Committee of the Whole Review April 14, 2021

Committee of the Whole (COW) met via zoom on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Council now holds COW meetings the second Wednesday of every month with delegations, presentations and petitions a major focus of these meetings.

The meeting started with a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting tragedy in Nova Scotia last April. Flags at municipal locations will fly at half mast Sunday and Monday in honour of the victims. Mayor Scott, Deputy Mayor Redmond and members of council will commemorate the occasion privately on Sunday.

This week, the committee heard two presentations. The first presentation was from the Northern Region Solid Waste Management Committee and the second from the Cumberland YMCA.

Mayor Scott proclaimed the week of May 2, 2021 as Communities in Bloom week in the Municipality of Cumberland. Currently, the communities of Springhill and Pugwash have active Communities in Bloom committees.

Turning to internal matters, a memo was provided to council detailing work accomplished to date on the development of commercial development districts. Staff were provided guidance from the committee of the whole regarding the goal of instituting a commercial assessment phase-in program and the potential areas for commercial development districts. The goal of the commercial assessment phase-in program is intended to manage the financial impact to business owners over time as a result of the increased municipal investment through the creation of commercial development districts. Potential areas for commercial development districts suggested were the communities of Springhill, Parrsboro, Maccan, Fox Harbour, Pugwash and the Biggs Drive area.

The audit and financial sustainability committee provided an update. New members of the committee were added through citizen appointments and the committee is currently completing mandatory training from the Department of Municipal Affairs.

In March of 2020, the previous council approved free ice time for organized on-ice activities for youth at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre’s Richard Calder Arena. An overview of free ice time was provided in a memo. Memos were also supplied outlining the successes of the 2021 editions of the Fundy Winter Carnival and Chilli Willi Winter Festival.

Councillor Gilroy asked for information on options for updates to the grants to community organizations program. Further information will be presented to council at a later date.

The next public council meeting will be April 21, 2021 at 6 p.m. The next committee of the whole meeting will be held May 12, 2021 at 6 p.m. Formal minutes of the April 14 meeting will be available within 24 hours of the meeting. A Facebook live recording is available on the municipal Facebook page.