– Big year com­ing up

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier North Hat­ley

We have a tight bud­get this year; we’ll be keep­ing ex­penses to a min­i­mum. We’ve had only a slight in­crease in prop­erty taxes of about 1 % and we’ll be man­ag­ing our per­son­nel and their time more closely,” said North Hat­ley mayor Michael Page.

“2016 should be an in­ter­est­ing year as we wrap up the de­vel­op­ment pro­ject. The govern­ment has ac­cepted the flood zone change and the next step will be the PPU re­port and the con­sul­ta­tion with cit­i­zens, with the even­tu­al­ity to award a build­ing per­mit,” con­tin­ued Mr. Page. “The pro­ject that was pre­sented about one and a half years ago was just a ren­di­tion of what the pro­ject could pos­si­bly look like. Once the PPU has been com­pleted only then will we know what the town will ac­cept as a pro­ject. Peo­ple have to stop think­ing that what was pre­sented is ex­actly what would be built.”

Asked about the lo­cal op­po­si­tion to the pro­ject, the mayor com­mented: “In the end, most of the peo­ple agree that we need new tax money. Just be­fore the new year, we in­au­gu­rated the new wa­ter treat­ment plant. We have nice, safe wa­ter for 2016 but that came with a cost. We need a new ma­rina, the beach house needs work and the com­mu­nity cen­ter needs to be re­done, but we need new tax money. We’d like to fix those things but with­out in­creas­ing taxes. And I don’t see the prob­lem of in­creas­ing the pop­u­la­tion; the pop­u­la­tion of North Hat­ley has been much higher in the past. We’ve been los­ing peo­ple for years.”

It looks like Bell will be erect­ing a cell phone tower near the wa­ter plant. “The town can­not stop them from erect­ing a tower; we can only sug­gest an al­ter­na­tive site. Keep in mind that Bell ac­tu­ally owns land right in the middle of the vil­lage, and could put the tower there if they wanted,” said Mr. Page who added that the town has asked Bell to put up the kind of tower that looks like a large ev­er­green tree.

Dur­ing the Jan­uary monthly meet­ing, coun­cil voted to do­nate the town’s share of Scowen Park to the Mas­saw­ippi Con­ser­va­tion Trust. Hat­ley Town­ship, which owned the other part of the park, also do­nated their share to the Trust. “Mas­saw­ippi Con­ser­va­tion will put in pub­lic walk­ing trails and they will pro­tect and pre­serve the land,” said the mayor. The land, about fifty acres in size, was do­nated to the town in 1981.

“I’m hop­ing for a suc­cess­ful year of har­mony and trans­parency in the vil­lage and that we can move for­ward with projects,” con­cluded Mr. Page.

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