Category Archives: News

Update

Last May 300 residents and tax-payers signed a form letter directed to Town Council with the following requests:

1. That the Old School Lands not be sold unless a vote, preferably at the time of the October 2008 Municipal election, clearly demonstrates that a majority of the Town’s citizens wishes this public land to be sold;

2. That before any proposed sale or development of the Old School Lands, the Town will make public all projected financial benefits and expenses including costs of all infrastructure, maintenance, and services, and also provide an estimate of the projected cost to individual taxpayers; and,

3. That any development proposed for the Old School Lands be considered only in the context of an overall vision for development in the Town of Mahone Bay and after fully consulting with stakeholders (including nearby property owners).

On September 9, Council passed a motion directing the CAO to negotiate an Agreement of Purchase and Sale with M.A.D.E. FOR MAHONE BAY LIMITED for the sale of the Old School Lands and that the agreement “shall consider the following issues”:

1. The need to finalize a lease with Nova Learning and the South Shore Regional
School Board in respect to community use of the playing fields at Bayview School;
2. The need to have a second appraisal to help establish the Fair Market Value of the Old School lands;

3. The need to complete a survey and signed easement from the Mahone Bay Centre Society for emergency vehicles access form School Street across the Mahone Bay Centre Society property to the Old School lands;

4. The need to protect the future interest of the Town including time lines for the development and responsibility for various costs.

On October 18th a new Council was elected with five incumbent councillors plus the mayor returning, and one new councillor. At the November 13th meeting, the new Council received a progress report from the CAO concerning the Old School Lands with the following points of information:

1. A lease between the Town and Nova Learning is in process of being finalized.

2. A second appraisal of the Old School Lands has been done. ( No information is yet available to the public.)

3. A survey has been completed for the easement across the Mahone Bay Centre property.

4. The developer held a public information session showing details of a revised, down-sized plan for the Old School Lands.

The CAO’s report did not address the fourth condition (the need to protect the future interest of the Town including time lines for the development and responsibility for various costs) nor was there any mention of the specific requests made in the “Press Pause” letter sent to Council in May.

It is anticipated that the issue of the Old School Lands will be on the agenda at the next Council meeting November 27, 7:00 PM. It appears that a negotiated sale of land to the developer, Bob Youden, is imminent. If you wish to express your views to the mayor or councillors, now is the time.

For your records, here is an updated list of contact information for council members:

Mayor Joe Feeney 624-8133 CJFeeney@ns.sympatico.ca
Deputy Mayor Dave Devenne 624-0117 davgeri@eastlink.ca
Councillor John Bain 624-1265 jbain@eastlink.ca
Councillor David Hennigar 624-8559 dhennigar@bwr.eastlink.ca
Councillor Karl Nauss 624-1232redden@whalesculptures.com
Councillor Lila O’Connor 624-9293 no email
Councillor Virginia Uhlman 624-9363 (contact Town Hall for address)
CAO Jim Wentzell 624-8327 jimw@townofmahonebay.ca

NB: If you wish to receive council agendas by email in advance of meetings, contact Crystal Berringer at Town Hall crystal@townofmahonebay.ca

This is also an opportunity to let you know that the Town’s new Sustainability Committee has started its important and hopeful work with Pam Birdsall as Chair. This committee will involve a cross-section of townspeople in planning for our Town’s future.

FYI, the Promagica website which posted many town documents has been “turned off” for the time being. Meanwhile, a committee is developing a website for the Town with a target date of April 1st to be online. This site will likely include many Town documents such as Council and Committee minutes so citizens can be well-informed..

S.O.S. sign taken down

The large Save Our Soccer Field sign was taken down last week. For the past year the 8′ x 4′ sign has stood to the side of the field and garnered a great deal of publicity for the field and woods. Keith Mcdonald, who was largely responsible for making the sign and putting it up, decided to dismantled the sign as the 1 year permit was about to expire.

Lots of constructive ideas

“I’ve heard more ideas tonight than I’ve heard in a long time,” observed a resident at the public meeting held yesterday, July 5th, which was organized by a group of concerned citizens (the folks behind this website) and Mayor Joe Feeney, and attended by about 200 people. The purpose of the meeting was to give residents an opportunity to share ideas about options for the town and also to discuss ways that citizens could be better involved in planning the town’s future.

Town councillors expressed frustration in getting people involved in the past, while citizens identified some barriers to participation, and presented many positive ideas for the town’s development while preserving the best of what we have.

We have compiled the minutes of the meeting and are working on getting the handouts that some presenters had prepared. Feel free to comment here on the meeting. This issue has woken up the community in an exciting way that bodes well for the town’s future.

Record of the meeting [printable PDF]

Click on “Citizen Presentations” in the menu for some of the individual presentations that were made.

Next Public Meeting July 5

~ ~ ~
The Mayor and a group of citizens of Mahone Bay
invite you to a
PUBLIC MEETING
JULY 5 at 7 pm,
at the Legion Hall, Pond St., Mahone Bay.
Facilitator: Muriel Agnes

Purpose: To engage the citizens of Mahone Bay in exploring strategies that meet the challenges we face while protecting the old school land.
• Celebrate The Beauty Around Us
• Understanding The Town’s Challenges
• Share Your Thoughts About Options For The Town
• Discuss Ideas for Citizen Involvement in Planning the Town’s Future

We are looking for alternative locations for seniors housing and affordable housing while keeping valuable assets like the soccer field and the woods. We can retain the character of Mahone Bay while developing housing in scale with the town. The town needs to attract economic development with new creative strategies. Share your constructive thoughts at this public meeting. Come and be a part of finding solutions for the Town’s growth.

More dialogue for all residents

The June 6th Town meeting was overflowing with at least 300 people. There was support for seniors’ housing and a lot of dissenting voices about the concept of the development. The woefully inadequate 1 hour allotted for questions left many very displeased. We called for our own citizens’ public meeting and invited Mayor Joe Feeney and the Council to attend to continue the questions. He accepted. We’ll announce the time and place soon and look forward to continued dialogue for all residents and all points of view.

See the article in today’s Chronicle Herald about ;the response of Mahone Bay residents to the Town meeting.

What did you think about the meeting? Click here to comment. (Note that your comment won’t appear right away as comments are moderated to prevent spam.)