The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board received applications Feb. 24 from a community group and the Town of Windsor to merge the town with the Municipality of West Hants.
During the Windsor Council meeting on Feb. 23, members of the Avon Region Citizens (ARC) made a presentation about their pending application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, informing councillors they were ready to move forward.
Following their presentation, Windsor CAO Louis Coutinho said, as per earlier motions from council late last year, the town would make their own application in tandem.
Kathy Monroe, one of the lead organizers of the initiative, said the action was consistent with the Ivany Report's suggestion to streamline local governments to make them more efficient.
Council gave their full support to the initiative.
Mayor Paul Beazley told the members gathered that he’s been pushing for this since he took office, nearly eight years ago.
ARC said West Hants declined an invitation to join in the application.
Monroe said the petition that was circulated last year garned more than double the number of signatures necessary to make a citizen-led application for amalgamation to the NSURB, which will be the first one in Nova Scotia’s history.
Monroe said many instances of in-fighting between the two municipal units lead to this action, adding that the dispute over fire services was a major contributor.
If the application is accepted by the NSURB, it’s highly unlikely that the two units could merge prior to this October’s municipal election.
Stan Kochanoff, with ARC, said they’ll be putting up ARC endorsed candidates for the upcoming election in West Hants.
More to come.