By now, it has sunk in that we are in the midst of winter but the sun is shining and that makes everyone feel a little better.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Committee of the Whole Meeting on January 10th as I was away. There was a presentation by Patty-joe MacMillan, District Manager of the Department of the Environment on the topic of the Riparian buffer zone which is the edge of the waterline and what property owners must do to protect watercourses from impacts of development.
Janet Emin, President of the Friends of the Yarmouth Lighthouse Society updated the Councillors on the last season and asked for support of the construction of a ramp to make the fog alarm building accessible.
The Mariner’s Centre, YMCA and Curling group gave another presentation on the Mariner’s Expansion Project which is estimated at a cost of $30 million. This is a topic for the 3 councils to discuss at the next joint meeting, as it continues to be #3 on the joint council priority list. In the meantime, the curling club needed funds to replace equipment that was no longer functioning. All three municipal councils supported their request for funds and fortunately the club is now open for curling. They are still fundraising as the cost of replacement exceeded the amount that was initially required.
The CAO report can be found online on the MODY website.
A number of items were deferred to the regular council meeting which was held on January 24th. Please keep in mind that the Regular Meetings can be seen on Facebook Live and I have asked that they remain available until being posted on Youtube. I also made a motion to record the Committee of the Whole Meetings which passed unanimously. Transperancy for our constituents is very important.
Gus from Waste Check made a presentation on the issues we encounter with single use plastic bags. China is not taking them for recycling at present and if they have to be buried in the landfill, they take 1000 years to break down. The question was raised about a ban on single use plastic bags. Would like your thoughts please? The reusable ones used for groceries carry a greater risk for e coli if used for meat. In the meantime, you can request paper bags when you go to the grocery store. In addition, I suggest more stores use paper or recyclable bags. When you go to stores besides the grocery store, take a reusable bag; we often don’t think of using them in independent stores. As a business owner I intend to switch to paper as soon as my supply of plastic bags has diminished. Loren Cushing suggested that maybe we could find away to use the bags to manufacture something else in Nova Scotia.
The Municipality of Yarmouth has received much support from neighbouring communities with regards to getting Doppler Radar in South West Nova. The federal government has expressed that the present Doppler locations will be updated and new systems put in place. Our end of the province was not identified as getting a system and after looking at the map for coverage, the waters off Yarmouth County are still not adequately monitored. We will be meeting with Environment and Climate Change Canada on February 27th. Having the weather predicted with a high degree of accuracy is extremely important to our fishers.
I have attended the last two meetings of the Yarmouth International Airport Board. Alain Muise, CAO of Argyle has taken over as Interim Manager and is setting the stage for great progress. At present, our airport has been downgraded to 301 from 302 which means that we cannot have regularly scheduled service. A 302 regulated airport would require significant infrastructure improvements which would require millions of dollars.The good news is by downgrading to 301, the cost of maintaining the airport will go down.
It is proposed that we make the airport a high-end 301 and market it to Charter aircraft companies around the world which has never been done. We still have the opportunity for small to medium size cargo shipments. We presently have 1200 – 1600 flights per year. Please remember our airport is used for Medivac, Coast Guard, DNR, DFO, charters, private corporations and the Military. We are very lucky to have it and do not want to lose it. Like the train, once it is gone it won’t come back. Maybe someday we will be able to upgrade and have regular flight service again. I sure miss it!
Mayor Pam Mood initiated 100 Meals for 100 days in Yarmouth County. Meals are available once per day at a variety of locations for anyone who would like to attended. On Sunday the town councillors and I served up delicious bowls of chilli at the Lions Club. Thanks to Councillor Gerard LeBlanc and his team for providing the wonderful music. The schedule can be found on the Town of Yarmouth Website. All welcome!
Wow, special thanks to Madeleine and Howard Snow for the use of the Port Maitland Legion Hall for seniors’ activities on Wednesday afternoons. There was a great group today, playing music, games, putting together puzzles, colouring etc. Everyone is invited. They are having a Pot Luck on February 9th!! Thanks Phyllis Jane for organizing this wonderful community activity.
Please let me know if you have anything you wish to share and I can post on my FB page.
Best regards to all,