Amherst should look to ex­pand its bound­aries

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - Wal­ter Jones Wal­ter Jones writes a weekly col­umn for the Amherst News

Our suc­ces­sive pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments seem to be will­ing to let the Town of Amherst wither and die on the vine.

Amherst, the sec­ond largest town on the main­land in pop­u­la­tion, but not in area, needs to in­crease its tax base if it is to sur­vive.

Take a drive out Victoria Street East and once you leave the town lim­its and the stately her­itage homes.

You will see large lots and ex­pen­sive homes on one side, lead­ing to more of these homes up Fox Ranch Road and D’Or­say Road. The other side of Victoria are busi­nesses.

Fol­low La­Planche Street and just be­yond the town lim­its you will find many busi­ness that have cho­sen to lo­cate here.

To add in­sult to in­jury go to­wards Nap­pan and just be­yond the town lim­its you find the Cum­ber­land Re­gional Health Care Cen­tre that is across the street from the Cum­ber­land County mu­nic­i­pal of­fices. Our once proud High­land View Hos­pi­tal, that graced the east High­lands at the top of Charles Street, for al­most a cen­tury, be­came out­moded and was torn down.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment deemed its choice in Up­per Nap­pan to be the best place to lo­cate - though I be­lieve most of the money, that didn’t come from the prov­ince, was raised in Amherst.

This clus­ter­ing of real es­tate and busi­ness on the very bor­ders

of our town is no ac­ci­dent. County taxes are lower, as well as busi­ness taxes, but these peo­ple who live and pros­per there pay their taxes to the county. They en­joy the ben­e­fits that the Amherst tax­payer are pay­ing for, share our ser­vices, shop in our stores and yet do not pay for them.

Is this a fair state of af­fairs? I pre­dict that in the next elec­tion the PCs will form our pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and that our present MLA will be re­turned. This is a safe Con­ser­va­tive seat. I sug­gest to you if you want our town to sur­vive that you let this MLA know that needs to de­clare her sup­port to rem­edy the town limit sit­u­a­tion, or by some other method by which this town can in­crease its tax base.

If these as­sur­ances are not forth­com­ing I sug­gest we make sure this is not as safe a seat as the PCs ex­pect.

This sit­u­a­tion is not fair to the res­i­dents of this town and we should let our elected of­fi­cials know this re­gard­less of whether we get these as­sur­ances or not.

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