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NS Border Committee addressing issues with entrance to province

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

I am writing in my capacity as chair of the Municipality of Cumberland’s Nova Scotia Border Committee, and in response to the Geoff de Gannes commentary piece published on July 18, 2018. 

Mr. de Gannes is obviously unaware of the committee’s activities, and that is understandable, as much of our work over the past six months has been behind the scenes.

The committee’s mandate, as endorsed by municipal council, is to improve the appearance of the area abutting Trunk 2 in Fort Lawrence (correctly referred to by Mr. de Gannes as “the desolate stretch of highway into the Town of Amherst”). 

Its membership includes representatives from the Town of Amherst and area businesses, as well as citizen appointments. The committee is focussed on the various issues that contribute to the depressed look of the area, such as unsightly premises, unregulated commercial signage, and vegetation.

The committee is addressing unsightly premises with the cooperation of property owners (several have already made significant improvements), and where necessary, with the assistance of the Municipality’s Administrator of Dangerous or Unsightly Premises (hence to two recent demolitions Mr. de Gannes refers to). 

To address the commercial signage issue, the municipality is developing a Border Entrance Signage By-Law. The first public meeting to provide information in this regard was held on June 18, and the second was held on July 24. 

For more information go to: https://www.plancumberland.ca/signage-bylaw/  . Everyone is welcome.

With regard to vegetation, the details of an ambitious planting program for the area will be considered by Council on July 25.  If approved, the actual planting will take place in the spring of 2019.

It is hoped this three-pronged approach may lead to other significant improvements, such as the removal of unnecessary utility lines and poles, and private investment in other projects.

Paul Porter,

Municipality of Cumberland Councillor, District 1 and chair, Nova Scotia Border Committee

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