Welcome to Council Highlights, a concise digest of newsworthy decisions and issues from Town of Lunenburg Council meetings. For a more detailed account of Council meetings check Council agendas and minutes on the Council Meetings page.
Sept. 26, 2023
Updated Health and Safety Policy
Council approved an updated Occupational Health and Safety Policy.
Updates include a section on health and safety recordkeeping and some minor administrative updates which help provide role clarity to Council, staff and the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
View the new policy: pdf Occupational Health & Safety Policy (256 KB)
Proposed Land Use Bylaw Amendments: Rezoning and Signage
To help accommodate the possible relocation and expansion of Harbour View Haven (HVH), Council gave first reading to proposed amendments to the Land Use Bylaw, which would allow for the rezoning of Upper Hall Street (PID 60726403) from Industrial (M) lands to Institutional (INS) lands. Per the Land Use Bylaw, only industrial types of businesses, such as warehouses and recycling depots, are permitted on Industrial lands. Institutional zoning allows for medical clinics, offices and similar establishments.
To accommodate a signage request from a local business, Council gave first reading to proposed amendments to the Land Use Bylaw, which would enable businesses on landlocked properties, served by a legal right-of-way easement, to erect ground signs adjacent to the public street. Section 7.8.4 (h) of the Land Use Bylaw prohibits signs advertising a good or service unavailable at the sign location. The intent of this provision is to prohibit off-site signage. In the case of the applicant of this amendment, this section of the bylaw prevents them from installing a sign at their driveway entrance. This amendment would allow them to proceed with their requested sign installation if approved.
Earlier this month, the Planning Advisory Committee held a Public Participation Meeting for both proposed Land Use Bylaw amendments. Draft minutes from that meeting can be found on page 51 of the Sept. 26 Council agenda package.
The second and final reading and public hearings for the amendments will be scheduled in the near future. The dates and times will be advertised on the Town’s website, social media pages, and in the Lighthouse Now. The purpose of public hearings is to provide an opportunity for members of the public to voice their opinions, concerns, and feedback on proposed planning documents or amendments.
New members for Committees of Council
Following an in camera discussion, Council appointed several residents to its advisory committees.
At the end of August, staff advertised vacancies for the Audit, Heritage Advisory and Planning Advisory Committees. Eighteen applications for six vacancies were received.
Council advisory committees are groups of residents and councillors appointed by Council to provide specialized advice on various community issues. These committees offer recommendations and insights to Council, helping shape policies, projects, and decisions that impact the Town of Lunenburg. They serve as a vital link between the council and the community, ensuring that local perspectives and expertise are considered in the decision-making process.
Sept. 12, 2023
Jamie Myra sworn in as Mayor
Jamie Myra, who won the Town’s Special Election on Aug. 12, was officially sworn in as the Town of Lunenburg’s Mayor. Jamie will now chair all regular Council meetings until the next municipal election in October 2024.
Town to explore possible lawn and park naturalization policy
Council deferred making a decision on an appeal for an unsightly property order and directed staff to explore a possible lawn and park naturalization policy. This type of policy could permit voluntary lawn and garden naturalization on private property. Naturalization can include tree, shrub, meadow and wildflower planting, reduced or minimal mowing, and control of non-native and "weed" species.
Staff did not set a timeline for when this report will be presented at a public Council meeting.
Unsightly property order
Per the Municipal Government Act (MGA), every property in a municipality should be maintained so as not to be dangerous or unsightly. The Town’s enforcement process of this is complaint-based. Once the Town receives a complaint, staff will inspect the property. If the property is deemed unsafe or unsightly, notice is given to the owner that they have 30 days to remedy the site. If the site is not remedied, an order may be issued. A property owner may appeal an order, which puts the matter on a Council agenda for Council’s consideration.
Proposed amendments to Health & Safety Policy
Council notified the public that it intends to amend the Town’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy.Occupational Health and Safety Policy.
For the Town to keep its Certification of Recognition (COR) from Construction Safety Nova Scotia, Council must amend the current policy to include a section on health and safety recordkeeping. Staff have also proposed some minor administrative amendments.
The draft amended policy can be found on page 62 of the agenda package. Council is scheduled to approve the amendments at its Sept. 26 meeting.
Council grants Noise Bylaw exemptions
To support two local events, Council granted the following Noise Bylaw exemptions:
Date & Time
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 9pm
Bluenose Shed on Burma Drive
Friday, Oct. 6 at 11 pm – 12 am
Town continues working with HVH for possible relocation
To help accommodate the possible relocation and expansion of Harbour View Haven (HVH), a local long-term care facility, Council declared that the Town-owned lands of Upper Hall Street (PID 60726403) are no longer required for Town purposes and may be sold.
Before the lands are sold, the Town will hold a Public Information Meeting. The primary purpose of this meeting is to provide information to residents and to obtain feedback so that issues and concerns can be identified. Before any possible development, there will also be other public engagement opportunities.
The confirmed date and time of the Public Information Meeting will be shared on the Town’s website and social media pages.
Council extends Dog Park lease
Following an in camera discussion, Council approved extending the lease between the Town and the Lunenburg Dog Park Society for another 10 years. The Lunenburg Dog Park Society operates and maintains the Dog Park located at 55 Starr St.
August 8, 2023
Dares Lake capital project deferred, to be reconsidered next year
Council deferred this year’s Dares Lake Spillway Capital Project, which was approved in the 2023/24 Capital Budget to replace the Town’s existing spillway, which has deteriorated over the years.
A spillway is a structure used to provide the controlled release of water downstream from a dam.
The approved budget for the project is $200,000. However, due to a provincial requirement for an American Eel passage, the project is expected to cost $451,000. Initially, when the Town was designing this project, the Province had stated that a fish passage would not be required. Due to this new requirement and increased cost, the project will be deferred and reconsidered during next year’s budget process.
Blockhouse Hill public participation schedule gets set
Council approved the public participation schedule for the Blockhouse Hill Design Project. All members of the public are welcome to attend and contribute during these workshops.
The schedule is as follows:
Workshop 1 Visioning: September 14 from 6:00- 8:00 pm at the Fire Hall
Workshop 2 Urban Design: October 19 from 6:00-9:00 pm at the Fire Hall
Workshop 3 Options: November 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Fire Hall
Council Meeting Presentation: December 12 at 6:00 pm at Town Hall
At Workshop 3, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects will present possible designs for Blockhouse. They will then revise these possible designs based on community feedback into four possible development options and bring them before Council on December 12, 2023. Members of the public will also be able to present before Council at the December 12, 2023, meeting.
Staff will work closely with the MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects team to publicize these public engagement events on the Town's website and social media channels.
Council moves forward with accessibility improvements for Civic Square
Vigilant Atlantic has been awarded $76,070 to create three designs for the Town’s Civic Square. The intent of the designs is to improve accessibility at Town Hall’s main entrance, the bandstand, the Lunenburg Cenotaph, other monuments around Town Hall, and the surrounding area.
This project is aligned with the Province’s Accessibility Act, which recognizes accessibility as a human right and sets the goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030.
Once the designs have been completed, Vigilant Atlantic will host a community workshop to gather feedback from the public.
TOL applies for housing funding
TOL has prepared an application for more than $3 million from the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund. The funding is meant to support the development of affordable, inclusive, equitable and climate-resilient communities.
Updates on whether the Town receives funding will be provided as available, and future reports and action items will be included in public Council agendas for discussion and consideration.
Harbour View Haven explores purchasing land on Upper Hall Street
Harbour View Haven (HVH) wants to purchase Upper Hall Street (PID 60726403) to undertake a new 144-room long-term care facility. They have applied to rezone the lands from Industrial (M) to Institutional (INS).
Following an in-camera discussion, Council directed staff to return to the September 12, 2023 Regular Council meeting with a report on the possible divestiture of Upper Hall Street to accommodate the possible relocation of HVH.
July 11, 2023
Watch a recording of the meeting on YouTube or read the full agenda package. Due to technical difficulties, we could not live-stream this meeting, and only an audio recording for this meeting is available. We apologize for the inconvenience.
New standing agenda item: Public Input and Questions
Council meeting agendas have a new standing item called Public Input and Questions. At the start of each meeting, there will be 20 minutes for public input on agenda items for that meeting. Each speaker is limited to three minutes.
As this is a new agenda item, the process for conducting it will be evaluated over the next few months and may evolve as we figure out a process that works for Council, staff, and the public.
For more information on how to speak at Council meetings or other options for sharing opinions with Council, see the Connect with Council page.
Fifteen outdated bylaws get repealed
Council passed the new Repeal Bylaw, which repeals 15 outdated bylaws. Some of those bylaws include:
- Bylaw #37 Curfew By-law
- Bylaw #10 Engineer By-law
- Bylaw #17 Lock-up House By-law
Many of the 15 bylaws were created in the 1970s and 80s and have not been updated to reflect the Town’s current practices or are no longer relevant. More information on each of the repealed bylaws can be found in the report in the agenda package.
Staff will continue to review Town policies and bylaws to ensure they are relevant and adhere to current Town practices.
Electric Utility budgets get approved
For the 2023/24 fiscal year, Council passed a $7,171,000 Electric Utility Operating Budget and a $490,000 Electric Utility Capital Budget.
The Town of Lunenburg owns and operates its own electric utility providing residential and commercial services. The Town does not generate its own electricity but has a service contract with Nova Scotia Power to provide power to the Electric Utility.
The operating budget covers the day-to-day expenses required to deliver services to residents and businesses, while the capital budget is used for long-term investments like infrastructure and facilities that are paid off over time. Some of this year’s capital items include utility meters, poles, and street lights.
The full budget documents can be found here: pdf 2023 24 Electric Utility Budget approved July11 23 (808 KB)
Town to apply to NSUARB for power rate increase
To offset a recent increase in Nova Scotia Power’s municipal power rates Council approved an application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) to flow this increase into the TOL Electric Utility power rates. The NSUARB must still approve the increase. Electric Utility customers will likely see the rate change on their August bills if approved. The new rate has not been determined but will be communicated when available.
More funding for Water Treatment Plant membrane replacement
Council approved an additional $304,000 for the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) Membrane Replacement 2023/24 Water Utility Capital Project for a total project amount of $659,000. The additional funds for this project will come from the Town’s Membrane Reserves and Water Utility Depreciation Funds.
Membranes are an important part of the water treatment process and act as a filter to remove impurities. The current membranes have been in place since 2009 and are nearing the end of their service life. While there is no immediate issue with the condition of the membranes currently in use due to items such as the supply chain and availability of the installation crew, the Town must be proactive in the replacement to ensure there is no impact on residents.
Council initially approved $355,000 for this project. However, based on the project supply and installation quote, it was deemed that this project would require more funding.
More funding for Tannery Road sidewalk project
Council approved an additional $300,000 for the Tannery Road Sidewalk Construction 2023/24 Capital Project for a total project amount of $571,000. The additional funds for this project will come from the Town’s Surplus Asset Reinvestment Fund.
This project intends to improve active transportation and pedestrian safety along Tannery Road from the intersection of Knickle Road and Tannery Road up to the parking area past 97 Tannery Rd.
Council initially approved $271,000 for this project. However, based on the tender results, it was deemed that this project would require more funding. To offset the additional costs, Council approved deferring this year’s Green Street sidewalk renewal project — this project will be included in next year’s capital budget process.
Deferred watermain project
The Town will not move forward with a watermain capital project this year. Council had initially approved $120,000 for the Harbourview/Morash Watermain Capital Project. However, the project is expected to cost an additional $245,000. This project is intended to improve the performance of the Town’s water system by removing an existing dead end (a closed-off section of pipe) at the top of Harbourview Drive.
Due to the increased budget for other capital projects, as noted above, this project was deemed as one that could be reconsidered in next year’s capital budget project.
Extended licence agreement for SSRCE
Following a brief in camera session (closed session), Council approved a five-year extension for a licence agreement between the Town and the South Shore Regional Centre for Education (SSRCE). The agreement allows the schools to use several town facilities, such as the soccer, baseball, and track fields.
June 27, 2023
Council extends lease for Class Afloat, Lunenburg Academy tenant
Council had a light agenda for this meeting. After reviewing three correspondence items, Council moved into closed session (in camera) to discuss a lease renewal between the Town of Lunenburg and the Class Afloat - West Island College International, a long-time tenant of the Lunenburg Academy. Council unanimously agreed to extend the Class Afloat lease for another two years.
As per the Municipal Government Act (MGA), Council can meet in closed session to discuss several topics, including the lease of municipal facilities. Closed session or in camera means members of the public are not permitted to attend this portion of the meeting.
Public input for future agendas
Council directed staff to include a new standing agenda item to allow time for public input at Council meetings. Under this agenda item, members of the public will be able to register to comment or inquire about municipal matters. More details on this agenda item will be included in the July 11, 2023 Council agenda package.
June 13, 2023
Council receives petition for Blockhouse Hill
Council received a petition from the Friends of Blockhouse Hill, an advocacy group created in opposition of the potential development of Blockhouse Hill. The petition urges Council to “stop the process to sell and develop the lands on Blockhouse Hill until the Town establishes that a majority of Town of Lunenburg residents support the sale and development of the land.”
The petition has been signed by 679 residents and 359 non-residents.
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects to create design proposals for Blockhouse Hill
Council hired MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects to come up with design concepts for a possible development of Blockhouse Hill. This work will cost $144,843.00 (plus HST), which has been included in the approved operating budget.
The Town issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for design schemes in February and received seven submissions.
Staff recommended McKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects because of their expertise, local knowledge and community presence. The firm’s proposal also included a public participation program for this project which includes three public workshops.
Once designs have been developed there will be public presentations and engagement opportunities.
More information on the proposed development can be found in this February 2023 Fact Sheet.
Council narrows options for Upper King Street development designs
Council directed ZZAP Consulting Inc. to refine two design concepts for the proposed development of Upper King Street.
These options include park space and high-density or high-density hybrid housing, including multi-unit buildings. The two options Council is considering are labeled options 4Biii (High Density) and 4Biv (High Density Hybrid) in the report in the Council agenda package. Option 4Biii would yield 79 new housing units while option 4Biv would yield 66 units.
Both options consider an “in and out” road option, which would extend a road from Cornwallis Street to the King Street road reserve to create a cul-de-sac – this is the only option that meets safety and engineering standards.
Now that ZZAP has been given the direction to further refine these options, they will prepare detailed site costing, construction costs, and draft development agreements, which will be presented at a future Council meeting for consideration and discussion.
Public information sessions will be scheduled after the final design concepts have been developed.
The Town first announced its intentions of selling and developing Upper King Street in May of 2022. The Town also provided an update on the potential sale in September of 2022.
20 non-profits receive Town grants
Each year local nonprofit organizations apply to the Town’s Community Grants Program. This year Council awarded a total of $19,580 to 20 organizations.
Some of this year’s recipients include:
- Bluenose Academy Ne'ata'q: The Food Forest
- Lunenburg Dog Park Society
- Pride Lunenburg Society
A full list of recipients is available in the agenda package for this meeting.
Repeal Bylaw: first reading
Council passed first reading of the Repeal Bylaw. If approved, this bylaw will repeal 15 outdated bylaws. Some of those bylaws include:
- Bylaw #37 Curfew By-law
- Bylaw #10 Engineer By-law
- Bylaw #17 Lock-up House By-law
Many of the 15 bylaws were created in the 1970s and 80s and have not been updated to reflect the Town’s current practices or are no longer relevant. All bylaws being proposed to be repealed and the reason for each is in the report in the agenda package.
The second and final reading of this bylaw is scheduled for the July 11, 2023 Council meeting.
May 30, 2023 Special Meeting
The Special Election will be Aug. 12, 2023
Council approved Aug. 12, 2023 as the date of the 2023 Special Election. This special election is being held to fill the vacancy of the Mayor’s position.
If a current councillor files their nomination papers for the mayor’s position then they must vacate their councillor seat. If this happens then the special election will be held to fill both the mayor’s vacancy and the councillor’s vacancy. Updates on this will be provided as soon as available.
This election will be a paperless election, meaning voting can only be done over the phone or using the internet.
More information for prospective candidates and voters is available here: https://townoflunenburg.ca/elections.html
May 23, 2023
Council receives quarterly police report
RCMP Corporal Traci Johnston presented a quarterly police report. The report highlights statistics on various calls for services, staffing updates and community programs.
The full report can be found in the agenda package for this meeting.
Access Awareness Week is May 28 to June 3
Council proclaimed May 28 to June 3, 2023 as Access Awareness Week.
Access Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote inclusion of persons with disabilities. The Town of Lunenburg is working to increase accessibility for everyone visiting, living and working in the town by identifying, removing, and preventing barriers to access. A big part of this work is ensuring that Council, staff, and members of the public are aware of the issues impacting persons with disabilities and consider accessibility as part of the work that they do everyday.
During this week the Access Awareness Week flag will be flown at the UNESCO Monument Flagpoles.
View the full proclamation: pdf 2023 05 23 Access Awareness Week (1.89 MB)
New Policy: Film Policy
Council replaced its Filming Guidelines Policy with a new Film Policy.
Many of the changes made for the updated policy are administrative and are intended to streamline the film permit application process. Highlights of the new policy include:
- A Film Permit application fee (the old policy did not have an application fee). The application fee ranges from $50 - $200 depending on the project’s budget.
- An updated rates structure for daily filming fees. These fees range from $150 - $1,000 depending on the project’s budget. The previous policy had a $1,000 flat rate for all projects.
Read the full policy and procedures: pdf Film Policy (379 KB)
Staff to submit State of Conservation Report to Parks Canada
Council endorsed sending the 2023 Old Town Lunenburg State of Conservation Report to Parks Canada.
Earlier this year, Parks Canada invited the Town of Lunenburg to submit a State of Conservation Report for Old Town Lunenburg World Heritage Site. State of Conservation Reporting is annual and voluntary. Obligatory periodic reporting to UNESCO occurs every six years, and Canada must submit a periodic report this year.
The report, authored by Town staff, argues that Old Town Lunenburg's State of Conservation is poor and that Old Town Lunenburg World Heritage Site is under-resourced and underfunded.
The report also notes that Old Town Lunenburg is Canada's only World Heritage Site without a significant provincial or federal managerial presence, and the cost of managing and conserving Old Town Lunenburg falls disproportionately on the municipality and Lunenburg's residents, businesses, and non-profits.
Once submitted, Parks Canada will incorporate TOL’s findings in their report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which assesses the condition of World Heritage Sites and can adopt measures to resolve problems, including advising Parks Canada on how to meet its obligations to protect World Heritage Properties.
The full report can be found in the agenda package for this meeting.
Town recognizes heritage properties
Council awarded three heritage recognition awards to the following properties:
- 10 Sawpit Road
- 114 York Street
- 37 Tannery Road
The Heritage Recognition Awards Program recognizes property owners and developers for a job well done in outstanding restoration and/or rehabilitation work as well as new compatible infill developments that contribute positively to a streetscape.
View past recipients here.
Town moves ahead with required water system assessment report
Council approved spending $15,645 from the Water Depreciation Reserve for a Water System Assessment Report. Nova Scotia Environment requires that all municipalities conduct this report.
The overall intent of System Assessments is to verify that all municipal public drinking water supplies meet:
- Current environmental standards.
- The minimum requirements set out in the Nova Scotia Treatment Standards for Municipal Drinking Water Systems.
The $15,645 will be used to hire a consultant to prepare the Water System Assessment Report.
May 16, 2023 Special Meeting
Watch a recording of the meeting on Zoom or read the full agenda package.
At this special meeting, Lunenburg’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) presented a high-level analysis of the Town’s assets and liabilities. This update was given to highlight the financial impact on the Town’s upcoming operating and capital expenditures required over the next 5-10 years and how to remain sustainable.
The report noted four major financial requirements for the Town:
- Water and Wastewater operations
- Electric Utility
The Town has an operating budget of $9.9M and a capital budget of ~$4M with a revenue source of $9.9M. Over the next three – five years the Town anticipates a capital investment of over $40M which would include normal life cycle and maintenance of operational assets at approximately $14M, interior and exterior rehabilitation of Town Hall at approximately $10M, Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade capital contribution of nearly $3M and the Electric Utility capital investment of $15M.
The slideshow and the CAO's speaking notes which were presented at the meeting are available here: pdf TOL Fiscal Needs Slides (5.21 MB)
May 9, 2023
Watch a recording of the meeting on Zoom or read the full agenda package.
Council receives presentation from Friends of Blockhouse Hill
Council received a presentation from the Friends of Blockhouse Hill, a local volunteer group created in opposition of the potential development of Blockhouse Hill.
Earlier this year, the Town put out a Request for Proposal (RPF) for bids to create designs for a possible development at Blockhouse Hill. Once staff have conceptual land use designs, they will be made available for public feedback. This RFP closed on March 31 with seven submissions.
There is no prescribed timeline, however, staff are currently reviewing the submissions and will bring recommendations forward to Council in the future.
Later in the process, should the land be sold – it is not currently listed for sale – the Town will require the developer to engage in a public consultation process with regards to whatever they intend to create.
For more information on the Blockhouse Hill RFP, click here.
Mayor Risser officially resigns
Mayor Risser has officially resigned as the Mayor for the Town of Lunenburg. While Mayor Risser announced his intention of resigning in April, a resignation, as per the Municipal Government Act, does not come into effect until a letter of resignation has been delivered to staff and the letter is presented at the next Council meeting. The letter was received on May 3 and included in the May 9 agenda package.
Deputy Mayor Peter Mosher will serve as the Chair of Council meetings until a new mayor has been elected in a special election. Details about the upcoming special election will be announced at the first Council meeting in June.
New policy: Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy
Council approved a new Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy.
Earlier this year, Council repealed the Town’s Sexual Harassment Policy because it was outdated and highlighted the need for a more comprehensive respectful workplace policy. This is an internal policy to be used in situations where staff feel they are being harassed by another staff member or a member of Council.
Read the full policy here.
2023/24 Operating budget gets approved
Council unanimously approved the 2023/24 Operating Budget.
The total Operating Budget is $9,902,620 and the Water Operating Budget is $1,718,500. This represents an increase of 13.8% and 8.38% respectively.
For more information on the budget see the budget highlights.
Notice of New Policy: Film Policy
Council gave notice that it may consider an updated Film Policy at its May 23 meeting.
The draft updated policy has many of the elements of the existing policy, however, staff have made edits to provide further clarity and guidance for the Film Permit Application process and all filming activities within the Town.
If approved, the draft policy would implement a Film Application Fee using a four-tiered approach. The permit fees range from $50 - $200 depending on the project. The draft policy would also implement a four-tiered approach for daily filming fees, ranging from $150 - $1,000 for a full day rate and $75 - $500 for a half-day rate depending on the project.
The full draft policy and procedures are available in the agenda package for this meeting.
May 2, 2023 Committee of the Whole
At the May 2 Committee of the Whole meeting, Council recommended that the 2023/24 Operating Budget and the 2023/24 Water Utility Operating Budget be approved at the May 9 Council meeting.
The proposed 2023/24 Operating Budget is: $9,902,620.
The proposed 2023/24 Water Utility Operating Budget is: $1,718,100.
The proposed budgets will not increase tax rates for residents or businesses.
A high level overview of the proposed Operating Budget and the proposed Water Utility Operating Budget can be found here:
Detailed budget documents can be found in the May 2 Committee of the Whole agenda package.
Committee of the Whole meetings are intended to be a less formal forum for discussing concerns. The primary outcome from Committee of the Whole meetings is for Council to feel they have enough information or have had enough conversation around an issue to be able to make a recommendation to Council for action. No decisions are made at Committee of the Whole meetings.
Council is scheduled to approve the 2023/24 Operating Budget and the 2023/24 Water Utility Operating Budget at its May 9 meeting. This meeting will be held at Town Hall at 6 p.m., and will be livestreamed through Zoom.
April 25, 2023
VON nurses, personal support workers, therapists and other health-care providers deliver care and services that offer clinical, personal and social support in homes and communities across Nova Scotia.
VON Week is an opportunity to recognize the resilience, courage and strength of VON staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to provide caring support to those who need it most in the face of diverse challenges.
During this week, the Town will also fly the VON flag at the UNESCO Monument Flagpoles.
Town celebrates local volunteers
In light of Volunteer Appreciation Week, Council gave out volunteer appreciation awards to the following locals:
- Hugh Corkum
- Jamie Ernst
- Dave Robb
- Travis Vaughn
The Town of Lunenburg is fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers, supporting and organizing arts, culture, recreation, wellness and so much more throughout our community. We thank you for all that you do!
Council receives sustainability assessment of the Electric Utility
Council received a presentation on a financial evaluation and sustainability assessment of the Electric Utility.
The Town of Lunenburg owns and operates its own electric utility providing residential and commercial services. The Town does not generate its own electricity but has a service contact with Nova Scotia Power to provide power to the Electric Utility. Administrative support for the Electric Utility is provided by Town staff while field work is provided by NS Power.
The Town’s existing contract with NS Power expires in 2024. Prior to entering into any new agreements, the Town is reviewing all options for the future of the electric utility. A part of this review also includes considering required maintenance and upgrades to the utility’s aging infrastructure. Reviewing all options is a responsible and appropriate measure to ensure proper due diligence is conducted before making any decisions.
The presentation focused on three possible options for the Electric Utility:
- Sell the Electric Utility to Nova Scotia Power or another third party.
- Retain ownership and renew the service contract with NS Power or another provider.
- Retain ownership and re-establish in-house field staff. This possible option would include exploring significant capital investments to purchase new equipment and hire more staff for the operation and maintenance of the utility.
This presentation was for information only, and any further discussions on possible options for the Electric Utility will be conducted at future public meetings. The public will also have the opportunity to provide input on any possible decisions made to ensure the long-term sustainability of electric service for the Town.
Town moves ahead with skatepark upgrades
Council awarded the 2023/24 capital skatepark project to Propour Concrete Services Inc. in the
amount of $121,293 + HST. These funds were approved in December as a part of the 2023/24 capital budget, however, the awarding of a contract over $100,000 requires Council’s approval.
Project highlights will include repairs and maintenance to the park’s surface, the addition of an accessible walkway, the installation of a gazebo, and additional concrete elements.
In addition to the funds provided by the Town, this project has received about $20,000 in donations, $18,500 in grant funding, and more than $120,000 from a private donor.
New Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy
Council gave notice that it may approve a new Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires that at least seven days’ notice be given before Council approves a new policy or makes any changes to an existing policy.
Earlier this year, Council repealed the Town’s Sexual Harassment Policy because it was outdated and highlighted the need for a more comprehensive respectful workplace policy.
The draft policy defines various types of harassment and identifies resolution options. The full policy can be found in the April 25 agenda package.
April 11, 2023
Lyme Disease Awareness
Council proclaimed May 2023 as Lyme Disease Awareness Month, stating that awareness, education and practicing preventative measures such as daily tick checks and proper tick removal, can help reduce the chances of contracting tick-borne diseases.
Council postpones approving new Vending By-law
Council postponed making a decision on a new proposed Vending By-law and directed staff to make several edits. Once edits have been made, the proposed by-law will be presented at a future Council meeting for further discussion and consideration.
At the April 11 meeting Council held a public hearing, which invited members of the public to make comments and ask questions about the proposed by-law. Twenty-one people, which included numerous business owners, provided their feedback. Some concerns expressed include traffic and parking congestion, increased garbage, noise pollution from generators, a lack of public washrooms for a potential increase to foot traffic, and that recommended permit fees were too low. Additionally, the business community felt that more consultation was needed.
All concerns will be considered as staff work on updates to the proposed by-law.
Council also postpones Land Use By-law amendment
Council also deferred deciding on a proposed amendment to the Land Use By-law, which would remove all regulations on vending from that by-law. Staff will return to Council with this request once a new Vending By-law has been approved. The point of this amendment is to not have regulations for vending in two separate by-laws.
TOL receives more than $375,000 in provincial funding
The Town received $375,867 from the province’s Sustainable Services Growth Fund, a new one-time grant for municipalities to use on projects related to accessibility, active transportation, housing, seniors and long-term care.
The Town has not yet determined what project the funds will be used for.
Town moves forward with new Regional Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Committee
Council approved a partnership with Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, the Municipality of Chester, and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg to create a new Regional Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Committee (ARADAC).
Council also approved the creation of a Regional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator position, which will be shared and funded by the five partner communities.
TOL has $6,939 earmarked for the committee and new position. This budget request will be presented in the proposed 2023/24 operating budget, which will be presented to Council and the public on May 2.
This same partnership model had been used successfully with the Lunenburg County Accessibility Advisory Committee and the shared Accessibility Coordinator position.
The ARADAC will work to help lead and support anti-racism and anti-discrimination initiatives and promote equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, including policies, legislation, programs and services. The Coordinator will be responsible for leading these initiatives.
Considering the new committee, Council approved dissolving TOL’s local Anti-Racism Special Committee as the regional committee will replace the work of the local committee.
March 28, 2023
Town Hall to undergo deconstructive testing
Council approved a $3,415 increase to the Town Hall Exterior Restoration Tender Package project, bringing the total budget to $98,415.
This increase will allow for deconstructive testing to the exterior of Town Hall. Destructive testing is a testing method that analyzes the point at which an asset or material fails. The destructive testing was recommended by staff because the building could have structural damage. The destructive testing will consist of 8-10 destructive test openings and investigation to determine the extent of possible deterioration.
In February of last year, Council approved a project budget of $95,000 for the Town Hall Restoration Tender Package Project, which included an exterior building condition assessment (non-destructive), detailed measured drawings for exterior work, the development of a detailed scope of work and tender documents, and the preparation of cost estimates.
The $3,415 increase will come from the Deed Transfer Tax Reserve.
Emergency furnace replacement for Public Works building
Earlier in March, the Chief Administrative Officer authorized spending $13,000 +HST for the emergency purchase of a new furnace for the Armouries Building (the Public Works building located at 177 Cumberland Street).
The broken furnace was inspected by two companies and was deemed to be beyond repair.
As per the Purchasing Procedures Policy, the purchase of such items must be reported to Council. This reporting occurred at the March 28 meeting.
The funds for the furnace replacement will come from the Water Depreciation Reserve.
Finalizing the sale of 17 Tannery Road
In June 2022, Council voted in favour of selling the Town’s 17 Tannery Road property.
As per the recommendation of the Town’s solicitor, Council passed several motions at the March 28 meeting in order to finalize the sale.
Council dissolves Project Lunenburg Steering Committee
The Project Lunenburg Steering Committee was created by Council in 2018 to monitor the quality of the Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) and updated Municipal Planning Strategy, Land Use By-law, Subdivision By-law and Heritage Conservation District Plan and By-law. The Committee also provided support, guidance, and oversight of the creation process of those documents.
As the final project associated with the Steering Team, the Heritage Conservation District Plan and By-law, is soon to be completed, Council dissolved the Committee as any input, support, and guidance is no longer required.
Quarterly test results for wastewater and water quality
To ensure best reporting practices, the Town Engineer presents quarterly reports of the Town’s wastewater and water quality test results.
The Town’s water quality is frequently tested for numerous items, including fecal coliform and lead. Treated wastewater is also tested frequently for things like E. Coli and unionized ammonia.
For this quarter, all tests met provincial and federal requirements.
Detailed results for both the wastewater quality test results and the potable quality test results are available in the March 28 agenda package.
March 14, 2023
Cornwallis Street renaming update
In late January the Town launched a public survey asking residents to submit their suggestions for a new name for Cornwallis Street. The survey closed on Feb.13, receiving more than 300 submissions.
Staff are still in the process of sorting the suggestions. A report on the survey results will be presented to Council in the near future.
At the end of 2022, as per a recommendation from the Town’s Anti-Racism Special Committee, Council voted in favour of renaming Cornwallis Street. For more information on the renaming, please see the press release from Jan. 24, 2023.
Council moves forward with amendments to the Land Use By-law (LUB) and Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS)
Deleting vending regulations from the LUB
Council is scheduled to approve a new Vending By-law, likely in April. Once approved, this bylaw will regulate all vending activities within the Town.
Currently, there are some vending provisions in the Town’s Land Use By-law (LUB). With the adoption of a new Vending By-law, having any regulations for vending in the LUB is not necessary.
Deleting Architectural Control Areas (ACAs) from the MPS and LUB
Staff are working on a new Heritage Conservation District (HCD) plan and by-law to regulate architectural provisions for the Town. This new plan and by-law are expected to be presented to Council in the near future.
Currently ACA provisions are within the MPS and LUB. With the adoption of a new HCD plan and by-law, having architectural provisions in the MPS and LUB is not necessary.
Except for the proposed removal of the Tannery Road ACA, both proposed amendments are not deleting regulations, but rather moving them to separate documents.
The Province has a specific process for amending Municipal Planning Strategies and Land Use By-laws. That process includes:
- holding a public participation meeting;
- that Council do two separate readings of the amendment(s) with 14 days in between each reading; and
- holding a public hearing prior to the second reading of the amendment(s)
The Town’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) held a public participation meeting for the proposed amendments on Feb. 27, 2023. At that meeting, there were no submissions for or against the proposed amendments.
At its March 14 meeting, Council approved first reading of both proposed amendments.
A public hearing for these proposed amendments will be held at the same meeting that Council is scheduled to vote on second reading, which will likely be in April for the Vending By-law and later for the HCD plan and by-law.
Jamie Ernst named Provincial Volunteer of the Year
Council named Jamie Ernst as its Volunteer Representative Award of the year.
Each year, the Province puts a call out to all municipalities and First Nations communities in Nova Scotia to select a volunteer to receive the provincial award. This award recognizes volunteer services by individuals, teams, or groups who have enhanced the image of or have made significant contributions to the Town of Lunenburg.
Jamie has been a volunteer with the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore for almost 20 years, where he also serves as the Chair of the Foundation’s annual Gift from the Heart Radiothon fundraiser.
Jamie will be invited to represent the community at a provincial ceremony in Halifax later this year.
The Town of Lunenburg is fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers, supporting and organizing arts, culture, recreation, wellness and so much more throughout our community.
Feb. 28, 2023
Outdated policies get repealed
Council repealed 15 outdated Town policies. A full list of which policies were repealed can be found in the report in the Feb. 28 agenda package.
Staff will continue to review Town policies and bylaws to ensure they are relevant and adhere to current Town practices.
Council receives quarterly police report.
RCMP Corporal Traci Johnston and Sergeant Kelly Plamondon presented a quarterly police report. The report highlights statistics on various calls for services, staffing updates and community programs.
The full report can be found in the Feb. 28 agenda package.
Council considers new Vending By-law
Council approved first reading of a new Vending By-law. The intent of this bylaw is to set out a process to regulate vending within the Town of Lunenburg.
If approved, the by-law will allow for more food truck (mobile canteens) and other vending opportunities throughout town on public and private lands, and on seven locations on Town streets.
Currently, mobile vendors are only allowed in the Commercial Mixed-Use Zone, which is mostly along Victoria Road.
The proposed by-law states that walking tours and door-to-door vendors are not restricted to any area — once they have a Vending Permit, they are permitted to travel all throughout Town.
As per the Municipal Government Act (MGA), all by-laws require two readings from Council with 14 days in between each reading. A by-law is not approved until it has been read twice.
Curling Club receives funds from LAFF
Through the Lunenburg Athletic Facility Fund (LAFF), Council released $14,343.65 to the Lunenburg Curling Club for the following projects:
- Energy efficient lighting replacements
- The installation of two donated heat pumps
- The purchase of reusable vinyl curling sheets to replace the current ice painting system
The Town does not contribute any money to the LAFF. The LAFF is like a bank account for organizations — organizations and donors make donations to the Town with a direction that the donation(s) be added to the LAFF for specific projects at specific facilities.
Through this process, organizations can receive a charitable donation receipt.
The Town of Lunenburg has LAFF accounts for the Lunenburg Curling Club, the Lunenburg Tennis Club and the Lunenburg and District Swimming Pool (the outdoor pool).
Council grants rent relief for LAMP
The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) is one of the tenants of the Lunenburg Academy, which is owned by the Town. In a letter to Council and staff, LAMP requested some assistance with its rent payments, noting the pandemic has been a particularly challenging time.
Council agreed to waive $2,943.91 in interest payment owed by LAMP for its outstanding rent payments and agreed to collect the remaining balance of $15,737.81 over the next 12 months.
This rent relief request was discussed in camera, which is a closed session of Council. The Municipal Government Act (MGA), the provincial act that regulates municipal matters, allows for Council to discuss certain items in closed session. Closed session (or in camera) means that the public cannot observe these meetings.
Items permitted to be discussed in closed session (in camera) are:
- personnel matters;
- labour relations and contract negotiations;
- plans to buy, sell or lease property;
- legal advice; and
- security issues.
Following an in camera discussion, if Council has any decisions to make, they will do so in public session. At Town of Lunenburg Council meetings, this reporting of in camera discussions and any decision making happens near the end of the meeting under the agenda item called “Resumption of Council meeting in Public Session”.
Feb. 14, 2023
Town moves ahead with design work for solar panels at the Water Treatment Plant
Council approved an additional $17,500 for the engineering design work for solar panels at the Water Treatment Plant (WTP), bringing the total approved budget to $38,000. The additional $17,500 will come from the Water Utility’s depreciation reserve.
The scope of the engineering design for this project includes electrical, structural and geotechnical parts for the ground and roof mounted solar array system.
In 2022, the Town hired a consultant to complete a solar feasibility for the WTP and the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). Council approved the solar panel project in 2022, following a recommendation from that feasibility study.
Staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the engineering design work. Seven companies submitted proposals, with the cost of the proposed work ranging from $24,529 — $61,295 (excluding HST).
The increase to this budget will allow staff to move forward with securing a company to complete the solar panel design work.
Council approves truck replacement
Council approved $31,332 for the purchase of a water utility vehicle.
This purchase is needed to replace a half-ton truck used by the Water Utility that was involved in a collision in January. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, but there was significant damage to the Water Utility’s truck. The Town’s insurance company assessed the truck and determined that it couldn’t be fixed.
The truck was scheduled to be replaced in the 2024/2025 budget due to the age and the number of kilometres on the vehicle.
New Heritage Officer for TOL
Hilary Grant, the Town’s Senior Planner, was appointed as a Heritage Officer for the Town.
Heritage Officers are responsible for the administration of the Town’s Heritage Conservation Plan and Heritage Property By-law. The Heritage Officer also issues Certificate of Appropriateness to make sure developments in Lunenburg align with the Town’s heritage values.
Staff start policy and bylaw review
Council gave notice that it will repeal 15 Town policies at its next regular meeting on Feb. 28. These policies have been identified as outdated or no longer relevant. A full list of the policies to be repealed can be found in the Feb. 14 agenda package.
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires that at least seven days’ notice be given before Council makes any changes to a policy.
Staff will continue to work on identifying more policies and bylaws that may be deleted or changed.
TOL starts the process of selling Upper Hall Street lot
The Town-owned 18.95 acre lot at the top of Hall Street has been listed for sale. Council directed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to complete all necessary actions required to complete the sale of Upper Hall Street, including negotiating the sale price.
For more information about the sale of the Upper Hall Street lot, see this fact sheet.
Jan. 24, 2023
Read the full agenda package here. Typically a recording of each Council meeting is available on the TOL YouTube channel, however, due to technical challenges there is no recording of the Jan. 24, 2023 meeting.
Council approves new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Bylaw
The CAO is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Town.
The bylaw establishes the position and confirms the administrative powers of the CAO. Some of those powers include entering contracts on behalf of the Town, establishing municipal departments, and determining the salaries of Town staff.
This bylaw replaces the Town’s former Manager/Clerk Bylaw.
The bylaw will come into effect on Feb. 1, 2023 after its approval has been advertised in the LighthouseNow – this step is required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA).
Read the full bylaw.
Council approves new Policy Development and Review Policy
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of Council and Town staff for policy development, implementation, and review of policy effectiveness.
A policy is the commitment and direction of Council on items like governance, public service and municipal programs based on Council’s values, priorities and strategic direction.
All policies are approved by Council. Administrative Procedures, the operational requirements that allow staff to carry out Council’s policies, are approved by the CAO.
Council appoints new Lunenburg County Accessibility Advisory Committee (LCAAC) member
Jeane Fay was appointed to the LCAAC for a three-year term.
The LCAAC works with the Towns of Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and Bridgewater and the Districts of Chester and Lunenburg to identify, prevent and eliminate barriers to people with disabilities in municipal programs, services, initiatives and facilities.
Council supports Economic Impact Study
Council approved including $50,000 in the 2023/24 Draft Operating Budget for an economic impact study/analysis.
The purpose of the study is to provide critical information on the economic contribution of ongoing activities within the Town and the local business sector. The study will also provide a better understanding of visitation numbers and tourism within the Town.
Spending any money on an economic impact study/analysis cannot happen until the full 2023/24 Operating Budget is approved. The draft budget will be presented for Council’s consideration in the coming months.
Council also directed staff to secure $50,000 in matching funding from non-town sources before moving ahead with the study. The study is expected to cost $75,000. Staff are applying for grants to help fund the remaining $25,000 for this project.