Town of Wolfville Council will be tackling some big issues and opportunities in the coming year. The Annual Budget – arguably Council’s biggest annual policy initiative – establishes operational priorities for the coming months. In addition to major roadwork (Kent (2018), Seaview and Westwood (2019)), the draft budget includes work on the East End Gateway, improvements to Willow Park and the Visitor Centre, and work on the Sewer Treatment Plant – just to name a few of the Capital Projects identified in the early draft of the 2018-19 Capital Budget.
Out at the very end of the 10 year capital plan are two entries of particular interest – a new administrative building and library. These initiatives may seem a long way off but the reality is that these these initiatives take time, much consultation with the public, and particularly with any changes to library and recreation facilities – the need for lots of fundraising. In 2018 Council will consider its role in the County wide development of a recreation facility needs assessment.
Budget related discussions take place monthly at Committee of the Whole meetings – generally the first Tuesday morning of each month although January 9th (so second Tuesday in January). Shorter discussion of budget items will of course be held at the monthly council meetings – typically the third Tuesday evening although the fourth in January. These discussions will typically wrap up at the end of March.
Town staff, representatives of the WBDC, Acadia Administration and the Province are working diligently on an alcohol management policy. Town Council, and the broader community, look forward to the opportunity to weigh in on this policy in the New Year.
The RCMP Advisory Board has been following the anticipated legalization of Cannabis in July of 2018, and implications for the Town. In March the Board will have a more fulsome discussion of potential impact of this new legislation on our community. I anticipate this is something also on the minds of residents and encourage you to ask questions of the Advisory Board or our Staff.
Right up there with the Annual Budget as a major policy initiative is of course the Municipal Planning Strategy. This strategy will in many respects define the future of the Town – perhaps even more so than the Annual Budgets. We anticipate the final draft to be available to Council and the public in the late spring of 2018. The draft documents can be found on the Town’s website under the link https://wolfville.ca/growing-together.html . I encourage you to take a look at these documents if you haven’t already. They are a work in progress but we are well enough along in the process to provide a good sense of the final documents.
But before we delve again into the work of our upcoming year please join Mayor Cantwell and Town Council at the New Year Levee tomorrow from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in the Garden Room of the Irving Centre on University. We will be joined this year for the first time by the new Acadia President – Dr. Peter Ricketts. I look forward to our continued work in 2018 to make this the Town that works for all of us.
The Happiest of New Years and all the best in 2018