Busy year ahead for Municipality of Cumberland

Infrastructure work, energy development key priorities in 2017

Darrell Cole darrell.cole@tc.tc
Published on January 10, 2017

Amherst Rotarian Don Russell (left) speaks to Cumberland County Warden Allison Gillis (centre) and Amherst Mayor Dr. David Kogon following Monday’s Rotary meeting.

©Darrell Cole - TC Media

AMHERST, N.S. – It’s going to be a busy year in the Municipality of Cumberland, dominated by the ongoing transition of Springhill and Parrsboro into the county.

Speaking to members of the Amherst Rotary Club on Monday, Warden Allison Gillis said his municipality will focus on several major infrastructure projects during 2017 and

“The water and sewer infrastructure in this area is more than 100 years old and no longer meets the needs of the residents. Water lines will be increased in size to supply suitable fire flows to hydrants in the area and lead service laterals will be replaced. Cumberland County Warden Allison Gillis

“The municipality has a long list of projects in the coming year,” Gillis said. “These projects and priorities are on top of the day to day programs our organization provides to residents.”

With the addition of Springhill three years ago and November’s dissolution of Parrsboro, the warden said the county is continuing to move forward with municipal restructuring that will include a review and revision of approximately 90 position descriptions, the development of a compensation plan for all municipal employees as well as an organization plan “that will create a municipality that is innovative, strategic and has the capacity to provide quality services and be sustainable well into the future.”

He said the dissolution of Springhill and Parrsboro and their merger with the county are the biggest historical changes in municipal governance in Cumberland County’s history. He said restructuring is sensitive to some, supported by some and challenging and exciting.

Municipal service centres in Springhill, Parrsboro and at the E.D. Fullerton Municipal Building in Upper Nappan will remain while the county will also move forward with significant infrastructure work in Parrsboro and Springhill in the coming year.

In Springhill, the $5-million Downtown Springhill Infrastructure Renewal Project will replace water, sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure on portions of Church, Victoria, Elm, Pioneer, Mechanic, Chapel, Pleasant, James and Princess streets.

“The water and sewer infrastructure in this area is more than 100 years old and no longer meets the needs of the residents,” Gillis said. “Water lines will be increased in size to supply suitable fire flows to hydrants in the area and lead service laterals will be replaced.”

The $8.8-million Parrsboro wastewater treatment plant and collection system expansion will see the treatment of the community’s wastewater before it goes into the Bay of Fundy.

The project is expected to be completed by March 2018 and will serve more than 1,000 residents.

Among its priorities in the coming year is working with the Cumberland Energy Authority to support tidal power in the Minas Passage and completing a geothermal energy use study that will look into the energy savings associated with geothermal energy in Springhill.

The county also plans to explore deep mine water for use as geothermal energy.

Pugwash’s waterfront development project will continue into 2017. A request for proposals was recently issued for design work and cost estimates on the project that will include a multi-purpose centre and library, a Harbour Walk with trail and boardwalk components and a new stage at Eaton Park.

Gillis said the county is also moving forward with a Springhill recreation facilities master plan that will explore the long-term development of eight hectares of land behind the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.

“The plan is to include outdoor facilities for soccer, football and other recreational activities as well as public amenities such as washrooms, changing rooms, parking and concessions,” the warden said.

The warden said the coming year will see the completion of the $14.9-million Pugwash water project.

The last construction season saw 13 kilometres of pipe installed through the village with the remaining five kilometres to be installed in 2017 while the water treatment plan will be built and the system tested and commissioned.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell