Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

As this is the second night of the Festival of the Lights, I would like to wish all of my Jewish constituents a very Happy Hanukkah. Enjoy your latkes and celebrations.

In addition, I would like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.  Please enjoy time with friends and family and wish for peace on earth.

It has been a very busy month for MODY.

We have continued to work with the federal government to bring dopplar radar to South West Nova. The support from the neighbouring municipal units has been overwhelming.

The Cedar Lake and Forest Glen Rural Internet Projects are moving along well. Special thanks to Gerry Curry and the Cedar Lake Wireless Group for putting forth the application and successfully acquiring funds. They are up and running!  Mark Blinn, our Economic Development Officer has been working diligently on the Forest Glen Project and they are full steam ahead.

The Phase Three Hebron Sidewalk Project is complete and we hope the citizens are enjoying the connection between the Highway 1 sidewalk and the trail.

We are waiting for the province to approve our Water Supply Upgrade lending program.  Once approved it would allow home owners to borrow up to $10,000 from the municipality to dig or drill a new well by a certified well driller. Please note there is no guarantee of reaching water or the quality of the water. A lien would be put on your home until it is paid off. Please call the office for more information.

In November a motion was passed to assist the curling with funds required to purchase new equipment in the amount of $11,000.

We have had much discussion around the legalization of cannabis and will be continuing with this in the new year.  July 1, 2018 is coming quickly and we have to be prepared with our own by-laws and policies.

We continue to support the construction of a cancer clinic in Yarmouth county and will hopefully be able to share our concerns during a meeting with Dr. Bethune, NSHA in the new year.

Many thanks to Don Houston and crew from the Department of Highways for getting our signs up in the Port Maitland area, repairing Quaco Road,  and clear cutting the bushes on the Crosby Rd. In our meeting today we discussed waterline improvements to the road to the Sandford wharf.  Don said the repairs could not be done until spring and until such time they would maintain the road this winter.  Also in Sanford, there are issues of drainage near the boat builders shop. They will repair the shoulder again and get the water draining into the ditch. Please let me know if the road gets iced up again and I will give Don a call.

Port Maitland Beach and John’s Cove have consistently been the winners of YASTA’s best beach award. Today I made a motion to direct staff to research the installation of washrooms at John’s Cove. I know Councillor Cushing has already begun the process. In addition I asked that we partner with Department of Natural Resources to improve the facilities at Port Maitland Provincial Beach. The traffic is increasing at our beach and I know local visitors  and tourists would appreciate a new comfort centre.  It is the province’s mandate to increase tourist traffic and we need to insure we have the proper infrastructure in place.

Today we had a presentation from Aaron Colwell and Dave Doucette regarding connection of a local bus service to Kings Transit in Weymouth. They spoke very highly of the benefits of the service through the valley and would like to see Yarmouth added to the run. There would be a considerable cost to the Municipality for a service of this nature. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please note that the top priorities of the Joint Councils continue to be the airport, the ferry terminal and the expansion of the Mariners Centre. The Board of the Airport is meeting regularly and have some significant decisions to make to improve the infrastructure. We have to look at ways to increase revenue. Remember it is still in regular use by Lifeline and Search and Rescue.The airport sees between 1300-1600 flights in and out each year.

Finally, the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth voted to accept a proposal from the Y’arc to purchase Arcadia School for the purpose of a new arts centre and theatre. A formal purchase and sale agreement is yet to be drawn up.  The Municipality’s position from previous councils has been that they would support the Y’ARC once they found a location.   As you will find out, I voted nay on the motion.  While I agreed with the sale of the building,  past experience and much research on regional planning lead me to the conclusion that an arts facility should be in the downtown core for economic development, accessibility, and tourism.  I also felt that the Y’ARC group, who are highly talented and experienced in drama/theatre, should have consulted with the rest of the arts groups and societies prior to making the offer. Had the proposal been strictly for a theatre/ playhouse, I would have supported the motion.

Please get in touch if you have any concerns, would like to chat about local issues and let me know if you would like me to attend a function in your area.  Best of luck to all the local lobster fishers in the area, be safe and have a successful season.

Best wishes for this holiday season,

Patti

Joint Council Meeting October 24th, 2017

Good afternoon! Last night we attended a joint council meeting at the Municipality of Argyle building. We heard a presentation about the Mariner’s Centre/ YMCA/Curling Club. While they are looking for approval for the expansion there were still a few unanswered questions such as:
How much will they get for their own building?
What goals do they have for fund raising?
How much will the building cost to operate?
What is the expected contribution required by the three municipalities?
It is difficult to support this project until I know the answers to the questions.
While everyone loves new facilities, we have to know it will be supported and that we have the money to maintain it.
 
There was some discussion around a new arts and culture centre and how it is badly needed in the area. We have to keep in mind that we do need to think about kids in particular that are not athletic and make sure they have a place to express themselves which is affordable. Whatever gets built, operating expenses play a huge role. We are building for future generations. I always follow my dad’s philosophy of “do it right the first time!” So much to think about with regards to both facilities.
 
All three councils support acquiring Doppler Radar in South West Nova so we will continue to pursue with the federal government.
 
A meeting will be set up with Dr. Bethune and the councils to show support for having a full cancer unit in Yarmouth.
 
We had an excellent discussion on governance and priorities. The CAO’s will be drafting a memorandum of understanding for councils consideration on how to make decisions based on priorities and the ability to make those decisions at joint council meetings. At present, all decisions are made at individual council tables.
 
I have to say it was a pleasure to work with all the councillors, wardens and the mayor. We do have differences of opinion at times and that is okay we live in different areas. We all went away with a positive feeling about how well we can work together to do what is best for Yarmouth County.
Fall has arrived!

Fall has arrived!

It has been a busy September and I will do my best to give you the most important information from the month.

First of all I want to wish all of the Jewish members of the community L’Shana Tova, may you have a happy, healthy  and safe 5777.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting, we had a presentation by NS Power. They will be moving towards the installation of smart meters in 2019. The advantage is that is allows customers to see their daily usage.  They have come to the limit with what they can do with wind power for now. They can’t count on it for daily usage and will always need a back up source of energy.  The Tusket project is getting an 18 million dollar investment.  They are continuing to study the reports of the the Turbine project,  having worked closely with fishing associations it doesn’t appear that the marine animals have been affected. More information will be available following their quarterly report.

The Council has received much support from neighbouring communities with regards to getting Doppler Radar in Yarmouth and will continue to pursue with the Federal Government.

Here is a link to the September Agenda which contains the CAO Report:

https://www.district.yarmouth.ns.ca/index.php/council-and-committees/agendas-a-minutes

Highlights of the Regular Council Meeting September 27th, 2017:

Paul Comeau, Grant Thornton, did a review of the financial statements and I am happy to report that we had just over a million dollar surplus. Those funds are put into the capital budget to be used towards large projects for example the demolition of the Domtex Building.  We have a number of  possible projects in the works including repairing the runway at the airport!!!

Fall Clean up occurs this weekend. Check the link for information.

file:///Users/user/Downloads/FallCleanup2017.pdf

The first reading of the Water Supply Upgrade Lending Program By-Law W-1028-17 was passed to the second reading. Once it passes second reading, it has to be approved by the provincial government. It allows residents to borrow money from the Municipality to install a new drilled well and add the debt to your tax bill. This was in response to the drought we experienced last summer. For more information please call the office.

We also passed the VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDERS CAPITAL LOAN POLICY V-108-02, which increases the amount Fire Departments can borrow for new equipment from $150,000 to $250,000.  We recognize the cost to purchase new equipment such as trucks has increased.

I made a motion to direct staff to look into live streaming or using Facebook live for our council meetings, motion was carried.  Apparently Eastlink will be showing the recorded version starting at 9:30 pm on the Tuesday following the meeting. Not something I would want to watch at that time!!!! I feel you should be able to watch the meetings when they occur. Both the Municipality of Argyle and Town of Yarmouth show their meetings live!!

Sandford Drawbridge Update: Kevin Shaw, Harbour Authority and Denise Sullivan, Small Craft Harbours are working on a proposal to be presented to the Municipality of Yarmouth and the Provincial Government to request shared funding. I have support from our council and Zach Churchill will also look for funding. Denise said that are willing to share the costs.  Hoping we can move quickly to make this happen.

New Highway 1 Signs:  Bill Curry, Old Stones Cemetary, Hubert and Belle’s and Yacuik’s Antiques have purchased  4′ x1′ signs for a group display coming into the village. The first one is going up tomorrow on Highway 1, on the edge of Bill’s property. Thanks Alex and Jonathan for putting it up.There is room for more businesses so if anyone is interested please get in touch with me so I can provide the information of where we had them made. We are purchasing our own signs and are sharing the cost of the materials, permit and labour to put it up. We are continuing to pursue two more locations.   We think this will help put us on the map and have people recognize us as a destination! We are only 15 minutes from town but some people think it is far!

I have passed on numerous road issues to Don Houston, TIR. I know how busy they are but am hoping some problems will be resolved. The list includes: The road to the Sandford wharf which gets flooded in the winter, the ditch near the boat builders where water flows onto the road and causes major ice issues, the lack of new signs on Highway 1 at the Richmond Road, the need for ditches on the Crosby Rd, filling in gravel on Spyder Street so people can walk and more!

Please, if you see ATV’s on the beach, please report to Department of Natural Resources since it is illegal. I have also requested more poop and scoop signs!!

That’s all for now.  Please call if you have any questions or concerns 902-746-3384

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Best Regards,

Councillor Patti Durkee, District 4, MODY

 

August 15, 2017

It is August already and I have seen leaves turning brown and falling from the trees.  I am not ready for summer to be over yet.  Needless to say it has been an amazing summer and I can say I have been very busy organizing and enjoying  local events.  For those of you who don’t know, in addition to being councillor I am: on the board of the Friends of the Yarmouth Light, on the Roaring 20’s Antique Car Show Committee and  Class of ’77 Reunion committee.   I am so pleased  to say that all three of these groups have had very successful events this summer.  They were all due to a dedicated group of volunteers who put their heart and soul into their work.  Congratulations to all.

On Saturday, I attended the Old Stones Heritage Day BBQ, auction and cafe at the Port Maitland Fire Hall.  Despite the miserable weather, there was a great turnout.  If you haven’t been to the three cemeteries, go for a visit. The committee has installed q codes so you can find information online about the individuals buried there. It is interesting to know that there are a large number of Mayflower descendants buried in the cemeteries. Many thanks to the large number of volunteers who organized this event. This year, The Old Stones Society was issued a grant from the Municipality of Yarmouth to rebuild a bridge linking one cemetery to the other.

I recently received an estimate for repairs to the Sandford drawbridge. I will be contacting all levels of government to try and secure funding for the badly needed repairs in order for it to be able to function.

I attended the Lakes and District Fire Department meeting to discuss the construction of an addition to the present building for the fire trucks and remodelling of the existing building to be used as a community centre and comfort centre.  There were approximately 20 people in attendance including Councillor John Cunningham and Councillor Cushing. After an excellent presentation by Scott and Corrine Killiam, a show of hands indicated that the majority of people in attendance were in favour of the expansion.  The Municipality of Yarmouth has issued a grant in the amount of $10,000 to support the local fundraising efforts.  This money is in addition to the annual operating and capital expenditures grants.

Don Houston, Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal was contacted by local resident Roger Hubbard with regards to maintenance on the Main Shore Road and repairs on the Quaco Rd.  His response was very positive and we can look for changes to be made in the future.  I am hoping the new signs on the 101 Highway will go up any day!

Unfortunately, dog poop  and dogs off leash continue to be a problem at Port Maitland Beach. DNR has placed poop bags onsite and I have been informed that more signage will be installed.  The same laws apply to horses, owners are required to clean up the poop.

We are continuing to work on the Well Assistance Bylaw which should come up before council for first reading in the fall.

Some highlights from the regular council meeting this month:

• a motion was passed to amend the Land Use Bylaw to allow the construction of a garage on the Hardscratch Road.

• the provincial government has a new fund for the improvement of gravel roads, unfortunately the only road designated under this fund  is the Ellis Rd. We will certainly be highlighting roads that could benefit from this program in future.

• a Canada 150th event will be held in September. Councillor Cushing has organized the purchase of 7 trees to be planted, one for each district. More information will be forthcoming.

•  Ken Moses presented a CAO report which outlines the activities of Municipality of Yarmouth and how projects are progressing. You can find the report on the Municipality’s website

https://www.district.yarmouth.ns.ca/index.php/council-and-committees/agendas-a-minutes

• Darlene LeBlanc, Director of Corporate Services, presented a report on Joint Municipal Accountability and Transparency Committee. Look for councillors expenses to be posted on our website in the near future.

https://www.unsm.ca/accountability-and-transparency.html

For more information please see the council agenda and minutes on the Municipality’s website.

To quote Bugs Bunny, “That’s all Folks!”