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Town of Yarmouth Sets Date for By-Election

Saturday, May 18th will be the date of a By-Election for the purpose of filling vacant Council seats

Thursday, March 14, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. – A Municipal by-election will be held in the Town of Yarmouth on Saturday, May 18th for the purpose of filling a vacant seat that came about due to the passing of Councillor Sandy Dennis. Council unanimously agreed to the date during Thursday evening’s Council meeting.

A motion was also passed to nominate David Sollows to serve as Electoral Officer. As per the last two elections, electronic voting will be used. More details will soon be made available.

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Return on Investment: Businesses and Town of Yarmouth See Mutual Benefits in Façade, Rebate Programs

Business development programs allow entrepreneurs to receive grant money and tax rebates while the Town benefits from first-class downtown businesses

Monday, March 11, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. - The Old World Bakery & Deli, one of Yarmouth’s established eateries, recently received its first property tax rebate cheque as part of the Phased-In Assessment Program designed to stimulate building construction and expand the Town’s economy. Having already received a $5000 grant as part of the Downtown Facade Improvement Program, the bakery is now realizing solid return on investment through these Town initiatives designed to nurture business growth and beautify Yarmouth’s Central Business District.

In 2017, Old World owner Nathan Bain purchased the former law office building at 381 Main Street. Although a solid structure, the property required considerable interior work to make for a welcoming and uniquely ‘old world’ atmosphere. The exterior also needed some attention, while respecting the architecture and provenance of the building’s past. Bain became aware of the Town’s downtown economic improvement programs and the timing was ideal for him to take advantage of both the Façade Incentive and the Development Rebate.

After a period of extensive renovations, Bain reopened the Old World Bakery & Deli in 2018 at its new location. The results were impressive and his passion and vision for his business were clearly reflected in the finished product. Already spoiled by a wide selection of healthy, made-from-scratch food choices, patrons were now welcomed to enjoy dining in a cozy and creatively designed space. Bain’s work and dedication paid off as the renovations resulted in his property value appreciating by 100%. The Old World has also enjoyed an increase in traffic, all due to Bain's investment and his dedication to delivering quality food in a truly inviting space in Yarmouth’s downtown.

The creation of these business development programs have helped in revitalizing the downtown, and according to Mayor Pam Mood, it takes business owners like Nathan Bain to take the leap and create unique experiences that draw people to the downtown core.

"We are so fortunate to have entrepreneurs like Nathan who blend equal parts courage and creativity to give us all these wonderful new businesses," said Mayor Pam Mood. "Since these incentives were introduced, and paired with the return of ferry service, we’ve quickly realized a transformation of the downtown. We now have great places to eat, shop, and simply get together. We’re realizing a change in how people use the downtown, and we have more development and investment happening each year. It’s a very exciting time in Yarmouth."

 Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill, who was integral in getting the legislation passed to make the Phased-in Assessment program a reality, mirrors Mood’s thoughts on how these types of incentives will help Yarmouth grow.

"It is very satisfying to see the real outcome of the legislative changes I brought in during my time as Minister of Municipal Affairs,” said Churchill. “I'm so happy to see municipalities use these new tax tools to encourage development and growth in our communities, and to see the real financial benefit to business owners. It’s great to see Yarmouth leading the way."

For Bain, the façade and rebate programs played an important part in helping him make the decision to invest in his business. He also believes the programs play a role in encouraging business owners and developers to take the extra step and create something of a higher quality.

“Both the rebate and facade programs are ideal for new, renovating, or relocating businesses, the latter two being the case for us at the Old World,” said Bain. “Any return or rebate available on a project of that scale is obviously ideal, not only by putting funds back into the business after the fact, but when looking ahead at future projects. One may be more inclined to invest in a higher caliber of work, knowing that a percentage of the costs can be returned at a later date.”

Bain also adds that working with the Town through these programs was a positive experience.

“Working with town employees on these programs was trouble-free, and I feel, helped build a better working relationship. It allowed for a broader knowledge of business in the town, even extending beyond the programs themselves."

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To find out more about the Façade Incentive Program and the Phased-In Assessment Program please visit:  

Phased-In Assessment Program -  https://www.townofyarmouth.ca/development-rebate-program.html
   
Downtown Facade Improvement Program - https://www.townofyarmouth.ca/downtown-facade-improvement-program-1.html 

PHOTO: left to right: MLA Zach Churchill, Mayor Pam Mood, Old World Owner Nathan Bain and his son Max 

Town of Yarmouth Urges Public to Report Potholes, Drive with Care During Frequent Winter Freeze/Thaw Cycles

Quick and accurate reporting of potholes and other issues will greatly assist crews in finding and fixing problems as they develop

Thursday, March 7, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. -  During this time of frequent freeze/thaw cycles, the Town of Yarmouth is urging citizens to report potholes and other road hazards they encounter as quickly, and accurately, as possible. Residents can call in to report a pothole, or use "SeeClickFix", the Town's easy-to-use web tool which allows people to report non-emergency issues. Using the Town’s website or a smartphone, residents can access this tool to report a pothole directly to work crews who can then investigate and repair as needed.

As any seasoned Yarmouthian knows, our climate is quite volatile during the winter months, alternating quickly between mild and cold weather. These conditions result in the rapid formation of potholes. In some cases, a pothole can worsen in just a few hours. Although Public Works crews continually monitor more than 80 km of streets for these potholes and other issues, recent weather patterns have made the task more challenging, and help is needed from the public to find and fix issues.

"It's important that potholes and any unsafe conditions encountered on our streets are reported," says Mayor Pam Mood. "Our guys work continually to find and fix problems as they come up, but the process is faster when the public calls or uses our online reporting tool to let us know about an issue. As Facebook comments are not monitored on a regular basis, posting there is not the avenue to getting a pothole taken care of. Accurate locations and details will get the crews to the right place with the right material."

Most potholes result when the top layer of asphalt detaches from the underlying layer, and are typically only 1.5 to 2 inches deep and don't pose a hazard. Pothole repairs are prioritized based on the location and size. If potholes are deep or located in the wheel lane or near a painted crosswalk, they are immediately filled with cold mix asphalt. Smaller potholes are repaired with hot mix asphalt using the Town’s asphalt recycler during more favourable weather conditions. In both cases, dry weather conditions are necessary and some potholes cannot be addressed until warmer weather arrives in the spring.  

In addition to reporting potholes either by phone or online, the Town also wishes to stress that drivers need to take extra caution during the winter and spring months, especially when passing over puddles or areas of standing water along the streets. Spots in the road that hold water often have a pothole hiding beneath it.

How to Report a Pothole  

Report it Online with "SeeClickFix"

Using the Town's website, navigate to the Report a Problem page. You can also access this page by clicking on the "Report a Problem" icon on the home page. You can also download the See Click Fix app to your phone at the App Store and Google Play. The app lets you easily snap a picture, add the location using address or GPS, and send it for attention. If possible, please send a photo and description (location and size) of the pothole. The more details, the better.

Report it by Phone

You can also report by phone at 902-742-9423. Office hours are 8:30-4:30 (leave a message after hours).

About the Formation of Potholes

Water seeps into cracks in the pavement. The water builds up and softens the ground under the road. The water freezes and expands, which pushes the pavement up. When the water under the pavement dries, a hole is left beneath the road. The pavement is now weakened. As soon as a car drives over this area, the pavement collapses, leaving behind a pothole.

Town of Yarmouth Issues Request for Proposals for Ferry Terminal Redevelopment Project

With a working Steering Committee in place, a request for proposals has been issued  in an effort to hire a consultant firm to lead Phase 1 Upgrades

Monday, March 4, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. - The Town of Yarmouth has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to gather submissions from qualified consultants to complete the detailed design and project management for Phase 1 of the Yarmouth Ferry Terminal upgrades. The RFP, which has been made available to interested consultants via Procurement Nova Scotia, allows for proposals to be submitted up until March 27th.

The intended outcome of the RFP is to award the project to a consultant that has proven experience and knowledge with the type of work being proposed, and that also provides a comprehensive strategic plan for implementation and management of the entire project and design. Given the complexity of the of the work to be completed, and given the fact that the ferry operating season overlaps with the prime construction season, a strong emphasis will be placed on completing the work with minimal impact on the operation of the ferry service. 

The selected consultant firm will be tasked with performing a number of key upgrades covered in Phase 1. Core elements of the project include upgrading and relocating of both the primary inspection line and toll booths, improving yard lighting, replacement of the transfer bridge and pontoon, and upgrades to the existing terminal building.  The redevelopment of the terminal is the largest capital project undertaken by the Town in over 15 years, and according to the Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, will be a primary focus for Council and staff over the next three years.

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"This is an exciting and important project that will require our full attention and focus as we begin work this spring", said Mayor Mood. "The Ferry is critical to this region and the entire province in continuing to develop the tourism industry. Upgrading the terminal and making sure we have the proper infrastructure in place for its operation helps to ensure the stability of the service for years to come."

Shortly after the funding announcement last fall, preliminary concept work began under a Halifax–based engineering firm. Their work provided the foundation for the development of the RFP by the Town of Yarmouth Engineering Department, under the guidance of a Steering Committee established to oversee the project in its entirety. Since late January, the Steering Committee has been meeting bi-weekly to carefully review a variety of key items including the development of the RFP, timelines as related to specific project milestones, project expenses, and more.

Once the RFP submission date of March 27th passes, the Steering Committee will carefully evaluate all submissions. A recommendation will be brought to Town Council with a decision expected at the April 11th Council meeting. Work is scheduled to begin at the terminal in early May with all Phase 1 work completed by the fall of 2021. 

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About the Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is made up of Staff from the Town of Yarmouth, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Bay Ferries Ltd., and the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth. The purpose of the committee is to oversee and administer the first phase of redevelopment, which involves management of the project's scope of work, potential risks, deliverables, contracted resources, budget and project timeline to meet established terms of agreement with funders and stakeholders.

Town of Yarmouth Considering Withdrawal from Airport Partnership

After a  detailed process to determine the future vision  for the Yarmouth Airport, a recommendation was put forward to step back from decision-making and operations, but continue funding support

Friday, March 1, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. - At a Committee of the Whole meeting on Friday, a motion was passed to recommend to Council that the Town of Yarmouth exercise its option to withdraw from the International Airport Corporation (YIAC) effective March 31, 2019. If approved by Council, the next step will see a negotiation of the withdrawal according to the terms and conditions of the Intermunicipal partnership, and have the Town consider providing operational funding upon conclusion of a successful negotiation.

The discussion that led to the motion to consider withdrawal came about after a long and exhaustive process to evaluate the future of the airport. With the YIAC agreement expiring March 31st, the councils of the three municipal partners who own the airport met several times in recent months with a consultant to set the future vision for the airport and the basis for future agreements. After much discussion and consideration, a delegation of Council and staff advised its partners that it would be recommending to Council to withdraw from the YIAC as of March 31, 2019.

The foundation for this recommendation is based on a number of factors, primarily focused on simplification of decision-making for the airport and focusing energies and resources of the Town on other key projects and infrastructure. All three partners agreed that the current governance framework has proven inefficient with multiple independent owners. With the Town removing itself from the partnership, governance and decision-making going forward will be simplified. 

Yarmouth Airport"The airport is an important regional asset, but it's been hindered by the complexity of its funding and governance structures", said Mayor Pam Mood. "The difference going forward if we decide to take this path is simply that the Town will not be at the decision-making table. The airport remains open, the Town continues to provide financial support and we can focus our resources on other important regional work."

One important file is the $9 million infrastructure project at the Ferry Terminal which begins this spring. By removing itself as an owner and trusting the remaining partners to operate and determine the airport's future, it allows the Town to shift full attention to the Ferry Terminal project. As the sole owner and operator of the Terminal, the Town is responsible for its redevelopment and operation heading into a crucial era of tourism development for the entire region. 

"The Town is about to embark on the largest infrastructure project we've undertaken in more than 15 years and it requires our full attention over the next three years", added Mayor Mood. "As Municipal partners, we don't all have to do everything, all the time. If we're working together as a region, we can allow each other to take the lead on certain endeavours and be more efficient in getting things done. We have trust and confidence in our partners that they have the same regional interests in mind, and will be good stewards of the airport on behalf of all of Yarmouth County, just as we will be good stewards of the ferry terminal."

Today's motion will be brought to the March 14th Council meeting for consideration.

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Photo courtesy Dave Warner

 

Town of Yarmouth May Seek Intervenor Status on Ferry Lawsuit

Amid loss of development, Council contemplating Intervenor Status in the Nova Scotia Conservative party's lawsuit concerning the International Ferry Service

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. -  The Town of Yarmouth will look into making a request for Intervenor Status in the Nova Scotia Conservative Party's lawsuit against the government concerning the release of sensitive contractual information with Bay Ferries, Ltd. The growing concern about the negative publicity being generated around the International ferry service as a result of this lawsuit has caused loss of development and continues to impact the entire region's economic progress.

"I've spoken to several investors, developers, and business owners in recent days and all have expressed grave concerns about the negativity surrounding the service and are worried about the huge risks involved going forward," stated Mayor Pam Mood. "The perception alone that under a Conservative government the ferry could be disrupted, or worse, cancelled, has caused and continues to cause fear and subsequently, damage as it pertains to new and continued investments."

“Hundreds of people in southwest Nova Scotia and across the Province make their living in the multi-billion dollar tourism industry, and to now be worried about losing their livelihood yet again is simply unacceptable. After all the work that has gone into re-establishing the service as a result of a poor decision by the previous government to cancel it in 2009, and the millions invested by business owners, the game of political football with this service needs to stop before irreversible damage is done.”

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Since its reestablishment, business confidence is up and economic gains have been realized across the province. "The public knows the cost of keeping the service in place, and by now we should all understand the significant return on investment," added the Mayor. "The constant negative narrative in the media around the Maine to Nova Scotia service needs to be turned around before we end up in the same dire situation we were in a decade ago."

The Mayor plans to bring a resolution to council this week to grant the request for Intervenor Status as a means to ensure the negative social and economic impact is heard and understood as part of the lawsuit.

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The Town of Yarmouth recognizes our employees as our greatest resource in our organization.  We are committed to the investment in our people.  We seek candidates with knowledge and expertise in their field as well as individuals with a collaborative approach to working with others.  We offer diverse career opportunities with competitive salary and benefits packages. 

All employment opportunities within the Town of Yarmouth will be posted here as they become available.    

Town of Yarmouth

 This is an exciting time for the Town of Yarmouth. By working together, we can meet today’s challenges and build a better future.”

Pam Mood

Contacts

Town of Yarmouth
400 Main Street
Yarmouth, B5A 1G2

  (902) 742-2521
  (902) 742-6244

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