Sackville’s newly-elected town council was called upon to deal with a sewage emergency last night as its first order of business.
Shortly after being sworn in, four of the returning councillors and the three new ones voted in favour of buying a new “Channel Monster” to break up large chunks of sewage and debris that would otherwise clog the pumps at the Charles Street lift station.
Town engineer Dwayne Acton explained that the town’s existing Channel Monster had failed unexpectedly and that its knives were worn down beyond repair. He said temporary screens were in place to protect the pumps until the arrival of another machine from an equipment supplier in Dartmouth, NS.
The new Channel Monster will cost the town $47,521.80 plus HST, freight charges, import duties and brokerage fees.
John Higham, Sackville’s new mayor, told about 40 spectators who had gathered to watch the swearing-in ceremony that dealing with the sewage issue was a good introduction to council’s day-to-day activities.
Council’s larger concerns
Earlier, in his introductory remarks, the mayor also talked about some of the bigger issues council will face in the next four years.
“We know that the province is looking to save money,” Higham said. “That means that some of the services in town that is part of the core of how we live here, like health and education in particular, could be at risk.”
He added that council would need to come up with alternatives to protect core services.
“The town itself doesn’t have a whole lot of things they can do,” he added, “but the community does and it’s the leadership from this council that is important in protecting some of those things.”
Higham urged councillors to adopt a new tone in seeking a better future for Sackville.
“We now have to work, not just for those who voted for us, but for the best interests of the whole community,” he said adding, “I think this group is going to do very well with that.”
Meantime, Councillor-elect Michael Tower, who could not attend last night’s meeting, will be sworn in when council meets again on June 6th.