Four areas of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish are going to become a lot brighter.
During its regular monthly meeting, Jan. 16, council approved committee of the whole recommendations to install streetlights in four locations; in Bayfield near the Beach Road, Summerside Road and Summerside-Bayfield intersection, on the Highway 4 curve near the convenience store in Monastery, and at the intersection of Highway 316 and Loch Katrine Road.
“Requests come from residents. They identify, usual through the council members, an area where there may be a dangerous intersection or a dark corner, for example, where they feel it is public safety or driving hazard,” Warden Owen McCarron told reporters after the sessions.
Requests are assessed under the municipality’s street lighting policy.
“It allows for a certain number, per year, and we evaluate them based on the requests that come in from the public,” McCarron said.
He estimated the municipality averages fewer than 10 street light installations per year.
“You will get a little push [in requests] and, sometimes, we notice it at this time of year,” McCarron said.
“The evenings are still dark and people kind of notice these blind spots, so we certainly want to make sure that we put them in the locations to alleviate some of the problems.”
The timeline between request and installation varies, depending on Nova Scotia Power’s workload.
“They are pretty quick to respond,” McCarron said, estimating they take approximately two months “from start to finish.”
During the council session, McCarron noted St. F.X. Homecoming was one of the topics for discussion during a recent Town and Gown meeting.
“The university wants to make sure that Homecoming goes on, with a lot of success,” he said.
“There was a lot of good discussion about how they can frame Homecoming going forward.”
McCarron described the meeting as “positive,” noting people will be coming together to work on solutions related to issues around to Homecoming.
“There was a lot of buzz,” he said, when asked about the 2017 event, “but, you know, it is like everything – there is always hype at the time and then things cool off.
“I think there will be some good solutions going forward,” he reiterated.
McCarron said there were concerns about areas, such as “large gatherings,” which got out of hand.
The Town and Gown committee, which reformed in late 2014, includes representation from the county, Town of Antigonish, St. F.X. and its Students’ Union.
Council voted to provide a letter of support for an initiative launched by the neighbouring Town of Port Hawkesbury, which is calling for the province to make a change at the Canso Causeway.
As a way to honour and recognize the Mi’kmaw community, they have requested the addition of ‘Unama’ki’ to its ‘Welcome to Cape Breton.’
“We just see it as an extension of the relationship that we have with Paq’tnkek [Mi’kmaw Nation],” he said.
“We think it’s a good thing; we’re certainly fully supportive.”
Town of Antigonish and Municipality of the District of Guysborough councils have also given support to the initiative.
Beech Hill intersection
“Nothing new, at this point,” McCarron said, when asked by reporters for a status report on safety concerns the county has raised regarding the intersection of Beech Hill Road and Trunk 4 (the old Hwy. 104).
“We were told by Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) that they were going to have something to us early in the new year, so we are certainly going to be looking forward to that.
“We have requested a meeting with the [TIR] minister [Guysborough Eastern Shore Tracadie MLA] Lloyd Hines to discuss issues, like that, and we are just waiting for a date for that meeting,” he added.
Last fall, council reiterated its concerns with provincial officials, including local MLAs.
As part of its response, TIR personnel recorded traffic volume numbers along the stretch.