East and westbound travellers approaching Sackville on the TransCanada Highway will soon see billboards showing a photo of the Waterfowl Park and advertising a new kind of small town on one sign while the words “Home of Mount Allison University” will appear on the other one.
The two signs, expected to be installed within a month and a half, will replace ones from 2014 that depicted the Farmers Market at its former home on Bridge Street.
One of those billboards on the eastbound lanes near the Walker Road exit was destroyed last winter when a tractor trailer smashed into it during a snow storm.
Replacing it will cost about $36,800, but the town expects to recover all of the money from the trucking company’s insurance.
Design costs and replacement of the westbound sign will amount to about $4,200.
The billboard photo was taken by Terry Danks of Chester, Nova Scotia.
During Monday’s town council meeting, Councillor Megan Mitton said the new image is appropriate because the Waterfowl Park is an important feature of Sackville that motorists glimpse as they drive by on the TransCanada.
“It also seems fitting to feature the Waterfowl Park as this year, we’ll celebrate its 30th anniversary,” Mitton added.
She said planning continues for events on Saturday June 16th to celebrate the park’s anniversary.
Also, during last night’s meeting, councillors agreed to consider changing the town’s zoning bylaw to permit construction of an Ambulance New Brunswick station on Robson Avenue near the Westmorland Animal Hospital.
The Nova Scotia company, Parsons Investments, is in the process of buying two chunks of land that border on Robson, Cattail Ridge and Bridge Street from Sackville businessman Percy Best.
Parsons wants to build the station on about half an acre and lease the building to Ambulance New Brunswick. Parsons already owns the ambulance station in Amherst.
Councillors heard last night that the company now plans to build the station 50 feet from the road, the same distance as the animal clinic, instead of the 70 foot setback in its original plan.
Councillor Mitton said she favours the project because it would move the station out of the industrial park where ambulances could potentially be blocked by a train during an emergency.
She added that since the station would be on Robson, it would not interfere with a pedestrian-friendly streetscape on Cattail Ridge envisioned in a $27,000 plan put forward by Ekistics Planning and Design of Dartmouth.
Council passed a resolution at last night’s meeting setting April 9th as the date for a public hearing on the rezoning application.
Ammonia alarm system
Council was told that a safety system has been installed at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre arena to warn of an ammonia leak from the ice-making system.
A blue light and a horn, connected to an ammonia sensor, have been installed under the score clock. The light will flash and the horn will sound if the sensor detects the colourless gas that can be fatal if it’s inhaled.
Last October, three workers died while performing routine maintenance at an arena in Fernie, B.C.
Town Engineer Dwayne Acton told councillors that signs have been installed at the Civic Centre telling people to leave the building immediately if the alarm system goes off.
He said the town acted before being required to do so by the province.
“We feel that safety’s important for staff and for the public,” he added. “The public will be well advised as to what to do [when the alarm system goes off] and staff will be directing people on what to do as well.”
(1) Councillors were told that the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI) has committed its share of funds to reconstruct 300 metres of Main Street between Union Street and Queens Road. The town plans to reconstruct the entire roadway replacing curbs and gutters, sidewalks and utilities, including a new storm sewer. The province will pay $411,ooo for curb to curb reconstruction with a $73,000 (15 per cent) contribution from the town. Since the total cost of the project is estimated at $856,000, the town will pay an additional $372,000 to complete it as shown in the chart below.
(2) Council awarded a contract for $48,374.75 to Maritech Construction for the installation of a poured concrete floor at the new storage building behind the Civic Centre and, a second contract worth $17,568.55 to Sackville Plumbing and Heating to supply and install an in-floor heating system. Council authorized construction of the $371,000 building last year, but decided to delay installing the floor and heating system until money became available. (For earlier coverage of this story, click here.)
(3) Council passed Bylaw 261 to formalize pay, benefits and expense allowances for the mayor, deputy mayor and councillors:
(a) Mayor’s annual salary: $9,589.84 (taxable portion) with an allowance of $4,794.92 (non-taxable portion) for incidental expenses, for a total of $14,384.76.
(b) Deputy mayor’s annual salary: $5,676.84 (taxable portion) with an allowance of $2,838.42 (non-taxable portion) for incidental expenses, for a total of $8,515.26.
(c) Councillors’ annual salaries: $5,037.24 (taxable portion) with an allowance of $2,518.62 (non-taxable portion) for incidental expenses, for a total of $7,555.86.
(d) Beginning January 1, 2019, salaries and allowances will be adjusted every year by an amount equal to 90% of the average increase in the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 3%.
(e) Each mayor, deputy mayor and councillor is permitted to join the town’s life, health and dental plan in accordance with the carriers’ rules and regulations. If a member of council chooses not to become a member of the town’s plan, he or she will be permitted to receive re-imbursement of premiums paid to a private carrier (excluding deductibles paid for drugs, dental, etc.) up to a maximum annual cost of the town’s life, health and dental plan.
For further information on meal expenses, mileage allowances as well as the requirement for public expense and meeting attendance reports, click here.