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Main street redesign will be a focus in 2017, says Port Hawkesbury mayor

Port Hawkesbury's mayor says councillors will work with various partners in the new year to make the town's main street safer.

Town officials first discussed a facade and streetscaping program for Reeves Street in 2013.

Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton says the redesign is essential in order to retain existing businesses and attract new ones.

During a year-end interview, Chisholm-Beaton told The Hawk that safety is also a priority for the main through-way.

"We're hoping to make it a more liveable street and a street that people feel comfortable walking on," she said, "so we're hoping part of that Reeves Street project will also be to look at safety concerns and figure out a way to slow down the traffic."

Chisholm-Beaton says town officials have partnered with the Department of Transportation, ACOA, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce and Reeves Street businesses on the project.

She says a lot of the groundwork for the project was laid in 2016.

The mayor says she's proud that town officials have been able to reorganize their finances in order to carry out another major project on roads in town.

Chisholm-Beaton says both Pitt and Napean streets will be getting their underground infrastructure replaced.

Town officials applied to the Building Canada Fund in order to help with costs.

Chisholm-Beaton said she considers the financing of the project a success for councillors and staff.

"That's something that we wouldn't have been able to do prior to 2012, so I think that between staff and council, we were able to get our ducks in a row for that."

Chisholm-Beaton says there will be new sidewalks on Pitt and Napean as part of the project.

The mayor says a September concert showcased the town's ability to come together and put on a large-scale event.

Port Hawkesbury beat out four other small towns across the country and won the right to host a free Meghan Trainor concert.

It was estimated that 11,000 people showed up to the recreation fields for the event.

Chisholm-Beaton said the whole experience was a credit to people in the area.

"Our ability to come together as a town, A, to win a contest like that, and not just the town but there was a lot of support from around the community as well," she said, "and that B, we really showed with flying colours that we could do an event like that, so it was really great to see."

Chisholm-Beaton says the event's success can't be attributed to a single person, as it was a total team effort.

Click here to listen to the full interview.


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