the potential impact.

VIDEO: Streetscape Plan Has Support in Chester

Residents of Chester were able to have their say during a public hearing Monday night on a streetscape plan for the Highway 3 corridor. Approximately 30 people attended the meeting to hear details on the plan which encompasses a stretch from Robinson's Corner to Stevens Road. Some of the main concerns centred around density, roof pitches and the exclusion of mobile and mini homes from the central village core area.  Warden Allen Webber thought the meeting went well and says council is much closer to approving the strategy. "Actually, I think we are closer to making a decision on how to move forward then I may have anticipated. I think the four or five meetings our planning staff conducted has really helped make people understand where we are at with this plan. It probably saved us quite a bit of time here this evening," The visionary document has been in the development stage for the past two years and is designed to encourage development but maintain the unique landscape in Chester. Council is expected to get some clarity on a few items before voting on the streetscape plan later this week.

(From left to right: Councillors Cheryl Scott, Brad Armstrong, Sharon Church-Cornelius and Warden Allen Webber)

Bridgewater Councillors Discuss 2012-13 Proposed Budget

It could be a sign of things to come in Bridgewater. Town councillors went over the proposed 2012-13 budget during their meeting Monday night. The figures indicate an operating budget of almost $19.3-million, an increase of over $850,000 from 2011-12. The capital budget would be $2.6-million with the tax rate holding steady at 1.669 per hundred of assessment. Mayor Carroll Publicover says he is pleased with how it looks so far.
"I think its a responsible budget. It doesn't call for a tax increase in either commercial or residential. Fortunately, we did receive some increased revenue from our increased assessment and we will use that wisely and in mostly areas for capital."
Council will hold three more budget meetings with the next one scheduled for April 30 at 6pm. Other meetings will be held May 7 at 6pm and the final debate is scheduled for May 14 at 7pm.