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Region of Queens Municipality

Nova Scotia, Canada

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Current press releases are shown below when issued.

Motorists are reminded that in accordance with Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act, no person shall willfully park or leave standing a vehicle, attended or unattended, on a street or part thereof which interferes or obstructs snow removal during or after a snow storm, or in any way obstructs winter maintenance, i.e. salting.  Such vehicles will be towed away at the owners expense.

Further to Section 318 of the Municipal Government Act, snow cannot be deposited on any street or onto public sidewalks.  Snow shall be stored on the property being cleared or hauled away and dumped in an approved location.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Officer at 902-354-3455 or the Region of Queens Municipal Traffic Authority at
902-354-5721.

On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Mayor David Dagley was the guest speaker at the AGM for the South Queens Chamber of Commerce.  He provided an update on the actions of Council that has taken place over recent months.  The speech is as follows:

 

Good morning everyone.


The South Queens Chamber of Commerce members are looked upon as the movers and shakers in our community, representing the businesses community in South Queens. I am pleased to speak today about the work the Region of Queens is pursuing during this Council’s mandate.
Immediately after being sworn in one November 1st, our Council gathered to review operations of the Region of Queens Municipality. We have developed Strategic Priorities that reflect what we heard from constituents during the election campaign. The key areas that this Council will focus on are:
1. Growing our Population and Economy
2. Delivering Desirable Municipal Services
3. Governing to Municipal Best Practices.
It is our Council directive to staff to formulate a Municipal Budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year targeting zero tax increases to tax rates.

In essence, the three priorities are interconnected and as one aspect is achieved, others will be impacted in a positive way. Our top priority is growing our population and economy. New residents require accommodations, require services and become customers in local businesses. The recently released results of the 2016 Census provided information that confirmed what we knew ... our population has declined over the past 5 years. This was expected in the wake of the closure of the paper mill, the loss of the fish plant and closure of the sawmill in Caledonia. A number of our skilled tradespeople and professionals moved to find work, and the birth rate is lower than required to offset normal population reduction. From our perspective, it appears the decline trend is ending.


The challenge of growing our population and the economy will be partly addressed through focused advertising and promotion. Queens is a wonderful area to work, raise a family and retire. Resident Peter Ripple developed the “Retire to Liverpool” website which has been linked to the Region’s website. He has advised us that at least 5 families have relocated to Queens in 2016 as a result. Continued efforts are required to maintain a strong presence in social media and trade publications advising that Queens is an area that is innovative, progressive and forward thinking.


Staff at the Region of Queens are in the process of updating content on our website to ensure we are showcasing our assets in the best light. Queens has modern schools, a great recreation facility, a newly renovated hospital featuring a collaborative care centre, great beaches and forests and provides a good quality of life.

We are focused on increasing Tourism efforts with new events, and are in the process of working with businesses and community groups in our efforts to rebrand Liverpool. Revitalizing the Port of the Privateers brand is one focus. Queens Place Staff are working with the Kings Orange Rangers and other community groups to support the proposal from the Kings Orange Rangers to develop an International Re-Enactment and encampment Event in Liverpool in August 2018.

Signage, print and social media promotions of Liverpool will feature the Port of the Privateer branding, and we would like to encourage local businesses to help re-enforce the brand in your own way. Please consider how you can bring our registered trademark brand into your own business in cooperation with the Region. Consultation will occur with businesses on these issues.

The Region is continuing the important work of putting infrastructure in place to attract small and medium sized businesses, which will provide jobs for residents, as well as draw skilled people to the community to work and live. Discussions with potential business are occurring. Council and Staff of the Region are working closely with Port Mersey and we are very pleased with the businesses located there including Cellufuel, Jaspro, Lloyoll Built, Covey Island Boat Builders and R. J. MacIsaac Construction, who continue to grow their businesses.


Our Region successfully received $1.6 million in funding for a $2.1 million upgrade to the underground water and sewer infrastructure on Main and School Streets. A funding partnership with the Federal government’s Clean Water Waste Water fund provided 50%, the Province provided 25% and the Region is providing 25%. It is a great opportunity, allowing the Region to continue upgrading the water and sewer system as far as Waterloo Street.


Liverpool has been in the news as a result of our progressive efforts to partner with business and organizations to provide services in underutilized public properties. Most recently, we were pleased to announce that Lanes Privateer Inn was approved for a three year contract to operate Fort Point Lighthouse, a venture that the previous Council under the advice of our CAO previously entered into on a one year trial basis. Lane’s has been the subject of a number of positive news stories in tourism web publications, and have great plans in place to further revitalize and enhance the visitor experience at Fort Point.


The existing partnership with Kingfisher Foods to operate The Hub canteen at Queens Place Emera Centre has been successful, and is attracting visitors to the facility.


We are pleased with the results of the Queens Association for Supported Living partnership which has turned the seasonal Liverpool VIC into a year round presence for them as a gift shop on the waterfront. Their staff and clients assist Region of Queens staff with tourism services in the summer, and from October through April, they expand their gift shop operations at our waterfront facility. It is a progressive opportunity to have this social enterprise operating in our downtown core.

We are looking forward to having Julie Anne Babin relocate her business, The Welcome Matte, to the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre under a new agreement. Julie will be recruiting artists for exhibits, managing the upstairs rooms, and offering weekly recreational programming, which will help accomplish the original vision that prompted the renovation of the Town Hall. It will be a thriving arts and culture centre on Main Street, drawing people for the live performances and cinema experience available at the Astor Theatre, as well as the unique cultural experience of the Acadia First Nation Sipuke’l Gallery, which showcases First Nation art and treasured artifacts.


Council approved a process which will result in sourcing a development partner to assist with the creation of a facility renewal proposal for Hillsview Acres. An approved proposal will result in keeping jobs in the Region of Queens Municipality, keep beds in Queens, and provide an attractive and modern facility in Queens. Additionally, we are working with developers to encourage housing options to be built in Queens for seniors and others.


Council recently approved a Joint Service Agreement with the Municipality of Shelburne to be able to access a back-up building inspector when required in Queens. This will assist contractors and reduce delays during construction.


Our Planning Strategy and By Laws will need to be updated to reflect current issues in Queens, with a need for housing, and flexibility in zoning for the downtown area. We have directed staff to begin a major review of our Municipal Bylaws and Policies in an attempt to provide better governance and transparency to residents of Queens.


Vacant commercial space existing in our Liverpool Downtown area resulted in a discussion at council. That discussion pertained to allowing a conversion to residential apartment space on one property, which resulted in a tie vote. Council was able to agree to review zoning by law restrictions hindering commercial activity near Caledonia Corner, and my expectation is that Council will also agree upon a solution moving forward for the Liverpool downtown.


The entrepreneurial spirit in Queens is strong, and we appreciate the dedication of established business leaders who continue to provide quality goods and services within our community. You are the foundation that supports our business district.


We identify opportunities to create positive experiences for residents and visitors, and recently approved integrating community gardening in the Region through a community development model. Our Municipal Physical Activity Coordinator will facilitate community garden efforts, with a handbook and policy being developed by staff to enable volunteer groups to develop community garden projects on specific municipal lands.

In November, I attended the Nova Scotia Drag Racers Association Annual Banquet. The Region is pleased with the quality of their drag racing events and their continued usage of our Airport in Greenfield. The South Shore Flying Club is also looking forward to fostering improvements and additional usage of the Airport in 2017.


I was privileged to attend Christmas on the Mersey celebrations, the Liverpool Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting as well as the North Queens Tree Lighting and subsequent Parade. I would like to thank the Chamber for their significant support during Christmas on the Mersey celebrations.
The Mersey Skate Park will be finished this spring, and will engage youth in Queens, drawing people from throughout Nova Scotia and beyond. It is unique – with new fun challenges in our skate park, not previously existing east of Montreal. The efforts of the Queens Skate Park Association to secure over $300,000 in funding for the $500,000 project is appreciated. The previous council supported the park with a $200,000 contribution and a donation of land at Queens Place Emera Centre. We are pleased to see this park come to life, and are also happy to add a BMX bicycle track adjacent to the skate park with unique features as well. The attraction opportunities inside and outside on the grounds at Queens Place Emera Centre will encourage and support an active lifestyle for all ages.

Recreation is important when building a community where people will want to reside, visit, or relocate. Our Council has advised staff that we desire more events at Queens Place Emera Centre. Staff have been very responsive to that direction, are offering more programs, and have been successful in securing several larger events for this spring ... the Maritime Broomball Championships are coming to Queens Place in April, bringing broomball teams and fans from across the Maritimes. The South Shore Home, Sport and Leisure Expo will be a very exciting event in early May. The promoter for this show is expecting it to become a multiyear event. Great response has been received from exhibitors. It is the only trade show of its sort on the South Shore.

We’ve been looking at cost cutting ideas and revenue generation for Queens Place as well, in an effort to reduce the deficit. A beverage agreement was signed with Pepsi for Queens Place which will produce $45,000 in positive revenue over the next five years. Council initiated a cost benefit analysis pertaining to ice in or out during the summer months at Queens Place, but sufficient information did not exist to allow an informed decision to occur. Additional data will continue to be collected as available. Management and service delivery opportunities at Queens Place are a continuous work in progress.

The Queens Place Advisory Committee is also doing its job of reviewing operations, with recommendations being expected to follow as appropriate. Youth at our Middle School presented to Council during Municipal Awareness Month in November, providing Council with a youth perspective on desired services expected to be provided at Queens Place.

The Region recently committed to move forward to the budget stage of the pool project in conjunction with the Queens Community Aquatic Society. The pool survey indicated that residents want a community indoor pool, and the Region and QCAS will take the process further, to determine if building a pool is economically feasible. Once we compile data on the design, construction and operating costs, the proposed pool project will be taken back to residents for input. Community discussion will help direct this decision of Council.

A solution for parking lot flooding has not been pursued by previous councils. This Council will need to look at mitigating local water related impacts of climate change.


The Region has submitted two grant applications to the Province towards improving rural internet service in the Greenfield and Caledonia areas. Among the solutions to the issues of rural internet, one has been proposed and initiated locally as a pilot project. It is ground breaking TV White Space technology which could have a significant national impact on access to internet in rural communities.
We have selected local resident, Rex Woollard, to develop an interactive kiosk for our Visitor Information Centre. This will be leading edge technology that the Region can subsequently utilize for kiosks at other locations in Queens.

The Queens County Museum has submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Region to operate the vacant Court House as a Museum of Justice and house the Bowater Collection. Council is deliberating on that request.

Our Council is committed to be open, transparent and engaging more frequently with the public. I hope that those present today enjoyed our Holiday Newsletter which included photos and contact information for members of our new Council. The Region hopes to have this newsletter published 3 times a year. Staff have live Tweeted the past two Council meetings, as a way to provide timely information to those unable to attend a meeting. We’ve held public meetings on the pool, and will discuss more issues at our new Committee of the Whole meetings. As your representatives, we feel strongly that your input is needed in making decisions that impact our community, and we carry the responsibility of being elected officials very seriously.

Those who operate businesses in Liverpool and throughout South Queens are our best resource for growing and engaging our community. You each have connections with other businesses, and people you meet when traveling outside of Queens. We are all ambassadors. Please carry the message that Queens County is rebuilding, and has a vibrant and healthy business community. We want to openly welcome more business to establish in Queens. Our vibrant arts and culture community, and quality of life is second to none. Your Council is supportive of business, and is encouraging economic growth.


I hope to see local business representatives at 6:30 p.m. tonight, February 22, at the downtown business meeting which the Region is hosting at the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre. Our Director of Economic Development Jill Cruikshank, CAO Richard MacLellan and I will be talking with businesses about plans to promote the downtown, as well as opportunities, priorities and needs of our business district in Liverpool. We want to hear local business perspectives.


Thank you for attending this morning. I would now be pleased to answer your questions.

February 14, 2016; Liverpool, NS: Identifying innovative ways to deliver core services is the challenge for today’s municipalities. Today, the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality approved two shared services agreements at the regular Council meeting on February 14, 2017. The Region of Queens will enter into a shared services agreement with the Municipality of the District of Shelburne (MODS), in which a MODS Building Official will be appointed as a spare Building Official for the Region of Queens Municipality to access on an as-needed basis. As well, the Region of Queens will enter into a shared services agreement on a trial basis in which the Region of Queens Special Constable By-law Enforcement Officer will conduct specific service work in the Town of Lunenburg.

“Shared service agreements are something that Municipalities are beginning to explore, to ensure that services are provided in our communities while reducing the burden on the taxpayer,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “We are very fortunate at the Region Queens Municipality to have great employees who are well trained and experienced in specialty areas. ” Dagley noted that the shared service agreements are a way to have the expertise at hand, without committing to additional full time staff.

The agreement with MODS for a Building Official increases the staff compliment in Queens when the service is needed. At present, the Region of Queens has one full time Building Official, and one part time casual Building Official. Having an additional casual Building Official, ensures this critical service for development and economic growth is maintained.

The Town of Lunenburg has sought cost efficient ways to provide enforcement for a low number of Dangerous and Unsightly files reported by their residents. The agreement with Town of Lunenburg will limit the service provided by the Region of Queens Special Constable By-Law Enforcement Official to 35 hours per year. There will zero impact on the budget or service standard in Queens, as service provision is on a cost recovery basis.

“These shared service agreements are a good opportunity for us to examine whether shared services are beneficial in delivering our municipal services,” said Dagley. “Opportunities to partner and work together, including human resources, information technology, policing, sold waste management, and others, are continuously being explored for the long term sustainability of services.”

February 14, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Visitors and locals alike will continue to enjoy the unique attributes of Fort Point Lighthouse, with a revitalized, innovative flavor. On February 14, 2017, the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality approved the proposal submitted by Lane’s Privateer Inn to operate Fort Point Lighthouse in Liverpool, NS, on a seasonal basis for a three year period, beginning in spring 2017.

“We are excited about the special features, events and attractions that Lane’s is planning for the next three years at Fort Point Lighthouse. We are also fortunate to enjoy local entrepreneurial leadership that is creating exemplary ways to best leverage our local cultural and heritage assets. Folks are going to come from all over the world to experience Lanes at the Lighthouse.” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality.

“We are pleased that the Region of Queens has faith in us and shares our vision of the Lighthouse. It is a very special place to us as we grew up next to it and our Dad told us many stories of his childhood days and playing a the lighthouse. As mayor, he was instrumental in making sure that the lighthouse was restored and opened to the public as a museum. We are honoured to be part of that legacy,” said Susan Lane, Manager of Lane’s Privateer Inn. “We would like to continue with the Lighthouse Lunches and expand on this idea with more activities at the lighthouse making Fort Point a destination for families to want to visit again and again. We would like to incorporate live music, art and artisans at work, celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. We are also excited to modernize the video presentation so that it is more interactive and expands on the stories that Bert has been telling about growing up at Fort Point.”

In the spring of 2016, the Region of Queens Municipality opened the operation of the facility to proposals for its operation. Lanes Privateer Inn operated the facility as Lane’s at the Lighthouse for the 2016 season, offering picnic lighthouse lunches, ice cream, and tours of the lighthouse overlooking Liverpool bay, as well as dressing the facility up for Halloween, and being the site for a December wedding.

Fort Point Lighthouse is the third oldest standing lighthouse in Nova Scotia. It has stood at the mouth of the Mersey River since 1855, and was decommissioned in 1989. The Region of Queens Municipality opened it seasonally as an attraction, enabling the public to have the unique experience of being able to go inside a lighthouse, access the light, and turn the hand crank to sound the fog horn. There has been an average of approximately 6,000 visitors annually over the past five years.

8:10 pm, Feb. 14, 2017: Port Medway Fire Department Comfort Station has now closed. Nova Scotia Power crews continue to work with the provincial Emergency Management Office and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to coordinate clearing of secondary roads so that crews can get to remaining damaged areas. It appears that all power outages caused by Monday's storm should be corrected this evening.

If residents are without power at midnight, they should report their outage to NS Power again. The outage line is 1-877-428-6004.

Feb. 13, 2017: Please be advised that as a result of power outages in Port Medway and neighboring communities, the Port Medway Fire Hall, located at 66 Long Cove Rd., Port Medway, NS, is open as a comfort centre. It will remain open uNtil power is restored in Port Medway and area.

*** effective 10 pm, Feb. 13, please note that the North Queens comfort station has closed as power has been restored to the community.

3:54 pm, Feb. 13, 2017:  Please note ... The North Queens Fire Dept. (located at 9793 Hwy. 8, Caledonia, NS) will be open as a comfort center until 11 p.m. this evening, also serving supper. It will open again at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

There are areas with large power outages in the North Queens area, with power not expected to be restored until tomorrow evening.

 

1 p.m., Feb. 13, 2017:  Please be advised that as a result of the power outages in West Caledonia and South Brookfield, a comfort centre has been set up at the North Queens Fire Department, 9793 Hwy. 8, Caledonia, NS. Please share this information with those who may need this service.

9:15 p.m, Feb. 13, 2017: As the storm continues overnight, we advise residents to stay in place if possible. While the storm is taking place, blowing snow has reduced visibility, and the snow has caused poor road conditions. Snow plowing is taking place according to standards set by the Department of Transportation and the Region of Queens Public Works Department. It will take time to plow all areas and ensure roads are passable; residents's patience is appreciated while the crews work around the clock to ensure the roads and our communities are safe.

The high tide this evening will bring higher than normal water levels and those in coastal areas should be aware of this.

An update will be issued in the morning.

 

1 p.m., Feb. 13, 2017: Public Advisory

Please be advised that as a result of the power outages in West Caledonia and South Brookfield, a comfort centre has been set up at the North Queens Fire Department, 9793 Hwy. 8, Caledonia, NS.  Please share this information with those who may need this service.

 

12:45 pm, February 13, 2017: A recent update indicates That the the blizzard conditions should be dropping off around 3:00 p.m. in Queens County. The current conditions being experienced are the more severe part of the storm. As predicted Queens & Lunenburg counties have had the most impact along the South Shore, with highest snowfall totals still expected to be from Queens, Lunenburg and to western Halifax Counties where 40 to 60 cm is still a reasonable estimate. Winds are expected to continue to pick up in most areas today.

At this time, there are no major power problems reported, but the power situation is being monitored closely.

The water has caused some problems along the shoreline in Queens, with water levels already running on the high side and surge magnitudes are actually higher than the model prediction. The model that is used to advise on the storm impact may be underestimating the surge at this point. This will be something to monitor closely this morning then again this evening. Residents in some areas have been notified of high sea & wave levels limiting the use of certain highways.

We continue to ask that unless it is required travel, that residents stay indoors. Until the storm subsides, road conditions and visibility will be poor.

Another update will be posted later today.

9:02 am, Feb. 13,2017:The weather system is moving through the province as predicted in earlier weather briefings.  There is currently snow, at times heavy, with widespread blizzard/whiteout conditions present throughout parts of the province. Strong east to northeast winds gusting in the western part of the province and the Atlantic Coast in the 90 to 110 km/h range with possible higher gusts right at the coast. The storm surge is still expected along the Atlantic Coast. Currently, a Blizzard Warning and Storm Surge Warning are in effect for Queens County. To check the status, please refer to. http://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=ns

At the time of writing this briefing, there were few power outages reported in Queens. NS Power is reporting active outages in other parts of NS, and has approximately 150 crews to address other potential outages.

In the interest of public safety, travel should be limited. The blowing snow and high winds have created poor road conditions, poor visibility and generally hazardous driving/walking conditions.

A further update is expected to be issued later this afternoon.

 

10:00 pm, Feb. 13, 2017: As there have been no changes to the forecast, the next update is expected to be posted at approximately noon, Monday, February 13, 2017.

3:50 pm, Feb. 12, 2017:  With regard to the upcoming storm system that is forecast to arrive this evening, we would like to advise residents to make preparations to stay in place for 72 hours, and to limit travel. It is expected that there will be poor road conditions, poor visibility and generally hazardous driving/walking conditions. It is advisable to have food and water in for your household for a 72 hour period, for storm preparedness.

Checklist for a blizzard:
* Check your emergency kit
* Stay home & bring pets inside
* Turn up the heat
* Charge your devices

If an emergency occurs during the storm, call 911. Everyone must prepare today and monitor various media for updates.

 

February 11, 2017, Liverpool, NS: A winter storm watch is in effect for Queens County in anticipation of an incoming weather system expected to begin on Sunday evening and continue into Monday. Winter storm watches are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together. Indications are that Queens County will experience very bad weather, and a risk of damage to property.

Residents of Queens are advised to be prepared for a severe weather system. There will be heavy snowfall, very strong winds, higher than normal water levels, and wave levels of 5 meters maximum along the shore in Queens County. There may be power outages, coastal flooding, and impassable road conditions. Residents should be aware of the possibilities this storm will present and take extra precautions.

The Weather Office of Environment Canada has indicated that the centre of the storm has formed and was located in Kansas on Saturday morning. It will move to lie off the coast of New Jersey by Sunday evening, where it will intensify very rapidly (rapidly enough to classify it as a weather bomb). From there, it is expected to track into the Gulf of Maine then head slowly eastward out to sea.

With a storm of this magnitude in close proximity to Nova Scotia, heavy snow (projected to be between 25 and 50 centimetres in Queens County), very strong winds (possibly in excess of 100 km/hour in Queens County), and high water levels along the Atlantic Coast are expected. Storm tracking indicates that the South Shore is the area to get the worst of this storm.

This type of scenario also produces higher than normal water levels along the Atlantic Coast, combined with the high tide on Monday. The highest storm surge is along the South Shore at 80 – 90 centimetres, but in Queens, the highest surge is expected to occur during low tide. This could produce some localized flooding.

The Region of Queens Municipality will continue to provide residents with updates on the storm on the Region’s website (https://www.regionofqueens.com ), and Region of Queens Facebook and Twitter pages. The next update is expected to be approximately 7:30 p.m., Sunday evening.

February 2, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Concerns for safety and a decline in volunteerism has led two long standing Region of Queens Municipality’s volunteer fire departments to take steps to amalgamate. The Charleston Volunteer Fire Department has started the process of filing paperwork to transfer its assets to the Mill Village Fire Department. Both fire departments have seen declining membership for several years; the current level of 10 in at the Charleston Department is not a safe quotient. Public safety and volunteer capacity will be improved in Charleston, Mill Village and District through the amalgamation.

“We are supportive of the difficult choice that the Charleston and Mill Village Fire Departments have made to amalgamate their two forces. Ensuring community safety and the safety of their volunteer fire fighters was the primary concern of the Charleston Department when they approached the Mill Village Department,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “The Fire Departments have been significant to community life in Charleston and Mill Village for generations. The Region of Queens has a great deal of respect for the foresight and community spirit of those who established the departments many years ago. We also thank all the volunteers past and present who gave tirelessly of their time to support the Charleston Fire Department and wish the current members of both departments well as they work through this partnership.”
Once the Charleston and Mill Village Fire Departments determined that amalgamation of the two departments was the route to take, Municipal staff met with the Fire Chiefs to discuss maintaining the current level of municipal funding. Fire trucks will be temporality stored at the Charleston Volunteer Fire Department until renovations have been completed to house them at the Mill Village Department. Assets from the sale of the Charleston Fire Hall and its lands will be used to fund the expansion of the Fire Hall, and applied toward new equipment.
There is expected to be little change in the delivery of fire protection services under the amalgamation, as the two departments are located less than 4 km apart. The total number of structures in the amalgamated fire protection area is 507, which was formerly distributed as 190 for the Charleston Volunteer Fire Department and 317 in Mill Village.

The Region of Queens Municipality and the Queens Community Aquatic Society are co-hosting a public meeting on Thursday, February 2 at Queens Place Emera Centre from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.  The results of the pool survey and the proposed next steps regarding a community pool will be discussed.  The public are welcome to attend.

January 24, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Opportunities and challenges may require in-depth discussion that requires more time than allotted in a Regular Council meeting. The Council of the Region of Queens Municipality approved a motion on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 directing staff to start the process of establishing a monthly Committee of the Whole meeting, with the standing agenda to be built based on Council’s Strategic Priorities.

“Committee of the Whole is a means for us to be able to have a discussion on a topic that we want to explore, without having to make a decision on it that day, as occurs when items come to Regular Council Meetings,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens. “Adding a meeting that is solely for discussion, deliberation and receiving input from residents, will help us advance Council’s priorities and ensure Council has had an opportunity to learn as much as possible about a topic before it advances to Council for a decision.”

A Committee of the Whole is intended to facilitate the decision-making process of Council. The Committee of the Whole is comprised of all members of Council who participate in debate and discussion, and, when necessary, forward recommendations to Council for final decision. Meetings are not considered formal Council meetings, and, as such, are structured as a less formal process. Expected agenda items for upcoming Committee of the Whole Agendas will include strategic deliberation on the municipal role in tourism, as well as attracting residents to Queens, or ways to meet the Region’s recreational needs.

“Not all items discussed in Committee of the Whole will be brought to an upcoming Council meeting. Some items will be to provide background that will enable us to understand other issues, and some items will require a few meetings to determine if there is enough information or a desire to warrant recommending that a motion occur at a Regular Council meeting,” said Dagley.

Committee of the Whole will meet on the third Tuesday of each month at the Council Chamber of the Region of Queens Municipality, 249 White Point Road, Liverpool, NS. Agendas for Committee of the Whole will be posted on the Region of Queens Municipality’s website ( http://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/council-agendas-minutes-audio )the Friday prior to the meeting. Final minutes will be posted once approved by Council. Similar to Council meetings, an MP3 of the audio recording of a Committee of the Whole meeting will be posted on the Region of Queens website, generally within 24 hours of the meeting.

January 24, 2017; Liverpool, NS: A motion was approved by the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality at the January 24th, 2017 Regular Council meeting authorizing staff to begin solicitation to source a development partner to help formulate and submit a proposal solution for the outdated 29 bed residential care facility located in Middlefield, Queens County.

“In seeking developers, we are working to be proactive about finding solutions for Hillsview Acres, resulting in a modern facility, and keeping the beds and the jobs here in Queens,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. During the discussion of the motion prior to Council voting, it was discussed that there is no guarantee that the Province of Nova Scotia or the Region of Queens Municipality will accept any resulting proposal developed as that proposal must fit the needs of the community, as well as that of government.

Once the solicitation is ready to go to market, it is expected to take approximately six months for the successful developer to prepare a proposal vetted by the Region of Queens Municipality to be jointly submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia. The Region of Queens Municipality owns and operates Hillsview Acres Home for Special Care. It is licensed and funded by the Department of Health and Wellness as a Level 1 Residential Care Facility with 29 beds. Employing 30 full time, part time and casual staff, Hillsview Acres is an important employer in Queens.

Recent community feedback through the Queens Care Society’s Housing and Transportation Needs Study portrayed and quantified the need for seniors housing in the community. Residential Care Facilities play an important component of that spectrum of housing needs.

The consulting costs associated with the project will be funded from the Hillsview Acres Replacement Reserve, and there is no impact to the Region of Queens Municipality’s Operating or Project Budgets.

January 24, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The Council of the Region of Queens Municipality voted in support of several motions that invest in tourism, recreational opportunities, arts and culture, and support a vibrant community. A new tenant for the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre, development of innovative new technology for the Liverpool Visitor Information Centre, funding for a sporting event and support to bring an international event to the community, were all approved at their Regular Council Meeting on January 24, 2017.

“The motions approved today in Council are the culmination of several months of work by Council, staff and the proponents, and are reflective of our Council’s strategic priorities focusing on attracting and growing our population, and growing our economy,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality.

A motion was approved to enter into a three year lease with Julie Babin, and her business The Welcome Matte Frame Shop, as a tenant of the facility. The lease provides Babin with space in the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre in exchange for her coordinating with artists and the public to provide art shows, workshops and being a welcoming presence in the Cultural Centre.

“Julie brought forward an unsolicited proposal outlining her solution to fill a gap in service at the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre. Council is pleased with how the proposal fits our vision of a vibrant, active Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre, which serves as a cultural hub in our downtown area,” said Dagley. “We look forward to seeing even more activity in the building, to have her on site to assist artists with their shows, and to greet and welcome locals and visitors to the Cultural Centre as well as to the community.”

The lease outlines an agreement with Babin to have exclusive use of the workshop room, as well as shared use office space and shared use storage space. There are no additional budget expenditures being made by the Region of Queens Municipality, and the sales and commission splitting in the lease agreement will provide a small revenue stream. The Astor Theatre and the Sipuke’l Gallery are also tenants of the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre.

“The Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre is such a fantastic facility that appeared to be underutilized. I thought I would submit a proposal, and if it was accepted, it would be a great way to contribute to the community while promoting arts and culture in a gorgeous setting. I am very excited to work with the arts community to help this facility reach its full potential,” Babin said.

Innovative new technology from local entrepreneur and recently retired professor of computer science, Rex Woollard, will be embraced by the Region of Queens as a tool to aid those visiting the area in learning about the best Queens County has to offer. Woollard is developing software for an interactive, self-serve visitor information program that will be developed into a touch screen visitor centre kiosk. The prototype will be tailor made for Queens County and located at the Liverpool Visitor Information Centre upon completion.

“We are pleased that Mr. Woollard will introduce his leading edge technology here in Queens and that it is the model that he will be able to replicate this technology for other communities across Nova Scotia,” said Dagley. “It is an exciting project and Mr. Woollard will be breaking new ground in enhancing visitor experiences.”

“Queens has much to offer local residents and visitors from around the world - its cultural richness, its deeply rooted history, its spectacular shoreline, its expansive lakes and rivers, and its diverse entertainment outlets. Queens faces the challenge of promotion. The Visitor Information Centre (VIC) has been a great promotional resource for years, but it is not staffed as an information centre throughout the year,” said Woollard. The kiosk he is developing will be available year round, even when visitor centre staff is not available. He developed similar computer solutions for the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology and Algonquin College, both based in Ottawa, and is eager to apply these skills to celebrate the unique charms of Queens. In the future, the VIC kiosk could be replicated at a very low cost at other important locations in the community.

Council also made decisions that will assist community organizations to make Queens County an active, engaged community pertaining to recreation and entertainment. Council requested that staff prepare a report on the possible direction to be followed after the presentation by the Queens Community Aquatic Society, which summarized the Aquatics survey conducted in the fall of 2016.

As well, Council approved a grant in the amount of $500.00 for the Liverpool Curling Club to host the Under 15 Juvenile Curling Championship from Feb. 10 – 12, 2017. The Championships will bring 29 teams of youth, their coaches, and families from across the province for the three day tournament.

In keeping with drawing visitors to the area, Council also approved support for the Kings Orange Rangers to develop an International Re-enactment Event on August 10, 11, and 12, 2018 in Liverpool, NS. In addition to their own members, the Kings Orange Rangers plan to have representatives from many groups throughout Nova Scotia and North America, which may include the 84th Regiment of Foot (Windsor, NS), 3rd New Jersey Volunteers (Shelburne, NS), Royal American Fencibles (Yarmouth, NS), 2nd Delanceys (Saint John, NB), and a number of American member groups affiliated under the Brigade of the American Revolution. As Council has provided support in principle, the next steps for the Kings Orange Rangers will be to develop a project committee, clarify roles and responsibilities, recruit volunteers, source additional funding and develop the preliminary event schedule.

“Today’s Council meeting saw the approval of several initiatives which will result in increasing the capacity of our community to offer residents and visitors a quality experience while having a positive impact on our local economy. Lively activities encourage people to relocate or visit an area for quality of life, business and recreational opportunities, also supporting a positive lifestyle for current and future residents,” said Dagley.