Baillie says UARB should hold public meeting in Springhill

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Formal study also needed of financial impact of dissolution

Jamie Baillie wants the utility and review board to hold a public meeting on Springhill's dissolution in the former mining town.

Jamie Baillie wants the utility and review board to hold a public meeting on Springhill's dissolution in the former mining town.

SPRINGHILL – Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie is asking the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to make sure Springhill residents are given an opportunity to provide input on the proposed dissolution of the town.

“Holding the hearing in Springhill, where residents can observe the proceedings, and participate in them as they wish, will help ensure they are a part of the decision-making process,” Baillie said in a letter to board chairman Peter W. Gurnham.

Baillie said Springhill residents have been through a lot in their 125 years since becoming a town. He said the town has survived by banding together, facing adversity head on and finding the best way forward.

“This resiliency remains a hallmark of Springhillers today,” Baillie said.

The URAB is required to hold a hearing under the Municipal Government Act, but Baillie feels it should in Springhill, not Halifax or any other community.

The leader of the opposition and head of the PC Party of Nova Scotia also wants a formal study completed to review the financial impacts of dissolution.

“There is a strong public desire for more information about the benefits of dissolution and amalgamation with the Municipality of Cumberland,” said Baillie. “There’s a significant need for a study of this nature. Ordering this study to be done will also go a long way toward enabling Springhillers to be part of this important process.”

Baillie said he’s making the requests because Springhill residents still have a lot of unanswered questions about the benefits of dissolution and amalgamation with the Municipality of Cumberland.

Citing several financial reasons, Springhill town council announced in early March that it plans to dissolve and join the county on April 1, 2015.

The province hired former municipal administrator and provincial cabinet minister John Leefe as the transition co-ordinator.

Since then, another town – Bridgetown – has indicated it plans to dissolve and amalgamate with the surrounding rural municipality.

Earlier this week former Cumberland South MLA and Tory cabinet minister Murray Scott asked town council to step away from dissolution until all the community’s questions are answered.

Scott is calling for public meetings and complete transparency as well as citizen engagement.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, PC Party of Nova Scotia, Springhill town council

Geographic location: Springhill, Cumberland, Cumberland South

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  • Doug.P
    April 09, 2014 - 14:19

    He we go...You can beat a dead horse but it seems Mr. Baillie thinks you can resurrect one. Have a meeting, go ahead, Yell, scream and stomp your feet, but at the end of the day it will change nothing. Those grieving the loss of town status might want to seek counseling rather than public hearings. High taxes imposed by politicians destroyed the town of Springhill and now we are to believe the naive and immature notion that politicians can somehow fix things? Corruption and politicization bankrupted the town; learn the lesson -again- and move on.