Reliable internet access is becoming more and more of an integral part of the 21st century. Access to the service in rural areas, however, is spotty at best.
The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s wants to address this problem. Warden Michael Mosher says reliable broadband internet is crucial so people can pay bills, stay connected and run their business. He supports a submission made by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to recommend a new model for rural communities:
FCM’s recommendation is to reduce the broadband gap and significant lag in bringing faster speeds to rural and remote areas. Mosher says much of St. Mary’s struggles with their internet service, and that a remedy needs to be found immediately.
A high profile derelict vessel has garnered media attention, as the ship starts to pose an environmental hazard. The MV Farley Mowat is located in the Town of Shelburne, and action to remove the vessel has begun.
However, the Municipality of the District of Saint Mary’s has their own problem that they’ve been dealing with since 2011. The former Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker, the ‘Sir Charles Tupper’ was destined for a salvage operation, but was left alongside Highway 7 and was never touched.
At the start of June, a second vessel, the ‘Craig Trans’ was tied alongside the other ship, and now sit side by side. Warden Michael Mosher says the municipality has concerns regarding the potential threats the vessels pose to the area, but they have no jurisdiction to move either vessel. Mosher hopes that a government department will soon address the concerns, and remove both environmental threats from the local waters.
The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s passed the 2017 – 2018 budget Monday night at a special council meeting. Tax rates will rise by 3 cents for all properties; residential, resource and commercial. Commercial tax rates are now $2.23 per $100 of assessment and residential and resource tax rates are currently .92 cents per $100 of assessment. The operating budget for the year is $3,132,167 with a budget increase of .65 per cent over last year.
Projects this year include replacement of waterlines in Sherbrooke, a reinstatement of the Active Living Coordinator position and the formation of a new Economic Development Committee.
A vacant seat has officially been filled on District of St. Mary’s Council. A Special Election was held Saturday for District 3 and 5 in the Melrose, Aspen and Caledonia area. Kaytland Smith won the election, garnering 119 votes. The other candidate in the running for the seat, Rennie Beaver, received 103 votes.
The Special Election was called after the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia declared the results in that District void in last fall’s elections. The results were nullified by the court because of Municipal Elections Act violations. Smith and Beaver also ran in last fall’s vote in that district.
There’s a special election in the District of St. Mary’s Saturday to fill a vacant council seat. The seat is in District 3/5, which includes the Melrose, Aspen and
Caledonia area. The special election was called following a decision by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in January. The court declared the results from last fall’s municipal election in that district void because of Municipal Elections Act violations.
Two candidates are on the ballot; Rennie Beaver and Kaytland Smith. Beaver and Smith were also the two candidates running in the district during last fall’s election. Polls will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Greenfield Oldsters Centre in Melrose.
The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s received a favourable decision on their application to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to have the October 15 municipal election results for District 3/5 declared void. Justice Nick Scaravelli agreed with the Municipality that the election in that District had not been conducted in accordance with the principles of the Municipal Elections Act.
St. Mary’s CAO Marvin MacDonald says a special meeting will be held this coming Monday to start the process necessary for a special election in the district. He expects the vacant seat on council will be filled on or before April 3, 2017.