Mayor Joe Hawes is pleased with how things have gone for the Town of Pictou in 2013 and is looking forward to what’s been planned for 2014.
Mayor Joe Hawes
In the public works end of things one of the biggest tasks of the year was refurbishing the interior of the water tower. The town also upgraded a majority of its 13 wells with a UV disinfection system and automated monitoring. The cost of those projects was $3.3 million.
“That continues to allow us to deliver safe drinking water,” he said.
He said some of the groundwork is underway for a new central treatment plant. They are trying to determine now which technology will work best with the town’s water supply.
Also in the past year, four of the town’s employees attained higher certification in water and waste water systems.
The public works department also purchased a new truck and a snowplow.
As far as administration is concerned, in 2013 the town entered into a new regional agreement with the Town of New Glasgow and Municipality of Pictou County for building inspection and land use bylaw services at a decreased cost of what they were paying.
Council also adopted a four-year-plan of its priorities and also adopted a Municipal Climate Change Action Plan.
The town’s recreation and culture department formed many partnerships over the past year, Hawes said, including with the Highland Tennis Association, Pictou Youth Centre and the Seeds of Hope Community Garden.
He said they’ve also expanded programming at the Fisheries Training Pool while keeping a focus on cost control. As usual, they’ve continued their support of the Hector Arena and deCoste Centre.
Looking ahead to 2014, Hawes said there’s certain goals they have in mind.
“We’re trying to attain government cost sharing so we continue phase 2 of our water upgrades to address discolouration,” he said.
He’s also hoping to see work done to proceed with the construction and realignment of West River Road.
In general he said the town also wants to work with developers for new residential homes and to continue partnership with the five other municipal units.
“We continue to hold our own cost wise,” he said. “We have a tremendous leadership in our CAO (Scott Conrod) and his staff. They’re the reason that Pictou continues to prosper as best we can.”