Updated North Tyndal Wellfield Water Source Protection Strategy approved

An updated North Tyndal Wellfield Water Source Protection Strategy was adopted by Amherst town council at its April 30 council session.

The updated strategy was developed over the past 24 months.

The original strategy was put in place in the late 1980s. At the time it was a model for other jurisdictions, but the plan’s age caused the provincial Environment Department to ask for an updated version.

The Amherst Water Utility engaged consultants CBCL Ltd. to review and update the plan. The consultants confirmed the recharge area was accurate and determined the land-use regulations were satisfactory.

While numerous, minor, administrative changes were made to the plan, CBCL didn’t recommend any major changes to the activities permitted in the protected zones.

The most significant changes were a requirement for clearer content in forest management plans and more inspections of the wellfield by the water utility.

The updated plan was accepted in February by the North Tyndal Wellfield Advisory Committee, which recommended it be sent the Town of Amherst and Municipality of Cumberland councils for approval.

Ice helmet policy sent back to committee of the whole

Council voted to return a proposed ice helmet use policy back to the committee of the whole for further review.

The proposed policy would have required anyone using the ice surface at the Amherst Stadium to wear a CSA-approved helmet. The town’s current policy strongly recommends the use of a helmet, but it is not compulsory to wear one.

Staff recommended the updated policy because studies have proven the use of CSA-approved helmets reduce the risks of head injuries for skaters and the change in policy dovetailed with the town’s commitment to ensure the safety of all those who use town facilities.

The proposed policy was developed after consulting with several other organizations, municipalities and sports associations. The majority of those required CSA-approved helmets to be worn when a person was on an ice surface.

Several councillors expressed concern over the wording of the policy before voting to send it back to the committee of the whole for further review.

Council approves purchase of mobile generator

The purchase of a mobile generator, at a cost of $121,882.75 plus HST, was approved by council.

Currently, the town has two mobile generators to use during power outages. Adding the third will provide additional security to reservoir operations, as well as the town’s six lift stations and wellfield, during outages.

Funding the generator’s purchase will come from the reservoir replacement project, which is running about $2.2 million below the budgeted amount of $7.7 million.

Council directs staff to develop a territorial acknowledgement policy

A motion to direct town staff to develop a territorial acknowledgement policy was approved by Amherst town council during its April 30 committee of the whole meeting.

The acknowledgement would recognize the land on which town meetings are held is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw People.

The motion asked staff to develop the exact wording of the acknowledgement and to determine the times and places where it should be read.

Possibility of partnering with the Cumberland Energy Authority to be explored

Council has directed staff to explore the possibility of the Town of Amherst partnering with the Cumberland Energy Authority in an application to the provincial government’s Solar for Community Buildings Program.

Joining the authority in the application would benefit the town because it would not need in-house expertise in order to install solar units, a staff report supporting the partnership indicated.

The report also indicated working with the authority would give the town another opportunity to partner with the Municipality of Cumberland in a project that would help develop a positive relationship between the two municipal units.