Municipalities putting final touches on sustainability plans
Plans will outline in broad strokes direction a municipal government wants to grow
Many municipalities such as Port Hawkesbury have used the process to update areas of its municipal planning strategy and land-use bylaw.
The document is being used for longrange planning up to 20 years, said Victoria County’s chief administrative officer Sandy Hudson.
He said the community sustainability plan will complement the county’s more closely defined strategic plan, which sets out goals over a four-to eight-year timeframe.
“The strategic plan has more milestones. The ICSP has ideas and general directions and focuses that should be taken advantage of and it ties hand in glove with the strategic plan,” Hudson said.
All municipalities are required to have a sustainability plan in exchange for gas tax revenue, and when translated that means about $470,000 a year to the county.
The five-year gas tax funding agreement with the federal government expires at the end of this fiscal year in March.
“ We hope it’s indefinitely,” Hudson said with a laugh.
Over the last five years gas tax money has paid for the solid-waste transfer station outside Baddeck and other water treatment projects in Victoria County.
Municipalities with a greater dependence on tourism such as Inverness County will seek to build an asset mapping system that will identify sites of interest for tourists and potential businesses looking to set up shop in the county.
The information would be uploaded to a website dedicated to attracting new investment in its communities, Inverness County CAO Joe O’Connor said.
“The (asset mapping) kind of evolved as part of the ICSP planning process.”
Richmond County CAO Robert Thibault said the plan is like a “shopping list of items,” with a specified budget. It will also be coupled with a comprehensive strategic plan.
“Everybody tells us what they’d like to see and what they’d like for us to do and essentially everything appears in there. The strategic plan will tell council how to prioritize items in the ICSP,” Thibault said.
Among the more ambitions plans is the creation of a strategy to recruit and retain doctors in the county by 2015 and a possible bypass around St. Peter’s, which is part of a larger plan to make Highway 104 safer within five years.