Information Galore at Cumberland Council
It seemed like report night at Cumberland Municipal Council last night. A number of reports, some in great detail, were tabled for the council’s consideration.
Councillors poured over multiple pages of financial statements led by the Director of Finance, Andrew MacDonald. He noted the highs and the lows of the municipality’s current financial position, all-in-all on a reasonable course through the year.
MacDonald noted that he will be providing similar detail on a month-to-month basis from now on so councillors can track the financial performance against the operating budget.
The county’s Director of Emergency Measures told council that lessons were learned during the recent hurricane. Mike Johnson said there were greater challenges in this weather event not because the power went out, but because cell phone and internet communications were also lost.
Johnson says EMO went to its backup plan which included communications through amateur radio operators.
Will Balser, a county planner, reported on the summer-long study of electoral boundaries as the municipality considers cutting the size of the council.
Balser offered a summation of comments provided from seven public meetings, an online survey, and written comments sent to the municipal office. Input was fairly light for such an important topic as only 48 people attended the public sessions, but Balser says the face-to-face feedback was most helpful.
The planning department will distill all the comments and propose recommendations which will be offered to the public at a round of four public meetings, followed by recommendations to council in mid-October.
In brief reports, the municipality will issue a for Request for Proposals (RFP) this fall for the proposed new multi-use centre in Pugwash. The facility has been slowly working its way through the process and an RFP marks another big step forward.
Meanwhile, the new Pugwash water system has hooked up nearly 100 customers, somewhat short of expectations. One of the side benefits for customers of the new water utility was the continued flow of potable water during the power outage associated with the recent hurricane. The system is gravity fed from the water tower at the well site.
It appears it is now time to pay the piper along the Pugwash system. The Director of Finance said the bills for the system’s "local improvement charge" are in the mail. All Pugwash property owners along the route will pay about four thousand dollars for the service, hooked up or not. Residents may spread payments over ten years.
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