Ward 5 councillor Greg Martin is the deputy mayor of the new Town of Tantramar.
“I’m very, very proud, excited, many emotions right now,” Martin said after Tantramar council elected him to be Mayor Andrew Black’s deputy.
He said he was “surprised” at the “sudden” decision after he defeated former Dorchester Mayor Debbie Wiggins-Colwell in a 5-4 vote.
“I’ve said this before,” he said, “my mum would be very, very proud. She would say to me, ‘Well done, son.'”
Martin, who represents the former Point de Bute LSD, was supported by Mayor Andrew Black and councillors Michael Tower, Allison Butcher, Josh Goguen and himself while councillors Matt Estabrooks, Bruce Phinney, Barrie Hicks and Wiggins-Colwell voted for her.
The deputy mayor is paid $28,380 — $4,730 more than the $23,650 councillors receive.
Council approves flood control project
Meantime, Tantramar Town Council approved a $5 million contract today for the final phase of the Lorne Street flood control project.
It involves constructing another water retention pond behind the community gardens on Charles Street as well as digging ditches and installing pipes and culverts under roads and the CN rail line to carry stormwater to the Tantramar River for discharge at low tide.
Councillor Bruce Phinney cast the sole vote against awarding the contract.
“If we haven’t got a commitment from the provincial government to change the aboiteau, then I think it’s a waste of money,” Phinney told council.
He was referring to a new, double-gated aboiteau that would drain stormwater from the project’s three ponds into the Tantramar River.
So far, the province hasn’t agreed to install a new aboiteau to replace a much smaller one in the dyke near Sackville’s sewage lagoons.
At an earlier council meeting on Monday, both Town Engineer Jon Eppell and Englobe engineering consultant Pierre Plourde said the project would be viable without a new one.
“It would be desirable to have the aboiteau,” Eppell told reporters later, “but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t.”
Last July, however, Plourde told Sackville council that the project would need to be re-designed without the new aboiteau, but on Monday he said it could still go ahead without it, although he acknowledged that water from the retention ponds would drain more slowly.
Budget shortfall fixed
Meantime, council was told on Monday that a $566 thousand cost overrun would be eliminated partly by scrapping plans for building two pedestrian bridges on walking trails around the new pond and for planting about 25 trees.
The construction company Beale and Inch will also save money by starting the project in June instead of March.
Town Engineer Jon Eppell said the later construction schedule should not interfere with nesting birds.
He assured reporters that the three retention ponds would be able to store enough water to prevent downtown flooding in a one-in-100 year storm.
Acting Treasurer Michael Beal said the 40% federal and 33.33% provincial share of the funding would amount to a little over $4 million with the municipality picking up the remaining 26.67% or a little under $1.5 million.
He said the municipal share of the project is being funded solely by taxpayers in the former town of Sackville.
Now that council has awarded the contract, Eppell said the project should be completed by the end of the year.