Monday, April 30, 2012

Aquaculture Headquarters Moving To Shelburne County

The province is re-locating its aquaculture division to Shelburne County. Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau made the announcement today. The move will see 12 positions move to Shelburne County by the end of the year. CAO Kirk Cox says they're pleased to receive the aquaculture headquarters.
"We have been trying to develop that industry over the last few years and we're working with the private sector and other levels of government to do that. So, the fact that it's the Aquaculture Department that is coming to Shelburne, hopefully that signals a real commitment to the industry as well, by the government of Nova Scotia."
Cox says the municipality approached the province when they announced their intentions to move civil service jobs out of Halifax in March. The Nova Scotia government also announced 25 Justice Department jobs would be moved to New Waterford and 22 from the Fisheries Department to the Digby-Clementsport area.

Five Charged After Incident In Bridgewater

Bridgewater Police have charged four youths and an adult after an incident on Dufferin Street. Police say an 18 year-old was chased by a group of people and threatened with a knife. It's not known what caused the confrontation which initially began on King Street. According to police, the victim's vehicle was eventually surrounded and the window smashed out. Various charges have been laid ranging from breach of probation to possession of a dangerous weapon and uttering threats. An 18 year-old male is in police custody and is due in court this week for a show cause hearing.

Chester: Green Light For Streetscape Plan

Chester Council has given a streetscape plan for North Street unanimous approval. The plan is designed to set standards that will shape how the highway 3 corridor will look for commercial and residential properties. However, members of the Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce aren't happy with some areas of the document pertaining to density. Chamber President Ben Wiper believes the document needs to be tweaked to avoid contradictions in the streetscape plan.

"It's impossible to build an economically viable dwelling unit - say an apartment - with twelve units unless you can go at least three floors high with an apartment. The numbers just don't work. You are losing money, the bank will never lend you money to build something like that because it just doesn't work on paper,"

Warden Allen Webber recognizes there are some issues with the plan.

"It's not only the developer that has an issue with density, the municipality itself is sensitive to the density issue because when you are constructing water, sewer, sidewalks...all those things...the greater the density the more economical it can be done. It's an issue that needs to be addressed. Whether or not they (Chamber of Commerce) are correct it impedes development because of economics the jury is still out on that but we will hear their arguments,"

He says the organization will be given the opportunity to voice their concerns with the municipality's planning advisory committee. The 'PAC' would be able to bring amendments to the plan forward if they determine changes to the plan are valid.

MODL Preparing To Start Road Work

The Municipality of Lunenburg is gearing up to improve their roads. A tender is being finalized this week for groups to bid on maintenance work. The road work is in communities like Auberndale, Conquerall Bank, Hebbville, Italy Cross, Oak Hill, Garden Lots and Pine Grove. The work includes brush cutting, ditching, the supply and placement of concrete aggregates, grading and compaction as well as dust control. The estimated cost is $125,000 a year. The work would start June 1 and last until May 31, 2015.

McGee: Can't Keep Paying For Lunenburg Academy

The deputy mayor in Lunenburg believes the town is presenting a good budget for its residents. However, John McGee has some concerns over how the town will manage the costs associated with maintaining Lunenburg Academy. The town needs to cut about $218,000 from its operating budget in order to pay for the academy. McGee says the building is the fly in the ointment.

"I was concerned that they were picking up on some of the things that they had benefit of being in there and they weren't really valid cuts is the way I was looking at it...and that they were maybe forced cuts or I kept using the word heroic and I'm suggesting that may not be the best thing to cut ourselves to the bone to fund the academy may not be what we want to do here,"

The town is faced with a $177,000 price tag to maintain the academy after it took possession of the historic building at the end of March. Council has yet to approve the budget and will hold public meetings in May. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday at 5:15PM at the town office in Lunenburg.

URB Hearing Postponed For Local School Board

A meeting to review the size of the South Shore Regional School Board has been delayed. It was announced late last week, a meeting scheduled with the province's Utility and Review Board Wednesday has been postponed. It's believed because of a recent amendment to the Education Act. Earlier this month, the province decided to amend the Act to allow the opportunity for smaller school boards. The amendment will require school boards to have at least five members, along with two at-large members representing African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq communities. The current minimum is eight. No alternate date has been set yet for a meeting on the South Shore.