Springhill mayor says merging of town, county inevitable

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Dave Mathieson
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Snow says plebiscite on merger would be too costly

Springhill mayor Max Snow, left, was on hand to answer questions from anybody who had something to ask during Wednesday’s open house Wednesday night at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill.

SPRINGHILL – Representatives from both the County and the Town of Springhill were on hand to answer any questions from the public during an open house Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill.

One elected representative on hand to answer questions was Springhill mayor Max Snow.

Snow has come under fire from the Springhill Volunteer Citizen’s Committee, who say the town has not been transparent during the amalgamation process.

Snow disagrees.

“Our integrity is good with this council. We were not willing to say we’re OK anymore. We were not willing to say things are going well and try to balance the budget…” said Snow “It has to change, we have to move forward to a new governance. Outside of that we’re going to be a town that is barely surviving.”

He says amalgamation is a reality many towns will have to face in the future.

“Down the road we will be forced to do it, and right now we’re not forced to do it but we’re going to do it,” he said. “We’re more than $7 million in deficit. We can’t go on like this. It has to stop.”

Snow says there is currently no money for further road repairs.

“Right now we can’t do any more streets and we can’t do any more infrastructure,” he said. “We don’t have the money. It’s a declining population and an aging population. Our young people are migrating out and we have nothing to keep them here.”

He hopes amalgamation will help bring industry to Springhill, stemming the outflow of young people.

He is especially interested in developing the town’s geothermal reserves.

“We have an ideal setting for green houses. Sobey’s could come in and grow their own produce. We have cheap energy for them,” said Snow. “Why not. It’s a saving for them. That’s what’s it’s all about today. It’s about the bottom line, about saving a dollar.

“We need to tap into geothermal. We want to move this forward for the benefit of Springhill.”

Asked why the town decided to go ahead with the amalgamation with the county without consulting the citizens first, Snow said a plebiscite would be too costly.

“Time and money are not on our side. A plebiscite is very costly. We don’t have the money to go down that road,” said Snow.

“I’d be silly to say (to the tax payers) that I’m going to have a plebiscite that will cost me a bunch of money. It can’t be done, time won’t allow us to do that.”

 

 

 

 

 

Geographic location: Springhill

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  • Citizen Joe
    July 19, 2014 - 06:52

    Going in the Amherst Newspaper under Citizen Joe ( July 18) This was a very well presented meeting, all a person had to do to get information was ask. I observed about 20 members of the Concerned Citizen's Committee there and about 5, no more went around and asked some questions, but listening to their conversations a person could tell their minds were made up regardless of ANY answers they received. When that committee was first formed their objective was to ask questions on behalf of the citizens that signed their papers and they got Status with the Utility and Review Board, now their focus has changes and its to STOP amalgamation regardless of any studies. Some of the representatives at this meeting picked up on that and likely the Review Board will also and thus remove their Status, won't that be a shocker. It is funny but sad to see that some of the members of this committee are educated and held good jobs in the past and here is the fact that Springhill cannot ever recover under the present system, now we have the opportunity to get the Province and the County of Cumberland extending their hands and assisting us and this group is willing to throw it all away. We likely will never get another chance. Our Fire Hall needs big repairs, the Town can't afford the volunteer firemen have worked very hard in the past to get what we have now, when amalgamation goes through the County will need that service and you can be sure the County and Province will be there for us. ONE main question - why doesn't Murray Scott and his committee wait until the results of the studies come in, my answer it won't matter because they already have their minds made up. Murray, you and your Committee no longer represent the best interests of the residents of Springhill!!!

  • Clare Canning
    July 18, 2014 - 14:37

    While I agree that the town made the right decision to merge with the County before we went bankrupt and lost all bargaining power, I feel that if the council wanted to show their integrity they should have given back the 14% raises they gave themselves. This act would have shown many that they were not trying to line their pockets from tax funds before the ax fell. That their intentions were selfless. As my very wise Grandfather Fulton used to say " you must not just be innocent, you must appear innocent.'

  • more of the same
    July 18, 2014 - 09:27

    Absolutely 100% correct Max . With lower commercial taxes industry can come into Springhill . Amalgamation will reduce costs of governing The Province and Federal Government tried to replace the coal industry with the Prison and Armouries but those facilities can only go so far in creating a vibrant economy without industry . Industry in the geothermal and related sphere will bring jobs , people , business, money circulating and good times again . The Dead-Ender Committee offers only bullying , mistruth's , and more of the same old failed backward rubbish .

  • raymo d Pepperdine
    July 18, 2014 - 08:16

    Snow should be the first to go.That should never have happened