Current press releases are shown below when issued.
Council Looking at Future of Former Mount Pleasant School Building
Sept. 26, 2017; Liverpool, NS: At the Sept. 26th Regular Council meeting, the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality today approved a staff recommendation to declare the property surplus and to have tenants vacate the former Mount Pleasant School by June of 2019. The recommendation also included giving direction to staff to work with the four tenants, the Queens County Food Bank, Queens Day Care, Queens Learning Network and the Queens Family Resource Centre, to consider relocating these important community services to other acceptable locations.
“Declaring the property surplus to Municipal Requirements is a technical term which allows options, and the building is in need of short term repairs. A long term increase in the maintenance budget would have an impact on taxes, but the services provided at the old Mount Pleasant School are important services for the community,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “Many residents in Queens depend upon the services provided by the Queens County Food Bank, the South Shore Family Resource Centre, the Queens Learning Network , the Queens County Daycare Association, and the volunteer initiative Plant To Plate. Council is supportive of these organizations. Prior to a move becoming necessary, we will work with the tenants to help them find suitable space in the community, and will give them adequate notice to help facilitate their move to ensure these valuable services continue to be provided in our community.”
In support of long term capital planning, a building condition assessment was completed on the facility. The assessment revealed that current deferred maintenance is escalating to the point where the current level of maintenance will need to double over the next 25 years to keep it in suitable condition for tenants. This reality may not be financially sustainable for the municipality, the tenants, or their clients. Based on this imminent cost, it was recommended that the municipality work with each of the four tenants to look at alternative location options. The four services provided are important to citizens of Queens and finding other financially sustainable locations is something that the Region may need to address over the next two years.
The four tenants currently utilize the former Mount Pleasant School, 108 College St., Liverpool, NS. This building was constructed in 1957, had been transferred to the Region of Queens Municipality many years ago, after it was declared surplus by the South Shore Regional School Board.
Region of Queens Municipality’s 2016/2017 Audited Financial Statement Released
Sept. 26, 2017; Liverpool, NS: During their September 26th, 2017 Regular Council meeting, the Region of Queens Council approved a motion to accept the Audited Financial Statements and the Trust Fund Statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. Earlier in the morning, the auditor for the Region of Queens Municipality, Michael Metcalfe, of the firm Belliveau Veinotte Inc., presented the audited financial statements for the 2016/2017 fiscal year at the Region of Queens Municipality’s Audit Committee meeting.
“We were pleased to receive confirmation that the Region of Queens remains sound financially. This is largely resulting from careful financial management, and establishing capital and operating reserves in anticipation of specific capital and operating needs,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “In these times of increasing pressures on tax dollars, prudent planning and careful budgeting continues to be a priority of this Council’s mandate.”
Property taxes remained consistent and general operations ended the fiscal year, March 31, 2017 with an operating surplus. This was mainly attributable to unexpected revenue in the deed transfer tax, and will be reserved for future needs. The water utility's operating statement was static this year, finishing with a small surplus of $3,873.
RQM Appoints Interim Chief Administration Officer
September 12, 2017; Liverpool, NS: This afternoon, the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality appointed Jennifer Keating Hubley, Director of Finance who is a 13 year employee of the Region of Queens Municipality, as Interim Chief Administrative Officer (ICAO). This will become effective upon the departure of the current CAO in early October.
Council also approved commencing advertisement of the position to seek a candidate for the permanent appointment of a Chief Administrative Officer. The objective at the Region of Queens is to provide opportunity for career advancement to staff, while ensuring that the Region enjoys a robust, transparent, and competitive selection process for the next Chief Administrative Officer. Council will take the time to properly complete this hiring process, and will strive to hire the best candidate for Queens. In this regard, both internal and external candidates will be considered.
August 22, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The Council of the Region of Queens Municipality would like to publicly advise that Mayor Dagley has accepted the resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Richard MacLellan today. Council will work with MacLellan on a transition plan over the next few months.
Planning for Future Road Resurfacing in Queens County
August 8, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The Region of Queens Council is looking to the future and making plans for down the road by setting up funding reserves and a long range plan to improve road conditions in the Municipality. At the August 8th Regular Council meeting, approval was given to sign the standard, recurring 3 year agreement to be eligible to “apply at a future date” for Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) approval to cost-share on surface upgrades. Staff will include a list of possible improvement needs to be included in the future capital plan, along with a funding suggestion to be considered at 2017/18 budget discussions.
The suggested solution would be to begin building a reserve as early as the 2018/19 budget, which would then be used in the recapitalization of Local Roads under the Municipal Service Exchange. The second item included a motion to authorize the Mayor and Chief Administrative Office (CAO) to sign the three year cost sharing agreement for paving subdivision roads; this is a document that is renewed every three years, and enables future consideration of joint paving projects with the Province.
The motion gives staff the flexibility to investigate the various funding solutions. At an estimated $250,000 per kilometer, and nearly 47 km of roads identified as being in need of resurfacing, there are over $11 million in infrastructure costs currently not funded. There is an annual financial cap on the Province of Nova Scotia’s cost sharing program, which currently funds up to 50% of project costs. Establishing a reserve to fund the municipal portion of the resurfacing of the identified roads will help to systematically, over a long period of time, enable roads to be resurfaced that would not otherwise be resurfaced. Some of the roads identified in the 46.84 km of roads require more immediate assistance, and will been attended to first. Roads eligible for paving under the Municipal Service Exchange agreement are those constructed prior to April 1995. Currently, fees paid by municipalities for operational maintenance (ie; winter operations, drainage, ditch maintenance, and pot hole repairs) do not cover resurfacing, and are adjusted annually by the consumer Price Index for Canada, with the rate for 2015/2016 being $5,064 per kilometer; the 2017/2018 Region of Queens budget allocated $244,613 to pay the Province for these services.
Public Advisory: Daytime work Schedule Resumes at Intersection of School and Waterloo Streets
August 8, 2017: Liverpool, NS: the evening work taking place at the intersection of School and Waterloo Streets in Liverpool, NS has now concluded, effective August 8, 2017. Regular daytime construction work has resumed.
The Region of Queens Municipality appreciates the patience of shown by the public during the evening construction.
Public Advisory: Temporary Work Schedule Change at Intersection of School and Waterloo Streets
August 2, 2017: After-hours work will be undertaken within the School and Waterloo Street Intersection over the next week. This is necessary to accommodate the traffic flow through the intersection.
The evening work schedule will commence on Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 8:00 p.m. until 8 a.m. Friday, August 4, 2017, then will resume on Sunday, August 6 from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. for throughout the weekdays. Typical day work scheduling will resume upon completion.
The Region of Queens Municipality regrets any inconvenience this may cause.
World Championship Event to come to Queens County in February 2019
August 2, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The mood was celebratory at Queens Place Emera Centre today as the Liverpool Championship Host Society announced they will host the World Junior Curling Championships in Liverpool, NS from February 17 – 24, 2019.
“The Liverpool Championship Host Society has done a great job in securing this event, which will bring 140 of the world’s top young curlers, their coaches, families and fans to Queens County in February, 2019,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. Queens County has a reputation of hosting great events, having strong volunteer support, and bringing the crowds in support of all events, whether it is sport, cultural, or entertainment. We are excited to welcome the world to Liverpool, Queens County, Nova Scotia in February, 2019.”
President of the Liverpool Championship Host Society, Greg Thorbourne, announced that the Society had been successful in their bid to host the World Junior Curling Championships, and reflected on the previous success that the community had experienced in hosting the 2014 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. During the event announcement, the Honorable Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, advised of Provincial support for the week long world championships, contributing $100,000. Region of Queens Municipality’s Mayor David Dagley confirmed that Council’s July 25, 2017, pre-budget approval of $50,000 in the 2018/2019 was in support of the World Junior Curling Championships. Shirley Osborne spoke on behalf of Curling Canada, advising that the 2019 Championships will be the 10 year anniversary of the event being held in Canada, which was in Vancouver in 2009. Also attending the event were representatives from the Nova Scotia Curling Association, Liverpool Curling Club, Member of Parliament Bernadette Jordan’s Office, members of the Region of Queens Council, Events Nova Scotia and Communities Culture and Heritage.
The arena at Queens Place Emera Centre will be transformed to contain five sheets of curling ice, and will be the venue for the weeklong event. At least 10 countries will compete in Liverpool at this event with world class curlers aged 21 and under, with 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams. The top six countries in each gender from the 2018 World Juniors in Aberdeen, Scotland will compete in the 2019 Worlds; three more countries in each gender will qualify out of the 2019 World Junior-B Curling Championships, and Canada’s entries will be decided at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Championships.
Region of Queens Marketing Available Commercial Space
August 1, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The Region of Queens Municipality is marketing an underutilized municipal property in the Liverpool business park. Up to 11,928 sq. feet of office space is available for lease in the call centre building, located at 54 Harley Umphrey Dr., Liverpool, NS. Built in 2003 as a call centre with space for up to 300 staff, tenants have not required usage of the entire building. When the lease was renewed with HGS in the Fall of 2016, some unused space was excluded from the lease.
“Changing the renewal agreement with the call centre enables the municipality to lease the vacant space. Leasing the vacant portion of the building could provide opportunities for someone to start or relocate a business there, creating local employment,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “HGS is a great tenant, providing work for many in Queens County, and it would be wonderful to see the rest of the building in use by a business or a few businesses.”
The vacant office space is being marketed by Turner Drake & Partners Ltd., a professional commercial real estate broker. Those interested in more information or leasing the space may contact Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. at 902-429-1811, or check the specifications sheet on their website http://www.turnerdrake.ca/Portals/0/Properties/Leasing%20Flyer_54%20Harley%20Umphrey_Liverpool%20Office%20Space.pdf .
Region of Queens Council Gives Support to Major Event
July 25, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Queens County has been approved to host a major event, and the Region of Queens Council is showing its support through pre-budget approval of $50,000 in the 2018/2019 budget. A funding request was made to the Region of Queens Municipality by a local nonprofit organization that has been successful in its effort to host the event.
“Although we are not at liberty to release any details about the event at this time, Council is confident that this event will be met with great enthusiasm by the public,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens.
An announcement regarding this event is scheduled at noon, Wednesday August 2nd, 2017 at Queens Place Emera Centre, Liverpool, NS.
Local Resident Promotes Queens as Ideal Retirement Location
July 13, 2017; Liverpool, NS: In just 14 months, more than 5,700 people from across Canada and the United States of America have taken a virtual journey in Liverpool, NS with a view to retiring in the area. Liverpool resident Peter Ripple launched the website retiretoliverpool.com in April 2016 to promote Liverpool and area as an ideal choice for to those considering retirement options.
“Mr. Ripple shows a great deal of community pride in hosting and managing the Retire to Liverpool website,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “To have a citizen spreading the word about the benefits of residing in Queens County, supports the work that Council is doing to grow the population and economy. We have taken some steps to work with Mr. Ripple in promoting his website, which has many links back to the Region of Queens website.” The Region of Queens Municipality ran a targeted Facebook ad in Ontario in June, directing people to retiretoLiverpool.com, which showed an increase to the website traffic, as well as additional traffic on the Region of Queens Facebook page. A highway sign has also been placed near the 103, by exit 19 on Queens Crossing land with the Retire to Liverpool web address.
Ripple receives enquiries about the area through the website, and reports that at least six families have moved to the area as a result of the information in the Retire to Liverpool website. Ripple set up and maintains the site with his own funds, and does not generate revenue from the website.
“I think it is in all of our interests to promote Queens County as a destination for people to live, regardless of their ages,” said Ripple. “I would encourage you to use the site as a means of promoting Liverpool/Queens as a great place to live.”
Inspired to take action by the results of the 2011 census data that showed Queens County’s population was in decline and aging, and the loss of some longstanding businesses in the community, Ripple features aspects of Queens County that are desirable to those who are at the age to consider their retirement options. RetiretoLiverpool.com features information about what’s available in Liverpool, with sections on health and wellness; recreational opportunities; services and area businesses; housing and cost of living; arts, culture and entertainment; and the temperate climate. Those browsing the website will see many pictures of the amenities, natural beauty and abundant arts, culture and recreational opportunities available to residents.
A Longstanding Dream Realized with Opening of Mersey Skatepark
July 1, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Even the weather couldn't dampen the spirits of skateboard and biking enthusiasts as the Region of Queens Municipality and the Queens County Skatepark Association officially opened the Mersey Skatepark in Liverpool, NS. Interested youth and adults gathered with their skateboards, bikes, and scooters to see the opening of the Mersey Skatepark under overcast skies, and a heavy mist.
The Mersey Skatepark has been generating excitement on social media and in the skateboarding community as the current top skatepark in the province, and perhaps even in eastern Canada, as a result of an innovative design, and features. The skatepark has a large triple bowl, a streetscape, and a flow area, with a small bowl. Since construction was completed, it has been a popular spot, with skateboarders, scooter users, bikers, and rollerbladers of all ages and capabilities.
A skatepark has been a dream of youth in Queens County for over a decade; the formation of the Queens County Skatepark Association in 2012 was the beginning of making the dream a reality. With a vision the “It’s Time for a Skatepark in Queens!”, QCSA approached the Region of Queens Municiplaity for support. The donation of land and $200,000 cash got the wheels moving on the project. Community support through fundraising was huge, with QCSA receiving $330,000 through fundraising and donations.
The Mersey Skatepark is located at 72 Queens Place Drive, Liverpool, NS, adjacent to Queens Place Emera Centre, a Municipally operated multi purpose recreational facility. Also located on the property is a newly built BMX Pump Track, basketball nets, an outdoor walking trail, and a sledding hill. There are year round recreational opportunities for all ages in this multi use complex.