Port Hawkesbury’s mayor says road work and planning has made for a busy and exciting year.
Brenda Chisholm-Beaton says infrastructure has been, and will be a huge part of the focus for town officials.
She says work has been ongoing for the Pitt and Napean St. project, along with planning for the Destination Reeves St. project.
In a year-end interview with The Hawk, Chisholm-Beaton says things are behind schedule on the Pitt and Napean St. project; they’ll continue to work on it.
“Things are a little behind schedule; things always pop up when you’re dealing with infrastructure projects, especially when you have aged infrastructure below the ground and (don’t) always have a clear indication on where everything lies,” she says. “We’re expecting that the work will continue into the spring.”
Chisholm-Beaton says the last time work of this magnitude took place in the town was 17 years ago.
She says they’re very excited to have two completely rehabilitated roads.
Chisholm-Beaton says 2017 has been a good chance for the growth of the Port Hawkesbury Airport.
Brenda Chisholm-Beaton says it’s exciting to see how far things have come since Celtic Air Services reps took over airport operations in July.
Port Hawkesbury town councillors voted to change the airport name as a recommendation from the Port Hawkesbury Airport Committee at their regular council meeting earlier this month; they voted for a new name to honour the late Allan J. MacEachen.
Chisholm-Beaton says they’re pleased with results from Celtic Air Services.
“They’re essentially helping us grow the airport and grow our town,” she says. “It is quite exciting; they’re doing really well out there in their first year.”
Chisholm-Beaton says some young people from Cape Breton decided to move home and take over the business.
Chisholm-Beaton says Start-up Port Hawkesbury was another exciting part of the year.
The competition was put on by officials with the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network and the Town of Port Hawkesbury; they called for business pitch ideas before applicants would move on to face a panel of judges.
Brenda Chisholm-Beaton says they’ve been working with the winner, Michele Tabensky.
Tabensky’s idea of ‘That Dog Place’ won; she says it will consist of doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, training and more- with hopes to open up shop by the start of summer.
Chisholm-Beaton tells The Hawk the experience has been an eye-opener for town officials.
“That’s certainly another extremely exciting project that’s happened in 2017 that’s had tremendous expected, and unexpected results as well.”
Chisholm-Beaton says they also plan to work with the other 20 contestants to try and support them and connect them with the right community leaders in hopes of getting more businesses started.
The mayor says collaboration is one key word to describe the past year.
Brenda Chisholm-Beaton says working closely with neighbours from other municipalities and First Nations communities is important for town officials.
She says One Cape Breton: Future Forward Leaders’ Summit was a great chance to work with leaders on the island; the fifth annual event was held in Port Hawkesbury last month.
In a year-end interview with The Hawk, Chisholm-Beaton says positive results can’t happen without some help.
“When I talk about all the wonderful things happening in the Town of Port Hawkesbury in 2017, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the people that have played a role,” she says. “Between community leaders, business leaders, our chamber, our RENs.”
Chisholm-Beaton says they’ve also been working with provincial and federal officials.
She says collaboration will be a big part of what town officials will take away from 2017, moving into 2018 and beyond.