The Town of Antigonish recently approved a new Commercial Periphery amendment, meaning more diversity for housing and retail space in the town. The amendment allows flexibility, permitting traditional residential spaces to become business fronts.
Mayor Laurie Boucher says that large, older style, traditional homes do not fit the need for present day families, which means there is unutilized space within the downtown core. Allowing these spaces to become commercial means that entrepreneurs will be able to graduate into better retail spaces:
Allowing flexibility between commercial and residential properties means that downtown buildings will be able to hold their architectural heritage.
This time one year ago, local municipal leaders were in the height of campaigning for a fall time election. Now, after her first year in office, the Mayor of Antigonish says it has been an extremely positive experience overall.
Mayor Laurie Boucher says the past year has been a fun challenge to take on, and she enjoys hearing both positive and negative comments from the community. Boucher says that the past year has sped by:
Boucher will have served her first term as Mayor once October rolls around, and says she looks forward to serving the people of the area for another three years.
The Mayor of Antigonish never doubted the national pride of her town, and a recent recognition strengthened that belief. During the Antigonish Street Fair, a large Canada 150 banner was painted on Main Street, and was recognized as being the largest created nation wide.
Mayor Laurie Boucher says the street fair was a great success this year, which helped increase community pride around the 150 banner. She says it was great to be honoured.
Overall, Boucher says she was extremely pleased with all the events that happened in July, including Canada Day, the Street Fair and the Highland Games.
Damp weather didn’t stop the Town of Antigonish from ringing in Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. Rain and fog forced some events indoors, which was a silver lining according to the town’s mayor.
Laurie Boucher says she liked the intimacy of the indoor concert that was forced to come inside as a result of bad weather. She says that a large group of people were able to put together a great day:
Boucher would like to thank town and county residents who came out to the celebrations and helped make it a success. She says a dedicated group of volunteers and community members is part of the reason why Antigonish is such a great place to call home.
A campaign promise is becoming a reality in the Town of Antigonish. During last Fall’s municipal election, many councillors heard concerns from residents about the lack of accessibility in the town, as well as other shortfalls for those who have disabilities.
Town Mayor Laurie Boucher says as part of the budget, the town is contributing two hundred thousand dollars towards a wheelchair ramp for town hall, and installing audio signals at intersections around town. Boucher says this is a necessary step moving forward:
Boucher took part in the accessibility challenge last week and is excited to see some movement on this front.
There was local representation at a national conference held in Ottawa at the start of the month, as people gathered for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference. One of the main points through the panel discussions revolved around the inclusion of smaller municipalities, and some of the unique challenges faced.
Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher attended the conference and says it was refreshing to hear about the inclusion of rural communities. It is important for communities like Antigonish to be involved in these meetings:
Boucher says attending conferences such as this is important for council, as it allows for networking between communities, and it is a responsibility of councils to take part in sessions such as this.
At last night’s Town Council meeting, it was announced that a new fire truck will be purchased by the Town of Antigonish, with a price tag of six hundred thousand dollars. The new pumper truck will replace an older unit on the fleet that was over thirty years old.
Council also approved a motion to allow a new 25 year plan that will replace the entire fleet of trucks. Mayor Laurie Boucher says the new plan is essential to protect the citizens of Antigonish, including the firefighters of the area:
Boucher says this new fire levy that will be introduced is common in other areas. The levy equates to 2.6 cents per $100.
There is excitement around yesterday’s 1 million dollar funding announcement from the Provincial government towards Antigonish for hosting the 2018 Canadian Special Olympic Games. The funding will be used to help improve accessibility at the Oland Centre, including the building of new bleachers and better ease-of-access. This investment in particular excites Mayor Laurie Boucher.
Since becoming Mayor last November, increasing accessibility within the Town of Antigonish has been a goal for Boucher. She says this is a positive investment for the town as they shine in a national spotlight:
Mayor Boucher says this is a great investment towards St.FX and to Special Olympics Nova Scotia. The money will be used to update the Oland Centre bleachers, as well as the outside stands.
The Mayor of Antigonish Laurie Boucher isn’t worried about a delay in a provincial environmental approval for a proposed expansion of a wind power project the town is a partner in. Antigonish, Berwick and Mahone Bay have registered the planned extension of its wind farm in West Hants for an environmental assessment. Provincial Environment Minister Margaret Miller says she needs more information to evaluate the potential effects that may be caused by the project. Boucher says the department wants assurances the project is on the right track. Boucher says the three towns are also waiting for another piece to fall into place with officials in West Hants before moving forward.
The three towns are planning to double the size of the wind farm, adding another seven wind turbines. Those seven turbines would produce 16.4 megawatts of electricity.
Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher says she’d like to see the downtown area even more vibrant in 2017.
Boucher says working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association will be instrumental in achieving that goal.
Boucher says it’s important to grow economic development to this part of the province. She’s optimistic the work being done by the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network in collaboration with area municipalities will assist in improving the local economy.