Stepping Into the Future We Want

Posted by One Pictou County on 27 May 2016

Throughout the process of the application to amalgamate the four municipalities, the MOU Committee has heard loud and clear from citizens. You are concerned about significant population decreases, loss of medical services and availability of doctors, school closures, sluggish economy, lack of employment opportunities, and that there is no coordinated approach to address these challenges. We have heard real life accounts about businesses looking to locate to Pictou County only to be frustrated by overregulation, multiple sets of rules and lack of coordinated approach. About how our current structure of municipal government has not been able to attract and work with the private sector to create employment for our citizens. Opportunities that because of our current municipal structure went to other areas of Nova Scotia and Moncton.    

The application to amalgamate our four municipalities is about taking our current leadership, visions, plans and regulations from four sets to one. The new structure will offer a unified approach. The application is about creating a new municipality that ensures our quality of life improves by supporting and enhancing services in our communities, and about conveying our strengths to new businesses and healthcare professionals looking to establish new opportunities and practices.

Our plan addresses your concerns about fair property taxation –property owners will only pay for the services they receive. The New Municipality eliminates duplication and passes those savings back to you. The New Municipality has the ability to lower both rural and urban residential tax bills for each property owner. The New Municipality has a tax system that is clear and transparent – no hidden fees or charges. Rural residents will not be paying for urban services. You will see a modest reduction in your property tax bill.

With the support of the Province of Nova Scotia, the New Municipality will have the financial means to finally complete large projects that have been holding our communities back for many years. Wastewater extensions, significant reductions in sewer discharge to the East River during storm events, and the construction of a new water treatment facility to address water quality issues to name a few. Without this funding and coordinated approach, these long overdue projects will continue to be delayed, or your municipality will have to borrow funds and pass those costs along to the taxpayer.

This Saturday we encourage you to vote and we encourage you to vote yes for amalgamation. We think this is an important first step towards stabilizing our communities and getting on with positive activities and growth.