“The past year for the Town of New Glasgow has been one of strategic change, strong fiscal management, sound investment in infrastructure and sustainability and an updated community development plan,” says New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan.
Mayor Barrie McMillan
“Our last audited financial statements revealed a surplus and that operating expenses were reduced, budgets were well managed and that there was an increase in the town’s capital assets and fund balances. We continue to maintain and invest in our infrastructure which is critical to strong municipal governance, effective operations, development and progress.”
Mayor MacMillan says, “Highlights from 2013 include the master water agreement established with the County of Pictou which positions New Glasgow well for economic growth opportunities. The integration of planning and development service into municipal operations has gone very well and this will empower us to continue to support both commercial and residential redevelopment and advancement. The conversion of LED street lighting reduced operating costs for the lights by more than $140,000 annually. We had 12 streets paved, new sidewalks in several areas and the expansion of the marina on the west side of the East River. Investments were made into renovations for the Westside Community Centre, Carmichael Stewart House Museum, and the Library as well as new equipment for both Public Works and New Glasgow Fire Department.”
The mayor also sites significant investment made into business development and tourism growth such as the new way finding stations in the downtown core, the launch of our Flourish Wi Fi network at seven locations in the downtown core, several heritage interpretive panels, improvements to a tourism kiosk and continued partnership and support for signature events such as the Jubilee, Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend, Festival of the Tartans, African Heritage Month, the Multicultural Fusion Festival, Culture Days, Harvest Time, the New Glasgow Christmas Light up event and Christmas Parade, Pride Week, as well as the outstanding year experiences by Glasgow Square Theatre.
“I am proud of the leadership and courage of council to make tough decisions for the best interest of the town and the region. We made a leadership decision to close the John Brother MacDonald Stadium in order to work towards the sustainability of the Pictou County Wellness Centre, says MacMillan. “Our partnerships with the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and the New Glasgow Farmers Market also continue to help us build local sustainability and grow the creative economy regionally. Hallmarks of our Community Development Plan include the Action Plan to Address Racism and Discrimination, the Age Friendly Community project, the establishment of the Business Advisory Committee, the application and awarding of the 55 Plus Nova Scotia Seniors Games to New Glasgow and Pictou County in 2015, and several heritage initiatives including the restoration of the Pioneer Cemetery came through great community leadership and volunteerism.”
Mayor MacMillan also mentions the many accolades that were received by New Glasgow during the past year. “The community as a whole and several events and projects were lauded on both provincial and national stages during the past year such as the Nova Scotia Arts & Culture Leadership Council Award for the work of Creative Pictou County that was presented to the Town of New Glasgow and to Pictou County, the Bluenose Achievement Award for the Johnny Miles Running Event from Recreation Nova Scotia, the TIANS Golden Hospitality Award presented to the Riverfront Jubilee and a national Best Community Exhibit Award from Communities in Bloom.
The Mayor also says there is also much on horizon that will help New Glasgow to continue to growth and flourish. “Our priorities will be to strengthen the local economy and to ensure a safe and inclusive community for all. We will focus supporting and celebrating cultural diversity, and celebrating our heritage and strengths as a community. We have made good investments and are positioned for improvement and growth. We will continue to enhance our partnerships with the County of Pictou and the Town of Pictou.”
“A key focus will be capitalizing on opportunities for redevelopment such as the reallocation of the John Brother MacDonald Stadium property, supporting business retention and expansion for the SW Weeks Business Park, continued marketing and development opportunities for the marina and the downtown core, increased marketing and usage of the Wellness Centre, continued partnerships with the New Glasgow Farmers Market and NSCAD, and working towards the provision of natural gas.”
Mayor MacMillan adds that the town is looking forward to the opening of the impressive New Glasgow Academy, the Aberdeen Hospital expansion and the new bed project for Glen Haven Manor. “The demolition of the Maritime Building is planned and we will also be formulating a new strategy and plan for a new Public Works facility, Water Treatment Plant upgrades, work with CCRSB to determine the future for Acadia, Brown and Temperance Street school properties, and to the greatest extent possible top support our protections services to ensure a safe and secure community,” he says. “Just like great companies, New Glasgow must continue to renew itself. It is important to be lean but we must also maintain and build our town. We are so fortunate to live in such a caring and generous community with strong community pride, a vibrant entrepreneurial character and an abundance of talent. It is our privilege to serve the citizens of New Glasgow. This is a community where every citizen has the opportunity to make a difference. It is the people that make a community great and we have the best people in the world.”