Hantsport considers dissolving to deal with financial woes
May follow Bridgetown's example and dissolve to deal with mounting economic pressures
The town of Hantsport in Hants County is considering following Bridgetown's lead and giving up its status as a town to deal with mounting economic pressures.
With the loss of its main employer and a tax base too small to maintain its own roads and sewers, Hantsport's mayor said he will formally propose dissolving the town at a meeting of residents next week.
"It's just going to get worse year after year," said Mayor Robbie Zwicker.
"We can increase taxes significantly and get by for another few years, as other municipalities have done, or maybe it's time to take leadership and say, 'Hey, let's not wait until we're completely broke and bankrupt.'"
- Bridgetown to dissolve town because of money woes
- Springhill to dissolve as town due to economic pressures
Several municipalities in Hants County, including the town of Windsor, are considering some form of amalgamation with the District of the Municipality of West Hants to address their financial woes.
"We need to be more efficient here," said Paul Beazley, mayor of Windsor.
"We need to have less boundaries, we need to break down the boundaries, we need to break down the barriers."
Beazley met with Windsor real estate agents on Tuesday.
"We all recognize — or at least we all do here — that amalgamation is the only way to go," said Debbie Rose of Rose Realty.
But the merger may not be such a straightforward process.
The towns would have to absorb their own debts even after amalgamation, said Richard Dauphinee, warden of West Hants.
"There would be an area rate on them — that's the way we see it," he added.
Last week, Dauphinee walked out of a meeting on co-operation when Beazley prevented him from speaking on a letter that the town of Windsor had sent to Premier Stephen McNeil's government on amalgamation.
The plight of small towns will be front and centre later this week in Truro at a forum of wardens, mayors and municipal administrators on dealing with change.