Town Council news: Rafuse sworn in; aboiteau bridge project delayed

Norm Rafuse (L) sworn in by CAO Ray Hickey

Norm Rafuse (L) sworn in by CAO Ray Hickey

Norm Rafuse, owner of Rafe’s Construction, has officially taken his seat on Parrsboro Town Council after handily winning the September 5th by-election. Rafuse was sworn in at tonight’s regular council meeting.

He said later that his mind is still open on whether the town should dissolve and join Cumberland County. He said he needs a month to learn the ropes before he decides where he stands. During an all-candidates meeting in August, Rafuse said, “If I’m elected by the people of Parrsboro, I will work for what they want.”

Aboiteau bridge replacement delayed

Mayor Lois Smith reported to council that she had received a reply to her July letter asking about the schedule for replacement of the aboiteau bridge. In his reply, Geoff MacLellan, the provincial minister of transportation, writes that the work won’t begin until the 2019-2020 construction season. Council had expected the work to begin much sooner, possibly next year.

“We’re not very happy,” Mayor Smith said. She added that council will be meeting on October 6 with Buffy White, the department’s area manager and will try to persuade her to replace the bridge sooner.

The mayor noted that a new bridge is needed to facilitate the movement of heavy equipment required for the installation and maintenance of tidal turbines in the Minas Passage.

Meantime, council approved going ahead next spring with repairs to prevent water from leaking out of the aboiteau itself. Three new gates are being ordered and will be installed along with cement and clay to keep the water in.

New fire equipment

Council approved the purchase of a used $90,000 “mellow yellow” 1997 pumper truck although the purchase is conditional on Cumberland County paying half. The town’s share will come from its financial reserve funds. Deputy Mayor Lisa Ward told council the new fire truck would allow the town to delay replacing an older 1978 truck for several years. However, that older truck will still need $5,000 worth of repairs.

The new truck will bring the total number to five with one of them stationed in the county.

Council also decided to buy a $10,000 fire rescue boat with half of that money coming from the county. Lisa Ward reminded council that $8,000 had already been budgeted to repair the old rescue boat, but that money can now go toward the purchase of the new one. She said the extra $2,000 will be cost-shared equally with the county.

King St. water/sewer lines moving ahead

Lisa Ward reported that a tender has been issued for the King Street water/sewer project with a closing date of October 6.

Council decided to send letters to residents letting them know about the timing of the project in case they want to replace their water lines at the same time. A letter will also be sent to let affected residents know that the sewer main is being extended and they will have the option of connecting to it.

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1 Response to Town Council news: Rafuse sworn in; aboiteau bridge project delayed

  1. Fire Chief Randy Mosher says:

    A few clarifications on the Fire Equipment report:
    1) The 1997 truck is the best used truck we have seen in many years of searching. New, it would cost $450,000. It looks and runs like a 5 year old truck. It has capabilities we would never be able to afford on a new truck. It is from Pennsylvania (where they don’t use salt!) Come see it at our Department Open House: Sunday October 11th from 2:00 to 4:00!
    2) The Department/Town will be leasing our 1987 truck to the County. It will remain a Town asset, but will – for the short term until it is retired – replace a county truck. It will be housed in Southampton. The county will be paying all operating expenses for this truck during the lease period. Parrsboro taxpayers will be funding 4 trucks, not 5.
    3) The 1978 truck ($5,000 repairs) is now used only during brush fire season between April and October. It would cost $150,000 to replace this truck.
    4) The “new” Rescue boat is actually “used”. It had only 31 hours of operation when we found it. This boat is a bit larger, with a much more powerful motor and has significantly more safety features allowing us to operate better in the tides surrounding Parrsboro. The previously budgeted $8,000 expenditure to “upgrade” the previous boat would have been a compromise. New, the replacement boat would have cost $30,000. It is a much better, safer solution. Come see it as well at our Open House.

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