A budgeting error has put a small dent in the town of Pictou’s financial projections. Although it is wholly owned by the town, the new wastewater treatment plant was mistakenly assessed by the provincial Property Valuation Services Corporation as a separate, taxable commercial property, and was included in the town’s revenue calculations. This means the town will collect $122,000 less in commercial taxes than initially thought. CAO Dan Troke says it’s not a very large effect on the budget.
Troke has been working with the town’s accountant to find savings and defer some capital spending to minimize the effect on Pictou’s bottom line.
There’s going to be a new spot to fill up in the town of Pictou this spring. At last night’s committee of council meeting, Mayor Jim Ryan announced that one of the lots on the new roundabout will soon feature a combination McDonald’s and Ultramar filling station/convenience store. Ryan says that’s just one of several projects in the works in that area.
The opening day for the new fast food and gas station combo is projected to be in May 2020.
A re-vamp of the town of Pictou’s Heritage By-law will soon to be going to town council for first reading. A heritage committee was formed earlier this year in response to concerns from citizens that not enough was being done to help preserve areas of historical importance in the town. The original by-law itself hasn’t been updated since the early 1980’s. Mayor Jim Ryan says this new by-law will not only clarify the terms of a municipal heritage property or area, but will help to balance the need to preserve and the ability to celebrate history.
The first reading of the updated by-law is expected to take place later this month at the regular meeting of town council.
The Pictou Antigonish Regional Library is hosting a meeting next week to unveil plans for a new library.
Earlier this week, council for the Municipality of the County of Pictou committed $275,000 for
DeCoste Performing Arts Centre (Tourism Nova Scotia photo)
the Pictou Library Project. Eric Stackhouse, chief librarian with PARL, said the Town of Pictou also confirmed a similar amount of funding for the project, which he said will create a new cultural hub for the area.
Stackhouse said the project was three years in the making. The plan is for the new library to be integrated into the DeCoste Performing Arts Centre. Stackhouse said staff will share the conceptual and business plans for the facility at a public meeting on October 16 at 7 p.m. at the DeCoste Centre.
Stackhouse said PARL will install a link on its Web site which will feature the plans after the meeting.
The town of Pictou is committing to spend $275,000 towards the creation of a new cultural hub.
deCoste Performing Arts Centre (Tourism Nova Scotia Photo)
Last week, Chief Librarian for the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library Eric Stackhouse and deCoste Centre Executive Director Troy Greencorn made a presentation to council outlining their plans to move the existing local library branch into an expanded deCoste Centre in order to create a cultural hub in the town. The expected capital cost would total roughly $7 million. Mayor Jim Ryan says it’s a great idea.
Ryan says the spending commitment from the town would be included with commitments from other municipalities and donations in order to secure funding from the other levels of government.
Pictou Council has not committed yet to a specific amount to fund operational costs: Ryan says it’s too early in the plan to be certain of the numbers.
Pictou Town Council approved the audited financial statements for the town for the past fiscal year ending on March 31st. Mayor Jim Ryan says there were no big surprises, and the figures show the town is in good financial health.
Town Council approved the financial statements at its meeting last night
Water bills were the subject of some talk at Pictou Town Council’s monthly meeting. Many residents have seen a change in their bills, as the town has recently moved to a base charge plus a rate of $1.28 per cubic meter of water used. This follows the new water treatment plant coming online. Mayor Jim Ryan says with a new facility to pay for, and a loss overall in receivables, it’s more important than ever to make sure the town doesn’t fall behind on revenue.
As explained by town CAO Dan Troke, under current policy the town issues a written notice by mail if a ratepayer is 45 days in arrears on a bill of $75 or more. The notice gives the ratepayer 14 days to work out repayment with the town. If not, they are given a second notice and an additional 10 days to pay. A third and final notice comes in the form of an orange door knocker placed on the building, informing the owner they have 24 hours to reach a satisfactory repayment, or else the water is turned off.
Pictou police are investigating a report of an indecent act.
At around 06:20 AM Thursday morning, Pictou District RCMP responded to a complaint of an indecent act taking place on the Jitney Trail in Pictou.
Police spoke with the complainant, who said she was walking her dog on the trail and encountered a man who exposed himself. She said the man appeared to be intoxicated, and described him as white, 30-35 years old, 5’8” to 5’10’ in height, with a medium build. He was wearing a light colored shirt, shorts, had short brush cut style hair and carried a skateboard.
RCMP are continuing to investigate the situation and locate the man. Anyone with information or may have witnessed this incident to call at 902 893 6820, 1-800-803-RCMP or Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Several local municipalities have received grants under the province’s Beautification and Streetscaping program. The Town of Port Hawkesbury is getting $20,000 for signage and wayfinding as part of its Destination Reeves Street Project. The Municipality of the County of Inverness has two projects approved; $14,750 for Streetscape and Beautification in Port Hood and $20,500 for Streetscape Beautification Planning in Whycocomagh.
The Town of Pictou’s Wayfinding Signage Project will receive $20,500, while the Downtown Revitalization Project in New Glasgow is getting $20,000.
In Victoria County, $15,000 will be provided to the Village of Baddeck’s Community Wharf Upgrade.
In all, 27 communities received about $500,000 funding for various Beautification projects.
The Pictou County District RCMP is asking for the public’s help regarding a recent break-in. Police say it occurred at an unoccupied building on Patterson Street in Pictou.
Police say they were alerted of the break-in last Friday morning. Police say entry was gained to the building by breaking the glass on the rear doors. Several other windows inside the building were also broken.
If you witnessed the incident or have information about the crime, call the RCMP at 902-755-4141 or Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS.