Getting the public involved
Tours, survey, new committee among Town of Shelburne initiatives
Public awareness and engagement are goals worth pursuing when it comes to infrastructure and so this is what the Town of Shelburne has been doing.
The town’s initiatives include an infrastructure tour, an annual survey and the establishment of an asset management advisory committee.
“The infrastructure tour’s been (held) three years now, I think,” said Dylan Heide, the Town of Shelburne’s CAO. “We started them as a Municipal Awareness Week initiative.”
Heide was one of the speakers for the spring workshop put on by the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities, formerly known as the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. The event was held in Yarmouth May 10-12 and featured sessions on various topics, includ- ing asset management, for which Heide was one of the presenters.
Part of the idea is make people aware of the costs that are involved in infrastructure.
“So much of what we’re trying to do is to paint a realistic picture of the needed investment but also to get the public to understand the nature of the challenge,” Heide said.
Interviewed after the Friday morning session at the Mariners Centre, Heide also spoke a bit about the Town of Shelburne’s other efforts to get people involved, including a survey of residents.
“A fairly large focus of it is on asset management questions,” he said. “Basically it (asks things like) how would you rate these different pieces of infrastructure? Would you be willing to support paying more for improving these pieces of infrastructure?”
The plan is to do the survey annually, he said.
The Town of Shelburne also is looking to establish an asset management committee. Interest has been expressed in the committee, which has yet to meet, he said. This would be an advisory committee and its first meeting will be in June.
“So much of what we’re trying to do is to paint a realistic picture of the needed investment but also to get the public to understand the nature of the challenge.”
— Dylan Heide
“The committee’s main role is to talk about what do we expect out of our assets?” Heide said. “Why do we have them? What services are they supposed to provide? And then to be a bridge to the community so that we can ask people to join in that conversation.”
Shelburne also is working with the Town of Lockeport on a number of things, he said.