The mayor of Mulgrave says town officials were disappointed when their dissolution application didn’t go through.
Town councillors voted to withdraw their request to dissolve and join the Municipality of the District of Guysborough in March.
Guysborough officials and their provincial counterparts were unable to agree on funding; Ralph Hadley, Mulgrave’s mayor, said they didn’t want a contested hearing with members of the Utility and Review Board.
In a year-end interview with The Hawk, Hadley says provincial officials are still trying to find a long-term solution for the town.
“They had talks with the adjoining municipalities in our area, and they didn’t pan out,” he says. “As of right now, we’re running on our own- until we come up with some solutions, and the province comes up with some ideas, maybe down the road they may look at that again.”
Hadley says they can continue with the day-to-day operations of the town for the time being, but they don’t have enough money for capital projects and upgrades in their current situation.
He says there is still plenty on tap for the town in 2018.
Town councillors voted to join the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network at a cost of $9,000-$10,000 at their regular December meeting; they’ll join their counterparts in the Town of Antigonish, Antigonish Co., the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, the Town of Port Hawkesbury and the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s.
Hadley tells The Hawk they hope being part of the REN will help promote the town and encourage small business opportunities.
“Council agreed to join this REN and try it- for a few years, a year, whatever- and see how it goes,” he says. “I’m sure they can help us to get back on track too also.”
Hadley says they hope to be part of the network by January.
He says town officials will also try to get federal funding for some capital projects in the town.
Hadley says 2018 also brings the first full year for the town’s new chief administrative officer.
Jim Davis replaced Kevin Matheson as CAO in November.
He has 37 years of municipal government experience, including 28 years as the Town of Port Hawkesbury’s finance director.
Hadley says they were sorry to lose Matheson, but Davis has done well in the role so far.
“Kevin did a very good job, but the Town of Mulgrave couldn’t afford Kevin’s salary, what he was getting,” he says. “Jim moved in there, and he’s closer here- he only lives in (Port) Hawkesbury- (and) there was quite a difference in the price.”
Hadley says Davis’ position is not full-time; instead, he’s working three or four days a week.
He says it’s a two-year contract, and Davis will consider a third year when the time comes.