Councillors recently had an opportunity to express their concerns with a representative of one of the internet providers delivering service to residents of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.
Parker Donham, Seaside Communications director of communications, was a presenter during council’s most recent monthly meeting (Dec. 19).
“It was timely because we have a number of areas that seem like there is being more concerns expressed,” Warden Owen McCarron told reporters after the session.
“This gave us a great opportunity to hear what Seaside have planned and what they have done in the last little bit to up their speeds.”
Donham, who made the offer to attend, outlined some of the improvements Seaside has planned with its towers and other technology. He also noted areas of the county, such as Heatherton, the company has targeted for possible service agreements.
They have fashioned such co-operative agreements, including financing, with other communities and municipalities.
As for the presentation – and exchange with council – the warden said Donham “certainly seemed positive with respect to some of the challenges.”
“Obviously, they have it on their radar – some of the areas underserved by their service.
“We are looking at working with them to see if we can expand service into the marginal areas of the county,” he added.
McCarron, who was asked about the need for improving and expanding service, touched on its importance to home-based businesses and residential owners.
“It’s critically important to the growth of the county, so we see it as a must service,” McCarron said.
On the following day, county officials were scheduled to meet with representatives of another service provider.
“The reach out has been there and we are certainly hopeful that we can draw some more attention to increase the opportunity for better broadband throughout the county,” he added.
During the Dec. 19 session, the county recognized employees who have reached service milestones, ones that ranged between five and 25 years.
“It is nice to see a little recognition of our staff, which I think they appreciate,” McCarron said.
It is the first time the municipality presented certificates.
“We just feel it is a nice way to recognize staff, as they hit milestones in their career, and – again – I think they are pleased with that little recognition,” McCarron said.
The plan is make presentations on an annual basis.
“We know the work that they put in – they put in a lot of work behind the scenes. We have dedicated staff and a history of keeping staff for a long period here in the county,” McCarron said.
During the council session, the warden mentioned he attended a celebration in early December at Peoples’ Place Library, where it was announced that Antigonish Affordable Housing Society (AAHS) won the Aviva Community Fund $100,000 grand prize.
McCarron described the municipality as a “big supporter” of AAHS and its efforts.
“This is an exciting time [for them]. We see nothing but positives coming from that project, for sure,” he said.
AAHS have earmarked the monies for construction of a community room at Riverside Estates.