SPRINGHILL - Just moments after their elected leaders voted to dissolve the town, residents here were still trying to grapple with what they just witnessed.
This summer will mark Springhill's 125th anniversary as a town. Clearly, it will be its last.
Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to dissolve the town, effective April 2015. For proud Springhillers who banded together during the town's tough times, the decision caught them off guard.
"I'm shocked," Claire Canning said. "I knew something major was happening but I didn't know it was going to be this. I could feel we were in dire straits. I'm devastated. What about the staff?"
The fate of Springhill's municipal employees is largely in question, but as of right now council didn't have answers and weren't providing any. After passing the resolution, Mayor Max Snow stated council would hold a press conference on Wednesday, where they will answer questions.
That didn't stop some in the crowd from voicing their opinion as council chambers emptied, however.
"You should all step down for this," one voice was heard.
For the Springhill Police Service, whose contract with the town expires in April of this year and who have been waiting for the past year for the town to announce what its decision is after for calling for proposals from oustide departments and the RCMP, today's announcement was another grim step.
"As president of the local police union association, it's difficult not knowing," Const. Doug Williams said. "Hopefully we get some answers tomorrow. Really, it's a doom feeling. But as a person in the know, you can't run a town on a deficit."
Before calling for the motion, Mayor Maxwell Snow outlined the town's economic situation, saying it is millions of dollars in debt. While you can't run a town and maintain its infrastructure running a deficit, not everyone was ready to call today's announcement bad new.
Brothers Corey and Dave Galloway, who both moved back to the community in the last five years, said while the announcement is sad, there might be positives on the horizon for residents.
"It's sad, but now we need to try and look at the positives," Dave said.
"If it means lowers taxes and fixing the roads, it could be a good thing," Corey said. "There's a lot of questions left unanswered right now."
A press conference will be held at the town hall on Wednesday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m.