Sessions start this week for public input on town’s development plans

Adam MacInnis
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Geralyn MacDonald, director of community and economic development for the Town of New Glasgow, points to a map of the town to show where some of their projects have been taking place. ADAM  MACINNIS – THE NEWS

NEW GLASGOW – What do you want?

What would make you happier to live in the New Glasgow area? Is there something missing that could make life better for families here? What would help draw business and consumers to this area?

New Glasgow’s community economic development director, Geralyn MacDonald, wants to know.

The town is currently preparing its community economic development plan for the next three to five years and is looking for the community to give their input.

Sessions will begin this week to allow the opportunity for town staff to meet with citizens to help them get a better understanding of what those who live and work in the town want from it.

“We really encourage people to come out and participate in these sessions because really it’s all about the future of New Glasgow,” said MacDonald. “It’s about what can we do to help make New Glasgow a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

The previous economic development plan has helped direct the town for some major projects over the last four years including: the completion of the downtown development plan Phase 1, the creation of a permanent venue for the New Glasgow Farmers Market, upgrades to the community centres, an expansion of the programs and audiences at Glasgow Square, development of a master plan for town recreation and a partnership with NSCAD among many other accomplishments. It’s helped promote culture, reach out to old and young and lobby for funding for projects important to the town such as marina repairs.

Looking back over the time she’s been there, MacDonald said it’s amazing to see all they’ve accomplished. She hopes to see that continue moving forward. Already some goals have been identified including: starting Pictou County’s own Community Arts Council, partnering with the county and the Department of Seniors for an age-friendly action plan, developing an action plan for ending racism and discrimination in the town and to continue to make New Glasgow an attractive destination for everything from music events to cruise ships.

Now in particular, with the completion of the Pictou County Wellness Centre, her department is working to help develop a regional events strategy that Pictou County could use when trying to woo large events.

But more input is needed before they are ready to go to council with a finalized plan.

“We can’t really emphasize enough how important it is for the community to come out, because it belongs to them,” said Kim Dickson, communications director. “It’s an opportunity for people to say what’s important to them. Their contributions are meaningful and they do make a difference whether it’s in person at the session or through emails to Geralyn.”

One of the key questions, MacDonald said she’ll be asking all the groups, is what are other communities offering their residents that New Glasgow would be wise to try?

“Give us some ideas and if this is something that can be done we definitely will look at it,” she said. “If other communities are doing it, why can’t New Glasgow? We can’t make promises until we know if we have the resources, but you have to have your wish list.”

Planning session dates

Youth – at NNEC with leadership class on Thursday from 1:12 to 2:12 p.m. and 2:20 to 3:20 p.m.

Residents/Groups, Clubs & Organizations – Jan. 30, council chambers, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Seniors – Feb. 1, John Brother MacDonald Stadium, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Businesses – Feb. 15, council chambers, 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Forms will also be placed online at www.newglasgow.ca for people to submit ideas. They can also be emailed to geralyn.macdonald@newglasgow.ca.

Organizations: Community Arts Council, Department of Seniors, Pictou County Wellness Centre

Geographic location: NEW GLASGOW, Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • smartie pants
    January 22, 2013 - 15:18

    Start selling building lots for 10dollars with a guarantee to build within a year . It will draw people in. Ya need a population to drive an economy. Also amalgamation one government... the town's will still have there names .

  • Moral Compass
    January 22, 2013 - 14:21

    Sounds like money should be spent on kleenexes for all of the crying whiners posting on here. What a bunch of crying hillbillies!!

  • naval gasser
    January 22, 2013 - 10:07

    What the people of the Town want ? Gosh after 20 years of money being cast to the wind hand over fist to try to create some Scottish Disney land I think the people of New Glasgow would like for the town to start FIRING the progressives responsible for a 8.1 million dollar debt hanging over the Citizens heads. New Glasgow my friends is going to go Bankrupt or will tax the ratepayers into financial ruin. Ever notice how many residential units are for sale in the Town. The Citizens and businesses are marching with their feet to the county and even out of the province in droves. I have seen in the last couple of years on my street A chartered accountant and his family leave for Ottawa. A family with the breadwinners who worked in local bars leave for Alberta. The old people dying and their homes being vacant for a while. The absolute gaul of this town to ask what people want in this town and then with all these improvement projects Halifax companies come in and take away our tax dollars having very little benefit for local workers.

  • Townie
    January 22, 2013 - 08:48

    One of the biggest accomplishments for our town is the Farmers Market. I never miss a Saturday and look at the people that come into our town. I guess we will always get the negative comments but I for one enjoy living in New Glasgow and look forward to new ideas!!!! and by the way what does this have to do with flower pots?????

    • Lee
      January 22, 2013 - 11:53

      Do you really have to ask what this has to do with flower pots? The Town of NG is more concerned with their Bloom Rating than anything else! Yes the Farmer's Market is great, but that's not going to sustain the town. There needs to be actual industry or business taking place! JOBS!

  • Retired
    January 22, 2013 - 08:46

    Maybe a property tax cut would make more sense than another meaningless project to justify the bureaucracy at town hall. I don't know who there pays any attention to demographics, but the baby boomers are flocking into retirement in record numbers and living on far less than half of what they earned while working. With food and energy prices going through the roof they are really not looking to fund someone elses pet project. They're looking for a break. Lower tax rates is what will entice consumers and business to come here, not replacing another perfectly good sidewalk.

  • Johnny smoke
    January 22, 2013 - 07:54

    Bang on Leaving for out West. I like the plea for the people to come in and participate, that is code for we really do not have a clue of what we are doing or hope to do. I refer to the utterance of a long time town employee who should know what they are talking about. The statement that the town office is so top heavy with bureaucrats and paper pushers it is a wonder that it does not topple over on to Provost Street. I look around for all of the wondrous achievements , and all I see are empty windows of Provost and Archimedes Streets, empty parking lot at Maritime Steel,and lots of slippery brick on the sidewalks downtown. Meanwhile I also see the exodus for the Lawrence Ave industrial park, by two of our largest hardware stores and soon to be followed by other establishments if rumor proves to be correct. I for one remember stating during the last civic election campaign that it was time to stat electing business savvy people to the town council, but no the sheeple decided to put their faith and trust in the old gang of retired teachers and failed business people. Well as the saying goes your get what you deserve, enjoy, and do not forget to attend, who knows the next great economic plan may actually contain some provision for jobs, that is the key to regional development, spending scarce resources on glitzy farmers markets , and more leisure facilities will not pay the bills, and remember that the pay cheques of the bureaucrats are a large portion of this outlay. maybe we could start with a cut back, that would free up funds for some real development, maybe there is hope for Maritime Steel after all. But do not hold your breath after all noisy concerts and pretty flower pots are the priority, anything that does not directly address the precarious position of this town, those items do not meet with the priorities of the current town staff. Both elected and appointed.

  • I. Agree
    January 22, 2013 - 07:33

    I agree with PaychequetoPaycheque ... PUBLIC TRANSIT ... There are people in this town working 30 hours a week or less for minimum wage who CANNOT AFFORD TO GET TO THOSE MEASLY PAYING LITTLE JOBS!!!!!! Pretty is nice (flower pots), but hungry, poor and scrounging to get by is UGLY, VERY UGLY, and it can no longer be ignored. And the people who can actually afford a car to drive them to work is going to have it beat to crap on these rotten, bumpy, pot hole ridden streets, especially in Stellarton. If anyone wants to get to the Wellness Centre via Stellarton, make sure you have good shocks and do not have arthritis! The banging around on the streets will cause you more pain than you can handle. Also, why not get rid of that "meter maid" that goes around giving tickets to honest people who are trying to shop down town, visit the eye doctor, or perhaps they are at the town hall paying a ticket they got last week!. No wonder downtown is dying! Head to the mall where the parking is free! Clear up some of these problems and perhaps more businesses would come this way, people would have a way to get to work, on a decent street. I could say much, much more, but probably it will all fall on deaf ears anyway.

  • Deborah
    January 22, 2013 - 07:21

    Too bad there wasn't a portable skating rink opportunity to go on the River downtown...is there such a thing?

  • Leaving for out west
    January 22, 2013 - 06:42

    How's about oh I don't know helping businesses stay in town?! Case in point MARITIME STEEL! This town and community sicken me you did nothing to help that man keep a business running he invested much of his money into it and when the bank was cut off because of mr harper and the UN you the town saw an opportunity to get rid of an "Eye sore" on your pretty town well I have news for you your pretty little town is a shipwreck, there is poverty everywhere, crime is on the rise because people can't afford their housing from overly priced slum apartments, you want to bring business into this town and make it so that new glasgow thrives again get off your high horse and come up with a business plan forget the flowers and how pretty the town can be it's time either YOU the government work for US the people or GET out of office and let US run it!

  • Commonsense
    January 22, 2013 - 06:39

    Ummm how about some jobs and higher pay so we don't have to leave Pictou County just to survive and provide for our family... Not going to have any Towns left if things don't change soon. Oh and no we don't need any more multi-million dollar flower pots or irregular shaped roads...

  • PaychequeToPaycheque
    January 21, 2013 - 20:47

    Public Transit.. until it exists within the towns of PC, we're not gonna land anywhere relevant in the coming years, economically speaking; reality of 21st century.