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Mariners Centre Steering Committee Hold Productive First Meeting


The newly formed committee met recently to discuss a variety of topics, with a focus on quickly assembling a quality funding application for a major infrastructure project at Mariners Centre

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. – A cross-section of staff and councillors from three partner municipalities recently met for the first time as the official Steering Committee guiding the Mariners Centre expansion project. The meeting allowed the group to determine its scope of work over coming months, and laid down important groundwork needed to allow for the fast assembly of a funding application due in June.

mariners centreA number of action items were covered that will provide the committee with the tools and resources needed to complete the application in a timely manner. One key item includes a request to be put to all three councils for shared funding to cover costs of the application process. It was also agreed that, given the great detail of the application and importance of the project to the region, the hiring of an experienced project coordinator is necessary.

A request for decision from all three councils will be submitted to approve the position, and once the committee receives approval of its budget, a coordinator will be hired and housed at the Municipality of Yarmouth administration building to project manage the application.

Municipality of Yarmouth Warden Leland Anthony was appointed as Chair of the Committee while Argyle Deputy Warden Danny Muise was appointed Vice Chair.  According to Warden Anthony, the meeting was on target and the group all agreed that moving quickly on a funding application was a key priority.

“The first meeting of the Mariners Center Expansion Steering Committee went very well,” said Anthony.  “Work on the funding application will begin in the next two to three weeks.”

Deputy Warden Muise echoed Anthony’s view, saying “As Vice Chair of the Steering Committee, I am very happy to be able to work with the Town of Yarmouth and Municipality of Yarmouth towards making this important regional project a possible reality. Our first meeting was very productive in the sense that all three units are on the same page on what we want to accomplish”.

Prior to this committee meeting, it was determined that the focus for the application would be to fund an aquatics centre, an indoor track with associated outdoor track facilities in Tusket, and a field house which would serve as a multi-purpose recreation facility. Other needs will be considered in future phases.

The Group meets again on April 5th to continue to move the project forward.

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About the Steering Committee

The Steering committee is a group of 9 comprised of three members each from the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, the Town of Yarmouth, and the Municipality of the District of Argyle. The members are: 

Municipality of Yarmouth
Warden Leland Anthony (Committee Chair)
Deputy Warden John Cunningham
CAO Victoria Brooks

Town of Yarmouth
Mayor Pam Mood
Deputy Mayor Phil Mooney
CAO Jeff Gushue

Municipality of Argyle
Warden Richard Donaldson
Deputy Warden Danny Muise (Committee Vice-Chair)
CAO Alain Muise

Federal Budget 2019 Supported by NSFM

Halifax, March 20, 2019 – The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM) applauds the Government of Canada for continuing to build federal-municipal partnerships in the 2019 Budget. This budget will deliver major benefits that will impact the daily lives of Canadians by getting more funds directly to their local governments.  

NSFM logoNSFM Vice President, Pam Mood, said, “Budget 2019 has a number of positives for Nova Scotia municipalities.  Growth in the Gas Tax Fund will help communities deliver even more infrastructure projects like better roads, bridges and transit. The national broadband strategy will help deliver reliable, province-wide internet. Access to the internet is essential to Nova Scotia communities when it comes to attracting businesses and residents”. 

Province-wide, high speed internet has been a priority of NSFM and it is expected the federal announcement will support and enhance the $193 million internet funding trust being administered by Develop Nova Scotia.

The budget also works to provide continued funding for housing initiatives and builds on success of past federal-municipal partnerships between the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Green Municipal Fund. “Support for FCM is good news for NSFM,” says Mood.  “Our organizations work closely together to build better lives for Canadians by delivering results at the local level”.

NSFM continues to advocate on behalf of our members for our five annual resolutions: reform of the CAP, Extended Producer Responsibility for consumer packaging, new sources for municipal funding, modernization of municipal governance, and a new funding model for roads.

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About NSFM: The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM) has been the collective voice for municipal governments across the province since 1906. With 379 members comprising Mayors, Wardens and councillors, NSFM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within provincial jurisdiction. Members include all 50 of Nova Scotia's municipalities.

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

 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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