Dear Village Residents,
We have some dates for you to mark on your calendars along with some news to pass on to you. We would like to start with a “thank you” to our Municipality for the sidewalks on Duke St. They are a welcome addition to our Village. Along with the sidewalks, the Municipality has done cleanup work and improvements at the Jib Lot and along Water St. The top soil and rosebushes from the Water Street parking improvement job were kindly offered to be used at the Lido.
The public washrooms opened on May 4th and will remain opened 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm until November 12th.
The Lido Pool will open with the Red Cross Swim Program on June 24th @ 9:00am. Registration for the first of three swimming lesson sessions will be held on June 12th at CAMS from 6-8pm. The cost will remain at $40 for each three week session. Please call Viola Hiltz with any questions. 275-3465.
Public swim will be 12:00-1:30 and also from 5:00 to 9:00 pm on Monday through Friday and 12:00 to 9:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. There will be no access to the pool after 9:00pm as the iron gates will be locked. Starting in July, Chester Rec & Parks will be offering Aqua Zumba on Mondays and Fridays for 45 minutes at noon. Participants must register by calling 275-3490.
The security cameras will remain operational at the Lido and Public Washrooms as well at the Red Cross wharf.
Please note that the garbage container at the Lido Pool is NOT to be used for public waste.
The weekly green bin collection program will begin on June 11 with Week A and end on September 10 with Week B. You can view the Municipal Waste calendar at http://www.chester.ca/waste-collection/. If you have any questions or concerns about the weekly green bin collection program, please feel free to call our office at 275-4482.
At the regular monthly meeting on May 8th the budget for the year was approved. The Commission is committed to keeping the tax rate as low as possible. (We are rate payers too) There are however expenses that are new to our budget from previous years such as;
• A Cross Walk with Crossing Guard for our children crossing at Duke Street and Main Streets
• We have moved our office to a more suitable location and extended the hours the office is opened, which are from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 1:00.
• We have added more LED street lighting along Water St.,
• We have renovated the EMC building and paved and grated the parking lot
• We are addressing upgrades to the fire hall
All of these initiatives have made it necessary to raise our total Village tax rate by 1.24 (1 and a quarter cents) per $100 of assessment. To break that down, our rate for Village operations is .784 per $100 assessment, our rate for Fire protection is .694 per $100 assessment, making the total rate for the Village 14.78 (up from last year’s 13.54). What does that do to your pocket book? On a home that is assessed at $100,000, the taxes you pay for services in the village will raise by $12.40. We understand that an even marginal raise in tax is unsettling. Bear in mind that our tax rate in comparison to other Villages in Nova Scotia is very low.
This Commission is progressive and interested in the future. We have started a reserve for Utilities that can be used by future Commissions to offset costs to provide safe drinking ‘tap’ water for the Village. We have reserves for trucks, the Lido and the Fire Hall. We care about our Village and continue to work with Municipal staff to ensure we all have a wonderful place to live and work.
During the last monthly meeting in May, the possible discontinuation of the fire siren was discussed. The siren sounds at every fire call between the hours or 7:00am and 11:00pm and has been troubling to residents for many years. The Fire Chief is in favor of keeping the siren and offered his reasons:
• It alerts residents that fire trucks are going to be moving through the village
• It alerts families that their husband/wife have gone to a fire call
• It alerts Fire fighters that do not carry their pager at the time of an alarm
Some of the points brought up by Commissioners in favor of discontinuing are;
• The noise level is extreme and disturbs people who are sick, elderly or work night shifts.
• It awakens little children that need to sleep during the day.
• It is an unnecessary action that has become obsolete since all the Fire fighters have a pager.
• There are only four Fire departments left on the South Shore that are still using a siren.
In the interest of considering feedback from all those affected, the Village Commission would like to hear from the residents of the Village concerned with this topic. Please call our office at 275-4482 or send us an email to [email protected] Please include your name, civic address and telephone number. These will be used as proof of residency only and will not be made public. Participation is voluntary and will be anonymous.
The Annual General Meeting of the Village Commission will be held on June 5th @7:00pm at the St. Stephen Anglican rectory on the corner of Regent and King Streets. There are two commissioners whose terms are up for renewal. Please come out to vote and hear what is happening in your Village. If you have an interest in volunteering to fill the vacant positions, please feel free to call our office for answers to any questions.
In order to serve as a commissioner you must be an elector. An “Elector” for the purpose of the election is defined by the Municipal Guidelines act as: “A person resident within the Village entitled to vote at a municipal election, and who resides in the Village for at least six months immediately prior to the Village Election”. As per the Elections Act, to be an elector you must also be a Canadian citizen.
Have a safe and warm summer.
Very Best Regards,
Brenda Mulrooney, Chair
Billy Zinck Jr, Vice Chair
Tom Mulrooney, Commissioner
Michael Heisler, Commissioner
Wynand Baerken, Commissioner