Get­ting the pub­lic in­volved

Tours, sur­vey, new com­mit­tee among Town of Shel­burne ini­tia­tives

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - ERIC BOURQUE TRI-COUNTY VAN­GUARD

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.

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