Amherst council in brief
Council to allow downtown electronic signs
Amherst town council approved the use of electronic signs in the Downtown Core Area District when it passed the second reading of an amendment to the town’s land use bylaw during its March regular council session.
The amendment will allow the installation of free-standing electronic signs, with conditions that are aimed at mitigating potential negative impacts such as flashing, pulsating images and bright lights that might cause distraction to drivers and the public.
Other conditions limit the maximum sign size to 32 square feet and prevent signs from being used to advertise businesses and/ or products that are not offered on the property where the sign is located. The town’s Planning Advisory Committee held two public participation sessions prior to recommending council’s acceptance of the amendment.
Council gave first reading to the amendment at the Feb. 26 regular council session.
Flag protocol adopted
Amherst town council approved a new flag protocol policy during its March 26 regular council session.
The policy outlines how flags will be flown when displayed at town events or on flag poles owned by the town.
As an example, it says when a Canadian flag is displayed on a speaker’s platform, it should be placed on a flag pole to the left from the point of view of the audience. It also notes that when flying with two other flags, the Canadian flag shall be displayed in the centre.
In addition, the policy indicates when flags will be flown at halfmast and for how long. It also includes a list of those for whom the flag will be flown at half-mast.
It further notes the flag will be flown at half-mast yearly on April 28 in recognition of the Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace, Nov. 11 for Remembrance Day and Dec. 6 for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The policy, which is in line with established flag etiquette as defined by the Government of Canada, also indicates the requirements for maintaining flags.
Inter-municipal Emergency Services Agreement passed
Amherst council approved amendments to the Inter-municipal Emergency Services Agreement it has with other municipalities in Cumberland County.
The original agreement to provide mutual aid and emergency management services was established in 2013, when the towns of Springhill and Parrsboro existed. The amendments take the dissolution of those towns, which are now part of Cumberland County, into account and establishes a new governance model that gives Cumberland County three voting members, Amherst two and Oxford one.
Another amendment changes the costs sharing formula for the Regional Emergency Management Organization, which would see Cumberland County increase its share of operational costs due to the fact Springhill and Parrsboro are now part of the county.
The amendments were recommended by the Regional Emergency Management Organization Advisory Committee and would go into effect on June 1 if they are approved by Amherst, Oxford and Cumberland County councils.
The amendments have no financial implications for Amherst.
Tax sale by tender
Amherst town council accepted the bids for three properties that were part of a tax sale by tender that closed on March 6.
The properties were located at 3 Fullerton St., 26 Park St. and 23½ West Pleasant St.
Council also authorized staff to write off the difference between the selling price and the outstanding taxes.