MODG continues negotiations with province on Highway 344

By Lois Ann Dort    
November 16 2016

GUYSBOROUGH – “We’re are still talking; the municipality, Mulgrave and the province,” said Municipality of the District of Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts Monday about the dissolution negotiations for the Town of Mulgrave.

“As long as the lines of communication are kept open and what we are saying is clear, as long as we are negotiating, we are making headway,” Pitts added.

The main sticking point in the negotiations with the province is the maintenance of the section of Highway 344 that runs through the Town of Mulgrave and serves as the main thoroughfare in the community.

“There are approximately six km through the middle of the town. Council is unwilling to take that over...If we are forced to take that over there won’t be a deal unless the deal is ordered by the UARB (Utility and Review Board).

“The road is almost fully depleted as we speak...It’s just not fair. And we also have to realize that any cost the municipality takes over for maintaining that road, is too much. This is going to be a perpetual agreement. It’s okay if it is only going to be x-number of dollars one time and then it is done. But that is not the way it is going to go. This is going to go on year after year,” said Pitts adding that to resurface it would cost an estimated $6 million.

The MODG is also arguing this past week that the province should not be involved in port development. These comments were sparked by the release earlier this month of a report commissioned by ACOA which stated that the province should invest in the Port of Halifax not other container port proposals such as those in Sydney and the Strait of Canso.

“My only spin on that is the province should not be getting involved in that, in ports. Number one, we are talking MITI here, Melford, and they’re not taking any government money here. This is strictly private funding. I think the government should stay out of that and let business do what business does best,” said Pitts about the release of the report.