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Proposed truck route in Springhill passes first reading

Cumberland municipal council has approved first reading of a truck route bylaw that will take through truck traffic away from the Main Street commercial area of Springhill.

The proposed route will direct truck through traffic from Junction Road and the commercial section of Main Street to North Street and Lisgar Street.

The bylaw would not prohibit trucks or equipment conducting business in the area from leaving the truck route.

A public hearing will be held prior to second reading.


Cumberland municipal council approves implementation of compressed work week

Council approved the implementation of a four-day work week during its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023.

The initiative will be implemented in February of 2024.

Employees would work the same number of hours within four days instead of five.

As a result of the lengthened workday, reception desks and services like building inspection will be open to the public for a full hour longer each day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days per week. Public Works staff – particularly those workers whose duties involve providing direct transportation, water and wastewater services would not be included in the initial implementation of this initiative as proposed.

Staff consulted with other municipalities to learn about their process, the rationale and the pros and cons of implementing a compressed work week.  They learned that a number of other municipalities in the province observed an increase in customer service as well as in employee satisfaction in areas like work-life balance leading to better opportunities for employee recruitment and retention.

Municipal staff were surveyed in April asking about their interest and what they saw as opportunities and barriers specific to their position and their department with 93 per cent of respondents indicating an interest in a compressed work week.


Council agrees to add two Parrsboro properties to Tax Reduction Exemption Policy

Council passed a motion at its Nov. 22, 2023, regular meeting to add two Parrsboro properties to the Tax Reduction Exemption Policy.

The two properties are owned by the Parrsboro Lions Club with a total exemption of $1,802.15.

Section 71 of the Municipal Government Act provides authority for council to provide full tax exemptions to properties of a registered Canadian Charitable Organization that is used solely for charitable purposes and property of a non-profit community, charitable, fraternal, education, religious, cultural or sporting organization that provides a service that might not otherwise be a responsibility of council.


Municipal council passes amended Council Meetings and Proceedings Policy

Cumberland municipal council has approved an amended Council Meetings and Proceedings Policy.

Council meets in accordance with the policy, but amendments were necessary to reflect the process and timelines currently being followed.

The amendments lay out the days of the month meetings shall be held, timelines for notice of scheduling, rescheduling and canceling a meeting. A section has also been added laying out the protocol/process for committee of the whole meetings.


Municipality approves first reading of rezoning application in New Prospect

Cumberland municipal council approved first reading of an application to rezone a property at 3331 Highway 2 in New Prospect from rural resource to rural industrial.

This would permit the expansion of its current use with a new 60-foot by 100-foot coverall fabric structure and eight storage containers.

The property is owned by the Boake Group.

Properties in the area are zoned rural resource and include a mix of agricultural, residential and industrial uses.

The proposal calls for the placement of four pairs of shipping containers on concrete pads as well as the coverall fabric building. The applicant intends to provide a range of heated and unheated storage units.

A public hearing will be held prior to second reading.


Council passes first reading of development agreement for Higgins Mountain wind project

During its Nov. 22, 2023, regular meeting, Cumberland municipal council passed first reading of the Higgins Mountain Energy Wind Project Development Agreement with Elemental Energy.

The properties are located at Higgins Mountain, Sutherland Lake and Wentworth.

A public hearing will be scheduled for a future council meeting.

The properties include just over 9,000 acres and are accessed from Higgins Mountain Road with the project area extending south to the Colchester municipal boundary. The project includes five additional turbines in Colchester County – to be regulated by the Municipality of Colchester.

The application is to enter into a development agreement to facilitate a wind turbine project consisting of up to 12 large scale wind turbines and supporting infrastructure.

DeWitt appointed as building official

Cumberland municipal council approved the appointment of Cory DeWitt as a building official with the municipality during its regular meeting on Nov. 22, 2023.

DeWitt has completed all the requirements to be a residential inspector, receiving his qualification from the Nova Scotia Building Code Training and Certification Board on Nov. 16, 2023.

The recent growth in the municipality in respect to new construction and general permit volume has created more demand upon the permits and inspection team. Having another qualified individual to support building inspection is an important milestone.