Attended the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities Regional Meeting today at the Mariner’s Centre. UNSM is a very important association which advocates on behalf of all the municipalities to the NS government. Five resolutions were made in 2016 and when we meet in the spring it will be interesting to review how effective the Province has been with addressing these needs. It was very helpful to meet with members of other councils in our region. Highlighted issues are: doctor shortage and retention, rural internet, forestry, public transportation in the region, economic development, sustainable funding for the seniors safety program. Thanks Pam Mood, Lyle Goldberg and UNSM president Laurie Murley for leading the meeting.
Welcome to March…. spring is on its way and so is the misery of driving on gravel roads. Some notes from today’s Committee of Whole meeting.
Don Houston of Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal answered questions today and of course they will be getting to the gravel roads after the spring thaw. FYI, higher volume roads are done first as well as those closest to the coast since they dry out faster. We will be getting a Main Shore Road sign in Port Maitland in the spring! I thanked him for installing the slippery road sign and repairing the highway in Sandford. You can find their 5 year plan for capital projects online.
Paul Beazley and Hubert Surette presented information on Property Valuation Services. Valuable information can be gathered on their website. www.pvsc.ca There are approximately 82 appeals on assessment in the Yarmouth County area and only 1 in 25 go to the appeal tribunal. If your home is described incorrectly, for example, it says you have 2 bathrooms when you only have one, then you should contact PVSC to let them know. 1-800-380-7775. The valuation of properties is based on: 1) Cost 2) Income 3) direct comparison. PVSC always takes the capped value of your home. The assessed value of a new house is higher than an older home due to 0% depreciation.
For those families in the Lake George area who have received letters from the Environment regarding land contamination, you can apply for a re -assessment. The assessed value of your property will likely be reduced while you are experiencing contamination issues. Please contact PVSC for more information.
Roger Devine, Development office, has been partnering with PVSC on Pictometry. He has access to aerial shots of the coastline and heavily populated areas as well as many lakes in our county. Fortunately, he is able to see illegal dumpsites, locations of derelict vehicles, and buildings where none should exist. This is a reminder that you must apply for permits when building and adhere to local by-laws which are available online.
It is spring, well at least it feels like it today!
The regular council meeting was held on February 22, 2017. Here are a few highlights:
• Council approved a letter of support for YASTA to apply for hosting the Canadian Cross Country Championships for 2019- 2022
• We approved the first reading of the Tax Reduction By Law
The purpose of this By-Law is to provide a reduction of taxes to nonprofit community, charitable, fraternal, educational, recreational, religious, cultural or sporting organization if, in the opinion of council, the organization provides a service that might otherwise be a responsibility of the council as allowed under Section 71(1) of the Municipal Government Act.
South Ohio Community Centre property acquisition is to be added
There were two housekeeping items of name changes.
• We approved the Low Income Reduction Policy L068-09
The purpose of this Policy is to provide partial tax relief of current taxes on primary residences for low income property owners as permitted under Section 69 of the Municipal Government Act
• We approved the Baby/Family Friendly Policy B-032-17
MODY acknowledges that under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act women have the right to breastfeed any place in public. MODY supports breastfeeding mothers to breastfeed within Municipal facilities and will provide the conditions (time, space and support) necessary to facilitate breastfeeding by both the public and employees.
• We approved of the changes in the Western Regional Economic Network funding allocations
• Grant requests will be heard during our budgetary meeting
• We have a number of properties that have come up for tax sale which haven’t sold. Since we have no use for these properties we approved that our financial officer put them up for sale via tender
I was please to see that a slippery road hazard sign was erected in Sandford near the boat builders. The shoulder will repaired as soon as the ground thaws. Thanks Don Houston of T.I.R.
I have been in touch with local businesses in the Port Maitland area to check for interest in erecting a group sign on the #1 Highway. S0 far, we have 7 businesses that are interested!! If you are a business and want to find out more, send me a message.
I have suggested that the Port Maitland sidewalk continues on the other side of the school as recommended by a constituent. Will continue to pursue.
Please let me know if you would like me to attend a meeting or event!!
Best regards to all and please share this website with your neighbours!
At least the sun is out and the snow is starting to melt!!! We have had more than our share of snow this past week. Thanks to all those who worked hard to clean up the mess including my husband who has been keeping the driveway shovelled.
Received an update from Derek Sutherland today re the sidewalks. They are doing there best, but we have a problem. The process is delayed because homeowners and private snow removal contractors are plugging the the sidewalks with driveway snow which creates unmanageable piles. The ice that forms plugs up the blowers and breaks shear pins, etc. Until the warm weather melts some of the snow and reduces the piles, they can’t get through. Hopefully, it will happen on Tuesday. Please remember not to pile snow on the sidewalks when cleaning up your driveways.
Took a drive down the Sandford Road today to check conditions. Please be advised that there is quite a dip in the road near the boat builders where water accumulates and freezes. TIR is aware and will work on fixing the shoulder as soon as the snow melts.
I spoke to Don Houston of TIR, please be aware that if your lawn goes right up to a street or road and the lawn gets ripped up because of the snow plow, unfortunately they will not fix it in the spring. The reason being is that technically there should not be lawn up to the edge because of roadway clearance belonging to the Department of Transportation. If you live on a dirt road and there are bad ruts, they can take grate the edges off so please let them know if there is a problem. Sorry, potholes will not be repaired until spring.
The upcoming weeks will be very busy as we review capital expenditures for 2017. There are many possible projects which require large amounts of money:
The airport needs updating and keep in mind that it is presently used by Air Search and Rescue, the Hospital and large companies who fly in their executives. We just got our ferry functioning which will take time to grow. Do we want to lose a vital transportation link or invest and make it grow?
Our industrial park also needs attention to make it investment ready for companies. Keep in mind, economic development equals an increase in the tax base which in turn can be used for sidewalks etc.
The ferry terminal is certainly in need of an update
The Mariner’s Centre just completed a feasibility study which shows there is room for growth.
Cape Forchu Lighthouse is getting a facelift on the outside this summer. Do we invest more to make it a better attraction for both locals and visitors?
The idea of a Marine Centre of Research/Excellence has been suggested maybe with an aquarium. Our fishing industry is vital to our communities and it would be nice to see ongoing research here to make sure it is sustainable.
A regional arts centre would require investment by all levels of government.
These are all big projects. Would love to hear your thoughts. Please send me an email, respond to my blog, give me a call, message me on FB!!
If you would like me to attend an event or meeting, please send me an email to let me know.
I am researching the costs of repairing the Sandford Drawbridge and will be soliciting different levels of government to assist in the cost of repair. I will also be looking at some signage to direct visitors to our landmark!
Reminder that the Lakes and District Fire Department offers Bingo every Thursday night. They are working very hard to purchase a new truck and build an addition to house the trucks, host events and be able act as a comfort centre. They are appreciative of all and any support.
Best wishes to all, safe driving and stay healthy!
Sorry for the delay in posting this month, unfortunately I have been under the weather for a week! Hope none of you get this virus, it is nasty. To make matters worse, my husband has it and I have to listen to his man cough! LOL
So this is what is happening in the Municipality of Yarmouth:
The Western Regional Economic Network has hired a project leader to complete an application to the Federal Government for funding to improve rural internet. This has to be done in haste because of short deadlines. We have had two applications made by local groups to the Provincial Government but have not heard of any approval yet. Let’s hope we make some gains in this area. The MoDY approved the Municipality of Barrington to join the WREN.
We want to open the door to discussion with the neighbouring municipalities about a possible satellite office for a Marine Centre of Excellence in our area. The federal government is funding a huge new centre in Dartmouth. Since we depend on the fisheries industry and considering the latest problem with all of the dead fish in the area, we felt it important that this area be part of any ongoing research.
It is evident that more information be obtained from both the Ministries of Environment and Department of Natural Resources with regards to shoreline protection (riparian buffer zone). Although we do have a bylaw, it is very difficult to enforce. Area residents must understand the negative impact that excavation has on our shoreline, the last thing we want is more of our lakes polluted with blue green algae. We will be consulting with environment and DNR to see about possible consequences.
We will be participating in Purple Day , Epilepsy Awareness, which is March 26th and the month of March is epilepsy awareness month.
We will be addressing the well drilling program by creating a policy in our next bylaw and policy committee meeting. We want to be ready to support constituents with being able to fund well drilling through their taxes when the provincial government passes legislation allowing us to move forward. Many thanks to those of you who have been helping people with water issues. It is greatly appreciated.
Loren Cushing suggested planting a grove of trees in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday. He has offered to gather information on possible locations and costs.
Last August, resident Shonda Irving made contact with various levels of government looking for support to suggest the Irving Oil company paint the tanks on Bunker’s Island with the Canada Flag. It would be a great gesture for Canada’s 150th Birthday. I have been in contact with Irving and they have agreed to do something in 2017 to make their property more attractive. They do not know yet what that will be but appreciated Shonda’s suggestion of the flag. They have offered to consult with Municipality as their ideas unfold. Nice that something will finally happen on Bunker’s Island.
I have been receiving a number of calls about the poor quality of some of the roads in our district. The information does get passed on to the Ministry of Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal. Unfortunately, I have no control at the speed at which repairs are made. We will be meeting with Don Houston soon so if you notice signs are down or missing, please let me know and I will pass on the information. We are needing a Main Shore Road sign in downtown Port Maitland, particularly for ambulance purposes and the Ross Durkee Road sign is broken!
The Lake George Fire Department is continuing to raise funds for a new building. Please help by attending Meat Bingo on Thursday nights!
If there is any information you would like me to share on my website. drop me a note at email@example.com
Stay healthy and safe!
Attended the Planning Advisory Committee meeting and there was considerable discussion about the Riparian buffer zone which is the land at the edge of the of a shoreline. They have vegetation which is strongly influenced by the water which includes bushes, trees and flowers native to the area. If the area is excavated, it can cause great harm to the environment including polluting the lakes with blue green algae. The above picture demonstrates the destruction of the zone.
The Municipality of Yarmouth has a bylaw (see below) which should help prevent the destruction of the shoreline, unfortunately either people are not aware or are choosing to ignore it. Please take good care of our lakes, they are an important resource and we want to be able to enjoy them now and in the future.
4.26 RIPARIAN BUFFERS
4.26.1 In all zones where development is undertaken on a lot which borders a watercourse
an undisturbed buffer of 12 metres (40 ft) is required to be maintained between the
high water mark on either side of a watercourse and any structure or developed
portion of the lot. Infilling or removal of material is not permitted within the buffer
except for minimal disturbance incidental to a permitted undertaking. In the
watercourse buffer area the natural flora and fauna is to remain substantially
undisturbed except for penetrations for wharves and boat launches. Moderate
thinning of tree cover in the buffer area to enable views is permitted and good
ecological practices designed to minimize disturbance of natural shoreline areas are
encouraged when undertaking all activities and developments within the buffer and
all developments on properties abutting watercourses in the Municipality. (see MPS
Part 3 and Policy 3.1.9)
4.26.2 On any lot subject to the requirements of Section 4.26.1 of this by-law the required
buffer supersedes any minimum yard requirement which may be less than the