Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties putting fi­nal touches on sus­tain­abil­ity plans

Plans will out­line in broad strokes di­rec­tion a mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment wants to grow

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND - BY CHRIS SHAN­NON


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.

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