PUGWASH – Officials in Pugwash are looking to move on after the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board turned down an application by a group of residents to dissolve the village.
In a 105-page decision handed down Tuesday, commissioner Roberta Clarke said the board was not convinced the village should be dissolved.
“After hearing evidence from all the parties, as well as giving consideration to the comments to speakers at the evening session, and the letters of comment it received, the board found that it was not persuaded that an order of dissolution ought to be granted,” Clarke said in her written decision. “In the circumstances, the board did not order that any further studies should be undertaken, nor did it order a plebiscite or vote on the issue of dissolution.”
Village chairman Rod Benjamin said later that he’s pleased with the decision.
“With this application behind us, the village commission looks forward to working with all members of the community to build upon the services and amenities provided in the village,” Benjamin said in a written statement. “Pugwash is a beautiful place to live where business can develop and thrive. Encouraging economic development and increased settlement are priorities for the village.”
Robert O’Connell, who served as the spokesman for the applicants, said he’s not disappointed by the decision, adding everyone has learned something from the process.
“The village went through an exercise and while weren’t successful in our application it was a learning process for everyone involved and there are lessons to be learned by us all, including the village commission,” O’Connell said. “Basically, we hope it’s the best thing for the village and we leave it in their capable hands.”
The utility and review board received an application for dissolution in November 2010 from O’Connell, Eldon Mundle and Kevin Polley saying it would be in the best public interest to dissolve the village since it “does not provide appreciable municipal services or appreciable level of governance” and that “modern communication and transportation has made the village commission obsolete.”
The applicants said village residents could receive the same level of service under the neighbouring Municipality of Cumberland and that most or all the cost of village administration and taxation would be eliminated.
The application was filed in November 2010 and three days of hearings were held in the village in February. Final submissions were made in April.