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The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has approved the Municipality of Cumberland’s application to maintain the number of polling districts and councillors at eight for the 2024 municipal election.

The existing boundaries of the polling districts have also been confirmed as previously approved in April 2020.

 Municipal Council approves $850,000 in grants to organizations

Cumberland municipal council has approved more than $850,000 in grants to organizations for the 2023-24 budget year.

The municipality grants funding to organizations through several categories annually. In 2023-24, the municipality is providing $7,000 for school bursaries, $90,000 in district grants (each councillor and the mayor has $10,000 in district grants to spend), $586,350 for general grants and $125,000 in annual grants. 

Cumberland municipal council hosts two public hearings for rezoning applications

Cumberland municipal council held a pair of public hearings during its June committee of the whole meeting on Wednesday, June 21.

A public hearing was held regarding the rezoning of a property near North End Road in Sutherland Lake from Rural Resource to Recreational Residential to facilitate the development of approximately 27 lots and a private road.

The property is located east of North End Road and nearby Residential Recreational lots on Maple Drive, Wyllies Lane, and Hardwood Drive. To the east, the property is bordered by Little Dead Lake and a stream that runs towards Purdy Pond in the northeast.

These adjacent lands are zoned Rural Resources and contain a mix of woodland and wetland areas.

The application is to rezone the subject property to Recreational Residential to develop residential building lots on a private road.

Council also held a public hearing regarding an application to rezone a property near Hansford Road in Victoria from Agricultural to Recreational Residential to facilitate the development of approximately 10 lots and a private road corridor.

The subject property is located north of Hansford Road, bordering on the southeastern portion of McPherson Lake and bordered to the north, east and west by properties zoned Agricultural.

Adjacent properties to the south of Hansford Road are zoned Recreational Residential.  

Low-Income Tax Exemption Policy passed on to June 28 meeting for approval

Cumberland municipal council has voted to forward the approval of the Low-Income Tax Exemption Policy to the regular council meeting on Wednesday, June 28.

Council is recommending the policy be unchanged and that the income cutoff and exemption amounts be increased by the change in the Consumer Price Index of Nova Scotia of 7.5 percent to $34,400 with the exemption amount being $505.

In May 2022, council approved revisions to the Low-Income Tax Exemption Policy to provide a property tax exemption of $470 on residents’ primary residences if household income was under $32,000.

In 2022/23 there were 446 tax exemptions granted for a total of $202,148.

Council is also forwarding the approval of amendments to the Tax Reduction and Exemption Policy to the June 28 regular meeting.

Being added to the list for 2023-24 is the Tidnish Crossroads Community Association for a whole exemption.

Council can provide a tax reduction from commercial to residential for all or part of the tax payable with respect to any non-profit community, charitable, fraternal, educational, religious, cultural if sporting organization.

The total tax exemptions and reductions for 2023-24 amount to $225,025. 

Cobquid Fun-Tones, Meadowpark group requests forward to June 28 for approval

Municipal council voted to forward to its June 28 meeting a pair of requests from the Cobequid Fun-Tones and the Meadow Park Recreation Group to receive funds from the Christie Community Foundation to support a pair of projects within the municipality, contingent on the projects being recommended for funding by the Christie foundation.

The Cobequid Fun-Tones is requesting funds to assist with the costs for registration fees and professional coaching session expenses in preparation for the Atlantic Provinces contest at Mount Allison University. The Meadow Park Recreation Group is requesting funds to assist with the costs of revamping the organization’s playground. 

Council forwards water meter tender approval to regular meeting

Council has voted to forward to its June 28 meeting a motion to award the tender for the supply and installation of water meters in Springhill to Neptune Technology Group Co. for a value of $1,024,667.92.

The intent of this project is to install a water meter on the water service of every customer of the Springhill water system. After water meters are installed the Springhill water system can transition to rates based on a customer’s water consumption. There are currently 1553 customers of the Springhill water utility.  

Municipality approves appointment of building officials

Cumberland municipal council has voted to approve at its June 28 meeting the appointments of Pat Boyce, Mike MacKenzie and Avery Withrow as building officials for the Municipality of Cumberland.

The municipality remains in a high level of demand for building inspections related to its continued growth in permits. To maintain a strong level of customer service the municipality needs to enhance its ability to conduct required field inspections in a timely manner.

Many projects, especially residential new home construction, have multiple levels of inspections and require the building officials on site to ensure the construction process continues without delay.

The contracted personnel will work on a rotational basis up to two days per week and will focus on field inspections. All three have completed all the requirements to be a Level II Building Official and are certified by the Nova Scotia Building Officials Association.  

Municipal council forwards motion for Biggs Drive Water Association to a regular council

Council voted to forward a motion to its June 28 meeting to adjust $24,919.34 to eliminate the historical deficit of the Biggs Drive Water Association.

It has also forwarded a motion to set the rates for 2023-24 at an annual flat rate of $910 and a consumption rate of 0.5283 per meter cubed. Biggs Drive Water Association owns the water infrastructure on Biggs Drive.

The municipality manages the operations and maintenance of this water system and collects the rates from these residents. The current rates have not been enough to cover the costs.