Amherst coun­cil in brief

The Amherst News - - LOCAL -

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.

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