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Buske appointed as Amherst’s Building Official

Amherst town council appointed Marc Buske as the town’s Building Official during its May 27 session.

Buske joined the town as its building inspector in June 2017. Since then he has been taking courses to become a qualified Building Official and he is now qualified to conduct inspections on and one- and two-unit residential buildings.

He continues to take courses towards being a fully qualified Level 1 and Level 2 Building Official. Upon completion of these courses he will be able to process all building permits for the town. Until then, the town will continue to use Municipality of Cumberland Building Officials to conduct inspections, with Buske’s assistance, on large residential and all commercial buildings.

Smoke-Free Recreational Places Bylaw amendments

Council approved first reading of amendments to the town’s Smoke-Free Recreational Places Bylaw.

Under the current bylaw, only tobacco smoking is prohibited at town owned or maintained parks or recreation facilities. The amendment bans smoking in all its forms – tobacco, marijuana and vaping – from those same facilities.

The amendments also expand where smoking is prohibited to include the grounds of an event on town owned or maintained property that is open to the public, including, but not limited to a festival, market or concert, whether an admittance fee is charged or not.

The penalty for breaking the bylaw remains the same, a fine of not more than $200.

 The amendments must also go through a second reading before they become law.

Land-Use Bylaw amendment

Council decided not to amend the town’s Land-Use Bylaw to allow non-electrified, off-site signage in the core area district of the Downtown Zone. Council’s decision follows a Planning Advisory Committee recommendation to make no changes to the bylaw.

Property Assess Clean Energy (PACE) Bylaw amendments


Council approved the first reading of amendments to the town’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Bylaw.

Council also authorized the CAO to enter into a service agreement with the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation, which will administer the PACE program on behalf of the town, in the amount of $13,300.

The amendments are mostly language, like replacing the words Director of Finance with Chief Financial Officer and the Assessment Act with the Municipal Government Act, throughout the document. The amendments also establish the 10-year financing term and default charges for the PACE program.

The PACE program, initially approved last October, enables the town to offer financing to homeowners for energy efficient retrofits and renewable energy adoption that the owner pays back via their tax bills of a period of up to 10 years.

The amendments must go through second reading before they become law.

‘A’ Fresh Start Initiative

Council approved the Top 5 applications for the ‘A’ Fresh Start Initiative community support grants.

The Top 5 are the Autism Nova Scotia Cumberland Chapter, the Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association, Eat Plants-Run Wild, the Lillian Allbon and the Multicultural Association of Cumberland.

The groups will give their reasons why they should receive an ‘A’ Fresh Start Initiative grant during presentations at a public meeting scheduled for June 13 at the Community Credit Union Innovation Centre, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

More details on the event will come in the near future.

Cumberland Region Tourism Strategy


Council approved the adoption of the Cumberland Region Tourism Development Strategy that was developed by an intermunicipal tourism committee that consisted of representatives from Amherst, Oxford, Cumberland County and tourism operators.