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Top three things to know from Windsor’s Nov. 13 committee of the whole meeting

<p lang="en-US">The newly sworn in Windsor town council pose for a photo following the ceremony on Oct. 25, 2016. Pictured are, from left, Laurie Murley, John Bregante, Mayor Anna Allen, Shelley Bibby, and Jim Ivey.</p>
For more news on Windsor town council, stay on this website - Colin Chisholm

WINDSOR, N.S. — Members of Windsor council held their committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 13 and a variety of items were discussed. Here’s some of the highlights.

1. Windsor sets first public engagement meeting on consolidation

The Town of Windsor will hold its first public engagement session on consolidation on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Room 5, in the lower floor of the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre. Councillors discussed the upcoming meeting and decided to slightly change the venue — rather than holding it in the main auditorium, they agreed to move it downstairs to one of the smaller rooms.

Windsor Mayor Anna Allen said she wanted to do this to provide a smaller, more intimate setting.

Councillors also agreed they didn’t want the meeting to come across as a serious, formal information session with a power point presentation and sticky notes on giant pieces of paper.

“I really hate that,” Allen said.

Deputy mayor Laurie Murley suggested using couches as a way to make it even more casual.

The councillors are hoping the meeting, the first in what will likely be a series of public meetings, won’t turn into a screaming match.

The West Hants councillor-run town halls were cited as an example of how to do these type of engagement sessions.

Coun. Jim Ivey said he has attended a few of the West Hants town halls and would like to replicate those.

2. Valley REN identifies expanding broadband and green energy as two key strategies

Jennifer Tufts, senior economic development officer presented the quarterly update from the Valley Regional Enterprise Network, of which Windsor is a member.

The REN’s three-year strategic framework highlights their goal to retain and grow the region’s workforce, innovation and attracting new employers, of which expanding broadband internet access and enhancing green energy are common components.

The REN has met with Develop Nova Scotia on its broadband effort, a crown corporation responsible for upgrading developing land and infrastructure across Nova Scotia, including the Halifax and Lunenburg waterfronts.

“It’s really about working in partnership with what they’re already doing in the province in relation to broadband,” Tufts said. “We’ve had several meetings with them and we want to help them carry out broadband expansion in this area in any way that we can.”

She also highlighted the REN’s recent rebranding efforts, which included a new website, logo and more.

3. Windsor District RCMP attempting to find ways to ease traffic during pumpkin regatta and issues their first ticket under the new Cannabis Act

Newly minted Staff Sergeant Cory Bushell reported what the RCMP has been up to in October, on Cpl. Luc Cote’s behalf.

With the Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta and the legalization of cannabis, it was a busy month for the Mounties.

They received 153 calls for service in October, ranging from false alarms, mental health calls, assaults, mischief, traffic enforcement and more.

They assisted with the Children’s Wish Parade and Pumpkin Regatta on Oct. 14, which saw heavy traffic in and around town. They’re looking into ways to mitigate congestion around the event.

“During the event, traffic was backed up all the way to the Ben Jackson Road, which was a bit of a concern,” Bushell said. “We’re going to be meeting in the new year to try to address that.”

The first Cannabis Act charge was handed down on Oct. 22, several days after the substance was legalized on Oct. 17.

“(Cannabis legalization) has been relatively uneventful for us,” he said.

The charge was related to underage possession of cannabis.

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