It appears highly unlikely that the Town of Sackville will support all-terrain vehicle users riding legally on the Trans Canada Trail that runs between Sackville and Cape Tormentine.
During last Monday’s council meeting, manager Jamie Burke said town staff were recommending against writing a letter to provincial officials asking them to lift restrictions on ATVs using the old rail bed that forms the Trans Canada Trail.
“Permitting motorized vehicles on the trail could displace some users,” Burke told council, adding that the southeast regional trail co-ordinator has research showing that could happen.
Poul Jorgensen, executive director of the NB Trails Council that has been overseeing the Trans Canada Trail, told Warktimes last month that ATVs would pose a safety hazard for other users including hikers and horseback riders.
“They also tear up the surface of a trail that we’ve invested a lot of money in,” Jorgensen said.
ATV Club requests
In making the recommendation against supporting ATVers using the Trans Canada Trail, Burke was following up on the local club’s request to council.
Tantramar ATV Club President Paul Branscombe wrote a letter to the mayor and council in July explaining that ATVers were seeking to extend their trail network in southeastern New Brunswick.
Branscombe also appeared before council last month to explain his request for a formal letter of support from the town.
At the time, he acknowledged that he had met with Mayor Higham who told him “there would be zero support” from council for the Club’s request.
Judging from their discussion on Monday, it appears likely that at their meeting next week, Sackville councillors will reject supporting the ATV Club’s request.
Search for a new CAO
Also during its meeting on Monday, council authorized the town clerk to begin the process of finding a professional recruiter to search for a new chief administrative officer.
The present CAO, Phil Handrahan, has submitted his resignation effective at the end of February.
Mayor Higham said town council will act as the committee to hire his replacement, but will need help from a professional recruiter to draft hiring criteria, advertise the position, conduct screening and come up with a short list.
Councillor Bill Evans suggested that Handrahan be asked to advise the hiring committee, although he would not vote on the final decision.
“By all means, let’s get on with it,” Evans added.
The most recent information on salary scales posted on the town’s website shows that the CAO’s salary ranges between $96,367 and $128,489.