Members of the Port Hawkesbury Volunteer Fire Department made for a packed house at April’s regular town council meeting Tuesday night.
Curtis Doucet, the town’s fire chief, says they wanted to inform members of the public of their feelings toward the Destination Reeves St. project.
He says response time is a concern, especially for responders who aren’t truck operators, but a bypass would solve all of their concerns.
After the meeting, Doucet told The Hawk they hope members of a proposed committee will be able to review concerns.
“Most of the emergency responders share the same concern on the project,” he said. “Myself, as fire chief and also the EMO coordinator for the Town of Port Hawkesbury, there’s certain objects that I wish to discuss further with TIR.”
Doucet said they’ve been trying to meet with officials from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to address the concerns, but there’s been no response.
He said they’re not against the project, but they want some pieces reviewed further.
Another concern they raised was possibly having to shut down Reeves St. in case of a collision; the project would convert the street to three lanes- one being a turn-only lane- as opposed to the current four lanes.
Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, the town’s mayor, said they hope speed reduction makes for fewer collisions, but that could be reviewed by members of the proposed committee.
“I think that if the desire is to slow traffic down on Reeves St., I would assume that we would have way less accidents,” she said. “I’m not sure of the probability of having that happen all that often, but if it were to happen, it’d be a good to have that group take a look at it.”
Chisholm-Beaton said the next step is to meet with provincial officials.
Mark MacIver, a town councillor wearing his fire uniform at the meeting, said he didn’t support the project previously because he didn’t have enough information; that led Hughie MacDougall, the town’s deputy mayor, to voice concern about not voting in favour of relevant motions either.
The mayor and town’s CAO, Terry Doyle, agreed to review their records to address the comments.