Springhill, county file information with utility and review board

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Amalgamation planned for April 2015

Springhill and Cumberland County have met the UARB deadline of Aug. 28 to file information reports on the proposed amalgamation of the two municipaltiies next April.

Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter (right) talks to the media during a press conference earlier this year while Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey, transition co-ordinator John Leefe and Springhill Mayor Max Snow look on.

SPRINGHILL – The Town of Springhill and the Municipality of Cumberland County filed information with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board on Thursday, Aug. 28t, as required under the UARB review process for the Town’s application for dissolution.

The information includes reports prepared by municipal staff and external consultants with assistance of the Springhill/Cumberland Transition Committee and Transition Coordinator John Leefe.

The UARB review process provides for questions and comments on the evidence from those organizations who have registered with the review board, leading to a formal

hearing process in December.

There are also opportunities for the public to provide comments and appear at the hearing.

The transition committee, with representatives from both the Town of Springhill

and Cumberland County, will be organizing additional public information events this fall to discuss the evidence presented.

Springhill Mayor Max Snow is pleased with the work done by staff and consultants over a very short time frame in order to meet the UARB deadline.

“There has been a lot of hard work done by many people to understand the situation being faced by the town and to document this for an independent review by the Review Board. Council is pleased to see that the reports provided to the UARB confirm our hope

that a merger with Cumberland County will support the community’s future growth and reduce tax rates, while still protecting the staff and organizations that make this a good place to live and work.”

For the residents of Cumberland County, the evidence presented to the UARB confirms that council’s decision earlier this year to work with the Town of Springhill to support the dissolution process was a good one.

Cumberland Warden Keith Hunter believes this is the start of a process which will result in improved government for all of Cumberland County.

“We are still going through the consultant reports on finance and infrastructure ourselves, and there is a lot to take in. The evidence filed on Aug. 28 indicates the municipality can be a good neighbour to the town in this process of dissolution, and provide a better joint government as a result. We have all been challenged by the Ivany Report and our residents to do things better and more cost effectively, and this looks like a good first step in that process.”

Organizations: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, Cumberland Transition Committee

Geographic location: Springhill, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • more of the same
    August 31, 2014 - 22:48

    The latest reports indicate the overall situation is worse than the most pessimistic could have imagined . There doesn't seem to be anything that has been done properly , honestly , ethically , or competently in administering the town . The citizen's committee seem to be from the same mold that was causing the train wreck . They are definitely not on the same page as reality . The only positive is that there is the County and Province available to take this mess over and begin the long work of cleaning it up for the betterment of the present town and greater area ...Tax rates are calculated to go down immediately on amalgamation while competent , efficient , and honest government is slated to increase dramatically .

  • Citizen Joe
    August 31, 2014 - 13:56

    By looking at the reports, they appear very thorough and were completely done by independent organizations. They show out Town was in debt for many years, in 2012, before this Council they were 5.1 million in debt and on March 2014 4.1 million in debt and I don't believe this included the overdraft amount. The streets are 92% in a poor condition, sidewalks over 63%, 46% of water lines installed between 1905 and 1925, 10% between 1960 and 1969, so with the life span of over 50 years they all need replaced(56%). The Springhill/County lawyer pointed out specific people that weren't being strait with the citizens, if they had of come out and told the citizens, most of the Concerned Citizens would have accepted the obvious much sooner. Remember this debt was prior to the Present Council. This whole issue has divided the citizens and will take a long time to heal. Now that the Concerned Citizens have the facts from EXPERTS, will they accept them and stop prolonging the obvious. One BIG issue is if we amalgamate prior to April 1sr, 2015 the Town will not have to pay over 2 million to the police pensions. So if Murray Scott and Company really care about Springhill they will not present any further delays so we can meet that deadline.