Mayor, Warden expecting continued prosperity in 2010

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - It's shaping up to be a busy year in Amherst and Cumberland County with both municipal leaders pledging lots of activity in 2010.
"Completing our strategic priorities will be the main thrust in Amherst in the coming year," Amherst Mayor Rob Small said after giving his annual address to the Amherst Rotary Club last week.
"We want to get that skateboard park completed, we want to finish redeveloping Dickey Park, we want to get the youth advisory council in place and get it active, we want to start taking the steps to get the arts, culture and heritage, downtown and beautification strategies up and running."
Looking back at his first full year in office, Small said Amherst had a number of accomplishments, including securing funding for its long-awaited sewage treatment plant. But, it was defining and working on its strategic priorities that has kept council and staff the busiest.
As well, the mayor said, the town is working to enhance its profile as the place to live, work and do business as well as the place to hold arts, cultural and recreational events through its Celebrate Amherst campaign.
"It's fair to say my first year has been extremely busy. It was a successful in that we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish," Small said.
The mayor said 2009 was a good year in development with more than $7 million in building permits issued while a number of companies saw growth, including IMP, C-Vision and Bradean's in the industrial park
The town embarked on a $13.5-million capital program including beginning work on the final phase of its wastewater abatement strategy that will see a multimillion-dollar sewage treatment plant built on the marsh.
As well, sanitary and storm sewers and water lines on East Pleasant Street were completed and the street will be reconstructed in 2010.
Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter said updating the county's strategic plan and implementing a green energy strategy in concert with Springhill will make 2010 among the busiest in municipality history.
"We have a lot of projects we want to get done this year and there are a number of projects already underway that we want to maintain," the warden said, adding completing a consultants study on projects in Pugwash and continuing to support the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are among the items on the county's to-do list.
Hunter feels the energy strategy could make Cumberland a leader in green energy through the development of solar and wind power, bio-mass, tidal energy and geothermal.
The warden said the county is continuing to upgrade its rural fire departments, pointing to the new fire hall that just opened in Pugwash while the municipality continues working with CREDA at retaining youth and attracting and retaining business.
The county is also looking to upgrade the Biggs Drive wastewater treatment system and is also hoping to proceed with the expansion to the East Cumberland Lodge with the addition of 10 long-term care beds and $4 million in renovations to the Sunset Adult Residential Centre in Pugwash.

Organizations: Amherst Rotary Club, Sunset Adult Residential Centre

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Dickey Park Pugwash East Pleasant Street

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